Wong Shih Yaw: Between the Parallels
18 – 31 May 2019
AC43 Gallery was delighted to present Wong Shih Yaw: Between the Parallels, an exhibition of new and existing works which opened on 18 May 2019 and ran through 31 May 2019. Addressing the perilous boundaries between fantasy and reality, life and death, dreams and horrors, Wong has boldly developed a unique visual contemporary language that seeks to confront the dualities that define Modern Man’s state of existence. The artist’s autobiographical approach to art also sees him openly mediating on the Christian experience with reverence and technicolour optimism in his invention, revealing the frailty of being all too human.
Featuring over 40 paintings and sketches rendered in oil, acrylic and ink, the exhibition offered a broad survey of Wong Shih Yaw’s oeuvre. From his depiction of still life objects at their rawest forms – ironically suggesting the life that once was – to the devotional stance adopted by humanoid characters existing in a world that is part cyber-futuristic and part rooted in reality, Wong has always been unabashed about projecting the inherent dualities of everyday life onto his art. “I hope my works can awaken the viewers’ sleeping consciences,” the artist once declared. “This is my responsibility as an artist!”
Wong Shih Yaw (b. 1967 - , Singapore) received his formal art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). As one of the founding members of The Artists Village established in 1988, Wong was part of an important assembling of artists who had gathered in support of fundamental principles in contemporary art practices, among which was the championing of a collaborative process and an openness to experimental art forms.
Unhinged, at times dripping with emotional quality, Wong Shih Yaw’s brand of infusing magical realism into everyday life is a curious study on the artistic milieu of Singapore’s emerging visual artists in the late 1980s, who called for newer artistic strategies to represent reality beyond figuration. His work can be found in the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, National Gallery Singapore, United Overseas Bank and private collectors in Singapore and overseas.