Paintings for Solo Exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery, Habitat Center New Delhi.
A selection of paintings and drawings that celebrate fresh acquaintainces of the visitor to the Indian homeland.
Experimental collaboration with Monks in Chiang Khan and Bangkok.
It was an alternating response to the painting beginning with me working with forms that responded to the froms in the local Watt in Chiang Khan.
Next the monks made a response in text into the paint. I came back again. We alternated in this way until intuitions told us to stop. Special thanks to Monk Ananda Manjusri Thero from Sri Lanka, artist collaborator in Bangkok.
Zones of Contact
Decisions of selecting, rejecting and modifying and based upon intellectual reflection but as important intuitive reflection and sensitivities to the artistic and visual language of mark making, shape, and color. Throughout history artistic works are born of a collaborative dialogue and interchange. The collaboration builds upon both Joan Kelly and Prof Chib’s research theme understanding the process of acculturation of foreign migrant workers in the Singaporean host society, with its attendant tensions and resolutions. Prof. Chib examines the role played by modern media such as mobile telephony and the Internet, as well as art, in this process of socialization. We are therefore together interested in the role of art in bridging divides amongst peoples, changing the perceptions of native Singaporeans towards migrants, leading to a more harmonious and integrated society.
“Zones of Contact” oil on linen 188cm x 115cm 2010 these two recent paintings will be exhibited in Bangkok 2 May 2011at Chulalongkor University and 12 July Blue Mountain Gallery New York City
This painting was made on the street in Little India regardless of its size. The process was in collaboration with the community of Rowell Road in Little India. The canvas was brought to the location and the participation in the process was opened to anyone who wanted to participate in being a part of the imagery of the painting. The art of creating the painting allowed for access to this community. There was discussion and observation as to the process of “making” as well as an inside view of their concerns within their community. Note the Chinese “Uncle” on the right, the three Bangladesh construction workers on the left and an Indian, Malay migrant worker across the bottom with the Indian Professional in the middle. I don’t believe I have ever seen the icon of the Chinese “Uncle” in a work of art.
Geylang, one of the Red Light districts in Singapore
photo: credit Isabel Lofgren
Geylang is one of the red-light areas in Singapore. It is also known for its incredible traditional foods.
I spent every Friday night painting portraits at Lurong 16 in Geylang. I painted anyone who wanted to sit. Because the people in Geylang thought I “should” want to paint “beautiful women” they brought the sex workers in the area to pose for me. That is how my work in minority communities began in Singapore. Every Friday was an improvised, performance. I produced sixty painted portraits and ten drawings thus far. She compensates the women and sitters as models like all artists compensate their models. The neighborhood people got very used to me and began discussing my paintings, and giving their opinions. Over time the situation became a place where people who won’t go to art galleries and museums began to feel free to voice their ideas and opinions about art.
Completed Paintings (36cm x 28cm oil on canvas)
Little India, Singapore
Singapore's Little India is the richly painted ethnic neighborhood where pungent aromas are seeping out of spice shops and restaurants. Sunday's are the day of the week where Singapore's "foreign workers" mainly from Bangladesh hang-out, relax, have a meal and a few other vices to unwind after a grueling week on a construction site. It's an emotional face to this city after blocks of the repetitious geometry of the HDB flat and the callous monstrosities of glass and steel knocking you in the face from Orchard road and the waterfront.
I fell in love with the neighborhood as I painted there and got to know the shop owners as well as the Bangladesh workers. Everyone is very open to talking and creating conversations. Some even asking for me to paint them in the painting. I rented a small studio there in the summer. Other times I carry my paints and French easel down there and work for the evening. Although I did one large, 2 meter painting there on the street as well as the small ones.
Singapore Studio paintings
These paintings are collections of personal memoirs, responses to Singapore, visual environment, culture and lifestyle.