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Between Breaths
by Artfolio
Location: Artfolio Gallery
Artist(s): TAY Bak Chiang
Date: 18 Mar - 28 Mar 2010

Tay Bak Chiang has constantly re-interpreted the norms of traditional Chinese painting with his use of western style compositional elements and vibrant colours.  In this exhibition, he has once again broken new ground with a further abstraction of familiar forms, and a radical change to a mainly black-and-white palette.

In the Lotus series, he brings abstraction to a new level as the familiar lotus plant is viewed from the perspectives of the pond inhabitants.  The serenity of the unadulterated forms is often punctuated by the whimsical appearance of playful pond residents. 

Texture and form takes centre-stage in the Stone series, as a charcoal-like pigment is used together with traditional Chinese ink to create a layered look for granite.

As Bak Chiang says, “Taking these distilled forms from thought to paper was a most difficult process, one of continuous self-negation.  It was an enormous step to take, to abandon the traditional reliance on realistic forms. … What scent should a painting of stone have?”  It’s in this pursuit of capturing the essence of being that makes him an artist to watch.

Malaysian-born Tay Bak Chiang has won several national art awards, including the UOB Painting of the Year (Traditional Chinese Medium Category).  A graduate of NAFA and the China Academy of Fine Art, he is one of Singapore’s most original painters.

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