Exhib! We Will Meet by Alvin Ong

Alvin Ong-Finisterre

Finisterre (2016), Oil on Canvas

Alvin Ong-The wanderer's nightlong

The Wanderer’s Nightlong (2016), Oil on Canvas

(from the press release)

Having previously explored the local through vanishing rituals and cultures in Singapore, Alvin Ong’s latest figurative paintings mark an evolution in his subject matter. In We Will Meet, Ong presents a new series of works with a shift towards an interest in finding the local in the global, inspired by a month­long coastal trek through Spain. Walking through countless towns and landscapes, the wanderer encounters solitude, other people, and eventually, oneself.

In these reimagined memories and enchanted dreams, the nocturnal landscapes are awashed in neon light with characters encountered resurface as figures transformed by infrared and thermal imaging. Engaging in silent dialogue with one another, they are projections of the artist ­ as nomad and wanderer. Moving between worlds, encountering one another as their paths meet in the dark. This series is thus experienced as a journey, an ongoing dialogue with the painting process ­ and life itself. Along the way, the wanderer often tries to perceive the unfamiliar through the familiar, comparing these foreign lands against his own. The wild dogs of the Spanish wilderness reappear as Qilin ­ mythical animals commonly found in Chinese temples and embroidered altar cloths. Ong’s experiences of rain and the untamed wilderness are reconstituted in translucent drizzles and impassioned smears of vivid colours. We Will Meet is an invitation; to new friendships, new encounters and new beginnings.

Alvin Ong (b. 1988, Singapore) went to the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, and is currently doing his graduate studies at the Royal College of Art, London. At the age of 16, he was the youngest winner of Singapore’s prestigious art prize, the UOB Painting of the Year award, and a year later, he had his first solo exhibition in the presence of his excellency President S. R. Nathan at Jendela, Esplanade. He was touted in the Straits Times as one of the “50 Young People to Watch” and is shortlisted for the 2016 Red Mansion Art Prize. He has since shown at the Singapore Art Museum (2007, 2012 and 2013), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (2007), Asian Civilizations Museum (2010) and the Peranakan Museum (2015).

We Will Meet runs from 15 September until 16 October at Chan Hampe Galleries. The exhibition is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am ­ 7pm. Admission is free.

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