Moses from Starch (@starch.sg) invited myself and 3 other artists to use the Starch space for a month to make work, concluding in a public open studio.
Below are documentations of some of the work made during the month, older works, works-in-progress.
This tiny oil on canvas ( 5cmx8cm) is part of the series "The City Watches Me and I Can't Fall Asleep", April 2020. Based on a picture taken of me and my flatmate days after our flat got broken into.
In the Starch space, I placed my tiny painting next to @jonathantyl 's photographed image drawing from the similarities in composition. The only difference is, in his photo, the viewer is in view and not hidden.
Below is the first painting of my series "The City Watches Me and I Can't Fall Asleep" (April 2020). Painted off memory on a street I used to live on in London. I remember looking up and catching a glance of the chimneys that looked like 1940s men in trench coats watching me in their city. The empty late night strolls, the panini shop I never managed to try, doors that led to no where, piss puddles and glaring traffic lights. Part how I see the world, part how I want it to be. An ode to my insomnia and paranoia.
I left notes made during/after the painting around the space.
Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm
Untitled work-in-progress oil on loose canvas (70cmx70cm)
A piece I started in Sweden back in 2018. In this vulnerable time of big change in my life, I decided it was the best time to continue this piece- based on a picture taken by me: my reflection in the window and the converging inside and outside spaces.
I spent majority of my time at Starch working on this piece. An almost dissociative process painting a version of myself that existed 4 years ago. Oh how things have changed and how things have not. I miss her and I wish her well.
"Burning House" work-in-progress oil on canvas (76cmx76cm)
"Burning House" is a work-in-progress piece based on the current house I live in with my parents. An expression of me as an observer to my birth-givers. The altar is a representation of their values and the distance that is placed between us. What does one call home? A place that feels familiar or a place that questions familiarity?
In this series of work, I am painting places I have once stayed in/stay in, questioning the notions of what it means to belong, to call something home. I often refer to this limbo as an "in-between space". I draw a visual parallel to the way windows become a gateway to this in-between space when the sun goes down and the indoor fluorescent lights turn on. The 2 spaces start to exist and come alive in this transient hour.
I explore this in my sound piece as well. Comprised of self-recorded/collected ambience sounds from the last 2 years, the sounds are arranged and mixed to juxtapose each other- inside/outside sounds, pleasant/unpleasant sounds. familiar (sounds from the Starch space itself) /unfamiliar sounds.
Video documentation of sound piece not uploaded yet.
"Miss Boogeylady" (June 2021), Oil on canvas 5x7cm
Miss Boogeylady appears at the corner of my eyes when I walk past my mirror- she lies there on my bed unabashedly like Manet's Olympia except that when I turn to look at her eyes directly, she turns into a pile of pillows and blankets. In this imagined scenario/painting, we finally lock eyes.
Work-in-progress oil on canvas panel (22.5x30cm).
Placed right at a long crack on the partition wall befitting to this house's integrity. Painted in Sept 2020 on my birthday- this was the beginning of my exploration into "lonely homes".
The first painting I made of the house I live in now after returning home during the pandemic which was the longest time I've spent in this house since it was built. It has always been a somewhat foreign space that I strangely called home. It serves its purpose and it is luxurious: it is a brief encapsulation of the otherness I experience in this shell I inhabit.
"Poolside Worship" (Feb 2021) Oil on canvas available for purchase. 5x10cm
I lay there, floating. My chin tilts up as my ears submerge underwater - the whole world is muted. I only hear my breathing and the filter of the pool, pumping. My hands spread out next to me as I stare into the moon. The moon reminds me that I have lived another day, she brings me comfort because she shares a melancholy whenever night brings her. The clouds form a halo around her, an eye in the sky, looking down at me, washing me in her illumination, bathing me in her quiet moment. I take a deep breath. I long for us to fall asleep peacefully without the worry that weighs me down in this pool. With every breath, the heat leaves my skull into this gel that surrounds my body, washed away by the chilling breeze; my body follows. Just me, my breath and the numbness of my fingers and toes. It leaves me. It all leaves me. In that moment, she gives me everything and I surrender.