Artredot Pte Ltd
Grey Rabbit Gallery
Immagini Art Gallery
CHINGU: A Group Exhibition by Five Singaporean Galleries
Art brings people together.
It was fortuitous when five Singaporean galleries – Maya Gallery, Grey Rabbit, Artredot, Immagini Art Gallery and Impress Galleries – occupied neighbouring booths at Artshow Busan 2014. It ignited a friendship that grew with their shared passion for art and they decided to collaborate in a group exhibition: Chingu.
Chingu is Korean for friends and it is the hope of all the galleries that this inaugural exhibition will grow into an annual event where friends who love art can gather. With a common goal of showcasing Singapore’s artistic talent to an international audience, the galleries hope that this friendship will enable Singaporean artists to gain recognition around the world. The range of artworks in this show, although seemingly discordant in their diverse mediums, from paintings to photographs, shares the inspiration of friendship.
Papergirl’s works, represented by Grey Rabbit, not only bear a strong link to the show’s theme, their very existence thrives on friendship. Papergirl said, “I can only draw through my connections with people.” During a difficult period in her life, one of Papergirl’s old friends reached out to her and sent her daily reminders to express herself creatively. First she drew her family and close friends and soon she started to heal through art. A special person she recently met and experienced a deep and intense connection with directly inspires her new series, showcased in Chingu. For example, Friends for Life, This Life & Past Life shows the familiarity of souls that recognize each other in an instant while Soul Friends delights in the buoyancy of heart experienced when in the presence of people you love.
Following this personal journey on friendship, Immagini Art Gallery will showcase Billy Mork’s black and white portraits of wild horses, captured in the South of France. These photographs, shot entirely on film and developed by Billy in his darkroom, reflect Billy’s lifelong affection for horses. Before he turned ten, he rode his first horse and has ridden horses in America and England and makes monthly visits to the Singapore Polo Club. While shooting in France, he had to wait for days for the horses to emerge at dawn and dusk and stay still for hours for them to come close to him. Billy remembers that when he caught his first glimpse of the shy horses,
“I couldn’t help it, my eyes just filled with tears.” These photographs were not shot using a telephoto lens, as he believes in eye contact, so he had to stay focused for hours to capture the rare, intimate portraits. Billy enthused, “I am crazy about animals. Animals are so smart and observe a lot through our eyes.” Perhaps the horses sensed the special connection and allowed Billy into their world, one click at a time.
The paintings by Terence Teo, represented by Artredot, highlight the artist’s friendship with nature. The Rainforest series on show draws directly from the artist’s emotions, inspired by his observations of nature. Terence’s modern interpretation is created using Chinese ink expressed through Western Expressionist techniques.
The artist’s brush strokes are bold, expressive and spontaneous, capturing the fleeting moments of rhythm and motion of the flora and fauna around him. Terence believes, “Friendship is a part of life just like the natural environment, which is a main focus of my paintings.” His works reflect that friendship is like nature: organic and always growing.
Moving from the love of nature, we encounter Jeffrey Wandly’s Poetry of the Soul series, represented by Maya Gallery, which shares his affection for architecture and in particular, historical sites. Traversing various places of worship, he believes this is a reflection of true friendship where the superficial and material are transcended and only respect and tenderness remains. Jeffrey recalls, “While painting, it feels like I’m having a conversation with a friend. The places I have painted in this series are where I felt a genuine, human connection.” Jeffrey grew up in a kampong before he turned thirteen, perhaps fostering his holistic outlook that true friendship transcends race, religion, beliefs and opinions. The artworks do not focus on a particular religion, but cover various landmarks – temples, stupas, mosques and churches. Jeffrey believes that each of us, as individuals, can benefit from the joys of friendship if we make an effort to understand and respect others.
Kevin Tan, represented by Impress Galleries, will depict the memories shared by friends whose strong bonds gradually form a community. The Fountain Pen: Chinatown series centres on Chinatown in Singapore because the artist is mesmerised by the dynamic energy of the place and the interplay between old and new friends, both local and afar, gathering comfortably together. If you look carefully at each painting in this series, you will notice the image of a young child looking back at you. This symbolically represents the artist’s early childhood memories of visiting Chinatown with his parents. In Food Paradise, groups of families and tourists gather to sample local culinary delicacies. The Early Backbone is a tribute to Singapore’s early migrants whose friendships and dreams created the foundation of Chinatown, a place where friends continue to gather.
Thank you for visiting Chingu – A group exhibition by 5 Singaporean galleries – a true celebration of art and friendship!