Float: Cheng Ran, Masanori Handa, Jason Lim, Nobuaki Takekawa, Tang Dixin


Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Float", a group exhibition featuring five artists from China, Japan and Singapore: Cheng Ran, Masanori Handa, Jason Lim, Nobuaki Takekawa and Tang Dixin. Although each of these artists take different artistic approaches, their works all have a sense of appreciation for landscapes and reflect the recreation of nature within them. With the travel restrictions still in place, we hope to simulate an experience of floating in the flow of the air and sea, through the nine artworks presented in this exhibition.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is The Homing Pigeon (2016), a video work by Cheng Ran (b. 1981, China). Cheng participated in a residency program at the New Museum in New York in 2016, during which he created this short video. The work attempts to capture the character of the city from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Homing pigeons rest on power lines while the backdrop is interlaced with the Time Square's iconic billboards, skyscrapers, old buildings, and news updates. In the background, Cheng's voice recites an excerpt from Allen Ginsberg's famed poem, "Howl", written in 1954 - 1955. The poem was in many ways a social commentary with an intense narrative that features those on the margins of society. Written with deep frustration, it was a personal cry for understanding and change towards conforming societal values. In such indirect ways, Cheng's work encapsulates complex marginalization issues that are still relevant today.

Also featured in this exhibition are three works from the series Landscape studies (unglazed terracotta series) by Jason Lim (b. 1966, Singapore). The mountain-shaped sculptures suggest the artist's delicate sense of creating unconventional shapes inspired by nature. Instead of a direct representation of actual mountains, these works seem to present an imagined landscape. The unique textures of the works guide viewers to reflect on the journey that the artist went through when creating the works by hand. Displayed in the center of the gallery space, the works also resemble islands when viewed from a distance. Masanori Handa's (b. 1979, Japan) drawings from the nakakiyo no entakukei series (2015 - present) are an extension of his installation piece of the same title. 'Nakakiyo no' refers to a traditional Japanese poem that is widely familiar to Japanese people since the Muromachi period as it was often written on "Takarabune (Treasure ship)", with well-wishes of having a good dream on New Year's Day. This poem describes a sea voyage coupled with the comfortable sounds of waves, and dozing away in the middle of the ocean on a long night as if it will never end.

Tang Dixin's (b. 1982, China) paintings present sceneries in a different approach. Blowing White (2016) depicts human figures which are surrounded by an abstract landscape. The human body is a predominant subject matter for the artist, but in many of his works, the body shapes are deformed and as a whole it conveys a sense of vigour of life. In this particular painting, the bodies are apparently merging with the environment, bringing about a surreal feeling. Wave Drawing (2013) by Nobuaki Takekawa (b. 1977, Japan) adds a different sense of nature to this exhibition. With only white and blue oil paint, the artist created shapes of waves intricately on the canvas, layer by layer. Upon a closer look, viewers will be overwhelmed by the feeling of infinite space as if they are facing the sea in person. For the artist, this feeling of infinity is connected to the flow and layers of history.

Ota Fine Arts Singapore invites all to experience this wide diversity of expressions through imagined landscapes.

Installation Views