Guo-Liang Tan: Ghost Screen: Guo-Liang Tan


Opening Reception in the presence of the artist: Friday, 08 September 2017, 6-8 pm
Artist Talk & Booklet Launch: Sunday, 01 October 2017, 3-5 pm

Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Guo-Liang Tan: Ghost Screen", a solo exhibition featuring 10 recent and new paintings by the artist. This exhibition marks the first collaboration between the artist and Ota Fine Arts. Following his last solo exhibition "Play Dead" in 2012, Tan continues to explore and investigate the notion of painting today. The paintings in this exhibition were developed by the artist while working in Glasgow/ Frankfurt, and following his recent residency at NTU CCA Singapore.

The exhibition title "Ghost Screen" refers to the painting surface, not just as a physical ground for mark making but also as a screen for imaginings and haunting. While working on this series, the artist was drawn to the idea of a phantasmal presence and how gestures of touch may be used to rethink the material body of painting as a site for evocation rather than expression.

At first glance, one may notice an apparent departure from Tan's previously more figurative works based on the genre of flower paintings. In comparison, these new paintings are distinctly more abstract. Figurative elements are decidedly absent and instead of direct mark-making, paint is thinned down and allowed to flow across the surface of stretched fabric, creating a variety of stains and marks which mirror actions that can be performed on the fabric itself - fold, tear, cut, sew, drape, stretch etc. By using the inherent resistance of the fabric to receive and retain traces, Tan creates a tension between mark and erasure in his process. The translucency of this ground also effects Tan's capturing of a subtle, fleeting contact, which draws one's attention to the paintings' materially sensuous yet fragile surface, charging the imaginary space between touch and non-touch.

In this series of paintings, Tan continues to explore his fundamental interests in suspension, material affects and the re-staging of art history by conjuring various traces of painterly abstraction. Time is embodied in the plasticity of paint as it glides and stretches, unveiling inner pictorial structure as residue. Oscillating between the fragment and the whole, the fast and the slow, these paintings hold the space for us to take a closer look. One way into these paintings is through the constantly shifting boundary between foreground and background. Colours bleed and converge at their edges while voids punctuate the pictorial plane to reveal the underlying space, reversing the relationship between surface and support. In these instances, the work collapses the concrete and the abstract, the optical and the haptic into a singular surface that pushes and pulls.