From 28 July to 21 August 2017, ‘Thinking Ink: Improvisations on Cultural Criteria’ will be on view at Gajah Gallery, exhibiting a rare collection of over 20 paintings by 5 celebrated ink artists from Singapore and China. The exhibition aims to provide a concise overview of the artists’ methods and motives, contextualizing the distinct trajectories of their work within the larger narrative of the ink painting tradition. The exhibition will include several previously unseen works from the estate of the late Singaporean artist Chua Ek Kay, shown in public for the first time. In addition, Hong Sek Chern (SG) has created two new paintings depicting the Singaporean cityscape which will debut at the opening.
Surpassing any other medium, ink painting has embodied ideas of the Chinese culture and its arc of identity throughout the millennia. Through works of Chua Ek Kay, Hong Sek Chern, Gu Gan, Gu Wenda & Wei Ligang, ‘Thinking Ink: Improvisations on Cultural Criteria’ examines the varied ink practices with an aim to develop an appreciation for how ink artists, despite their different contexts and use of strategies, communicate contemporary narratives by striking a dialogue with the past. These artists innovate through their technique, subject matter, aesthetic, conceptual approach, or a combination of these, while at the same time maintaining references to the tradition and the culture.