29.03.15 – A solo exhibition by Boo Sze Yang
Exhibition period: 31st July – 22nd August 2015
Launch of monograph: Saturday, 15th August 2015, 2.30 pm
iPreciation is pleased to stage a solo exhibition “29.03.15” of Singapore artist Boo Sze Yang from 31st July – 22nd August 2015. This exhibition will feature the artist’s latest series of paintings which pay tribute to the day of the passing of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew.
Entitled “29.03.15”, this exhibition distills the emotional tone of that fateful day that has become significant in Singapore’s history. Boo’s new paintings encapsulate time as a symbolic element which opens up readings into various situations which have occurred during this gloomy day. The mood in the paintings is quiet and sombre, people’s gestures and facial expressions reveal the nation’s profound, yet indescribable sense of loss and sadness. While the nation discusses the commemoration of LKY, the artist chooses instead to focus on the people of Singapore – “the ordinary, anonymous Singaporeans who did the extraordinary”. The presence of the commune that was formed and unified on this day spoke much more than it could be captured by the media, and these paintings offer a closer view on the psychological, dramatic and solemn effect on the people of Singapore. Without any direct visual references to LKY, the works inevitably capture a sense of his presence and his standing in people’s hearts via the impact and memory of his passing.
Boo is known for dealing with unconventional subject matter, from everyday domestic objects, crash-scenes, to the derelict interiors of cathedrals and glittering vast spaces of shopping malls. In his characteristic style, he paints the subject as means to unravel a metaphor for the human condition. His playfulness with brushwork, turpentine washes, scarping and adding of paint onto the primed canvas is what makes his paintings so compelling. In addition, Boo’s method of mixing of colours directly on the canvas and control over grey tones shows mastery of over twenty years of practice. The surfaces of the new paintings are thin, alike watercolours. With “29.03.15”, figures are submerged with space surrounding them, and fast paced marks culminate to form a scene as recollected from the photographs and memory.
Part of the exhibition programme includes the launch of the artist’s first monograph on the 15th August at 2.30 pm, offering a mini-retrospective of the artist’s works and development over the last twenty years, including the exhibition of significant older works to complement the new series of works, thereby continuing the dialogue and journey of the artist. This exhibition will coincide with Singapore’s National Day (Aug 9), a suitable time for contemplation, discussion and appreciation in this significant SG50 year of our nationhood. As Boo himself turns fifty this year, he reflects on the developments of our young nation and at the same time questions the future.
About the artist
Boo Sze Yang (b.1965 Singapore) graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in 1991; completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the University of Reading, UK in 1995 and received his Master in Arts Degree from Chelsea College of Art & Design, the University of the Arts London in 2004. He has exhibited in international solo and group exhibitions since 1999. His recent solo exhibitions include, “The Father,” iPreciation, Singapore (2014); “Boo Sze Yang: AIR,” Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (2012); “Sanctuary,” Art at St Francis, Melbourne, Australia (2012); “The New Cathedral,” Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Galleries, Singapore (2012); and recent group exhibition participations include, “The Realm in the Mirror, the Vision Out of Image,” an Exhibition of Singapore Contemporary Art, Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China (2013); “The 2012-13 Sovereign Asian Art Prize,” Hong Kong (2013); “The 26th Asian International Art Exhibition (AIAE),” Hangaram Art Museum, South Korea (2011); “Exchange China-Singapore Art Showcase,” Yingu Art Mansion, Beijing, China (2010).
He is a recipient for the Asian Artist Fellowship Award 2010/2011 sponsored by Freeman Foundation for residency at the Vermont Studio Center in USA. In 2003, he was awarded the Juror’s Choice for the Philip Morris Singapore-ASEAN Art Award and in 2009, the Platinum Award, UOB Painting of the Year Competition. His works are in the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, the Singapore Istana Art Collection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore, United Overseas Bank, Simmons & Simmons Contemporary Art Collection, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Yingu Art Mansion in Beijing.
Images of artworks
Intersection website: http://intersection.sg/profile/boo-sze-yang/
Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/art-for-sg50