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Tan Ping Chiang, Paige Bradley, Zhanghua and Mao Lizhi
22 June 2016 - 23 July 2016
Mulan Gallery's monthly feature showcases works by local pioneer artist Tan Ping Chiang, Chinese artist Mao Lizi, and sculptures by Paige Bradley and Zhang Hua.
Tan Ping Chiang (陈彬章, b. 1940, Singapore) is an esteemed Singapore artist and educator with an art and design career spanning the early 1960s to the present. Tan has been cited as a pioneer artist who had helped foment formalist experimentation in Singapore art.
For Tan, the flavour and poetry of everyday Singapore life is most potently embodied in the coffee-aroma infused neighbourhood coffee shop or kopitiam. This series offers a testament and homage to the authentic Nanyang (or Southeast Asian) coffee shop culture, containing within it the rich tapestry of stories and lives that ebb and flow with the changing times. Characteristically imbuing social realism with formalist experimentation, the artist’s observations, overheard snippets and chance encounters presented in this series cut through the everyday and the mundane in an intermittently poetic and jolting ode to this microcosm of contemporary Singapore society.
Mao Lizi’s, The Ambiguous Flowers (“花非花”) series of semi-representational, semi-abstract oils on canvas hybridises realism and spontaneous abstract expression is the result of years of experimentation. Fusing his admiration for the contingency of Chinese traditional ink paintings and the spontaneous, free-form expressionism of Western modern art, these works culminate in a Zen-like style that conflates and dances between the representational and the abstract, the real and the illusionary or potentiality, active
Paige Bradley is an American sculptor renowned for her figurative bronze sculptures. She is perhaps recently best known for her work Expansion, which depicts a woman’s figure with light emanating from cracks in her body, and which was originally photographed against a New York skyline in 2004. The prolific Bradley translates her experiences of life, relationships and womanhood into representational sculptures that depict and celebrate love, honesty, vulnerability, home, family, femininity, individuality and freedom. Despite her human forms’ dramatic poses, they exude a comfortable intimacy that embraces rather than excludes the viewer, reinforcing her belief that art is “you and me”.
Zhang Hua’s sculptures are expressively portrayed in flowing lines. The figures often have elongated bodies, so that they appear supple and lithe. His subjects are light, floating imagery of a child-like imagination that is rendered in these delightfully elegant sculptures. The world of these young men women and children are carefree, fun-filled and simply joyful.
Some of his sculptures were installed at the Beijing's International Sculpture Park, which houses a wide variety of works by leading contemporary Chinese sculptors, the China Olympic Park.