Tay Bak Chiang at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016

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To view all the exhibits, browse through our E-catalogue!

After a successful solo exhibition at iPreciation in 2014,  Tay Bak Chiang (b. 1973, Malaysia/Singapore) continues to push boundaries and contemporize the genre of Chinese painting through the use of acrylic and pigments on canvas.

In this body of new paintings, Tay’s progressive attempts have borne fruit; experimenting with mineral-rich tones that range from brilliant blues to opalescent greens and shimmering yellows. In this exhibition we observe an extension of the rock series and his foray portraying the ancient Chinese instrument guqin as a new exploratory subject matter.

The inspiration behind his stone paintings stem from his walks in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore some years back. He was inspired by the hulking forms in nature, though inanimate, they appeared full of life and personality. To achieve three dimensionality and character for the stones, Tay manipulates colour and shades to achieve subtle gradations and ink-like translucency using acrylic paint, a technique forged and refined by the artist since his encounter in the nature reserve.

In this exhibition Tay also explores the depiction of one of China’s oldest stringed instrument; the guqin a seven-stringed zither, viewed as a symbol of Chinese high culture and the most expressive of the essence of Chinese music. In Chinese, “gu” means ancient and “qin” means musical instrument. Symbology characterizes this instrument, for example, it measures 3’6.5” (Chinese feet and inches) to symbolize 365 days of the year; the upper surface is rounded representing the sky and the bottom is flat representing the earth. The first 5 strings represent the elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The 6th string is sorrowful and the 7th string represents strength. The thirteen mother-of-pearl inlays along the outer edge represents the 13 months of the lunar year. The guqin has been frequently referred to as the preferred instrument of the sages and literati. In imperial China’s past, monks, scholars and ladies of the elite society were supposed to master the four traditional arts, and one of them is qin, for the purposes of enriching the heart and elevating the human spirit.

Tay’s minimalist compositions are not about representing minimalistic images or technical skills, but to evoke a sense of poetry and inner emotion, a nod to the values of Chinese literati painting rendered with a contemporary sensibility. Before the works are exhibited in Art Basel Hong Kong in March 2016, the paintings were previewed at iPreciation.

To view all the exhibits, PLEASE browse through our E-catalogue (top of page).

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