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Friday, 5 July 2013

Home: A Solo Exhibition by Sunar Sugiyou

Maya Gallery is pleased to present Home, a solo exhibition by third generation Singapore artist Sunar Sugiyou at the Fullerton Hotel, Singapore. The exhibition is on view from July 5, through September 12, 2013.

Using Chinese ink, Sunar Sugiyou captures old Singapore landscapes and memories that engage the viewer to revisit one’s past, familiar places, our heritage, and concepts of what binds us as a family and nation. Part of the proceeds from the sale of artworks will contribute to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Needy Patients Fund.

Sunar Sugiyou (b. 1961, Singapore) is a pioneer graduate of the St Patrick’s Art Centre (now LASALLE College of the Arts). Sunar showed his first works at the Shell Discovery Art Exhibition (1986), and received high commendations at the Australian Art Awards (1987) and IBM Art Award (1988). Sunar has exhibited in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. His early works were in oils, acrylics, collage and mixed media, but a brush with Chinese ink in 2000 had him falling in love with this delicate medium, and he has not looked back since. He has more than 300 works in his ouevre, some of which are in the collections of the Singapore National Museum, National University of Singapore, Development Bank of Singapore, Exxon Mobil, royal families from neighbouring countries, and many private individuals in Singapore and overseas.

“Home” features 30 recent paintings in Chinese ink by Sunar, inspired by the artist’s memories of the past, visits and outings as a child, conversations with his parents, and a sense of appreciation for the forgotten heritage scenes of Singapore. Using rice paper, and adding that final touch with his signature red Chinese stamp, Sunar’s paintings have been mistaken to be that of a Chinese or Japanese artist. Yet his painting style is contemporary. As many modern painters have done, he often mixes several colors with black ink, resulting in natural and richly varied colours. The effect is a fresh approach to using this traditional medium, coupled with his unassuming brush strokes. 

“Chinese ink is my mistress.” – Sunar Sugiyou

Referring to it as his “mistress”, Chinese ink remains a favoured medium which Sunar has been exploring with for almost 14 years, and now bearing fruit as the exhibition takes us on a nostalgic journey. This series of heritage-related ink works is also timely as our visual history is slowly disappearing. An increasing demand by a discerning audience for old Singapore scenes has the potential to create a better understanding of our past, and a renewed appreciation for what is relevant and meaningful in today’s world.