Landscapes & Paradise: Poolscapes: Hilmi Johandi


Hilmi Johandi's first solo presentation in Japan.


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Opening hour:  12:00-18:00

Ota Fine Arts Tokyo is delighted to present "Landscapes and Paradise: Poolscapes" by Singaporean artist Hilmi Johandi. This marks the artist’s first solo presentation in Japan, featuring 7 new paintings and 2 recent installation pieces.


Hilmi often finds inspiration from found, archival materials of Singapore, extracting familiar motifs from them and reconstructing the different elements into a scene in his paintings. Recently, in particular, the artist has been looking at postcards and posters from the 1980’s to 1990’s - he is interested in how these images portrayed Singapore as a tropical paradise and an ideal tourist destination during that time. A recurring motif in many of these images is the swimming pool, often suggesting a sense of pleasure and luxury. In this exhibition, Hilmi delves further into this turquoise blue form and depicts it in various angles, at times appearing familiar and nostalgic and other times almost alien and unnatural.


Hilmi has also been expanding on his exploration of stagecraft (the technical aspect of theatrical production) in which he finds similarities with the process of collage and image-making. Employing motifs from the archival images, Hilmi composites his paintings as though he is putting together a stage set. On closer observation, one will notice that the human figures and plants depicted appear to be stage props, and the landscapes and architecture may be simply backdrops or façades. Furthermore, Hilmi plays with differing scales and segregations in space, and the various planes suggest a distortion in space and time, bringing about unexpected and fresh perspectives of these familiar symbols, and leading one to question if the scene portrayed could be an imaginary one, or part of a staged narrative.


Ota Fine Arts Tokyo invites you to experience Hilmi Johandi’s painterly contemplations on the constructed realities in our daily lives through this presentation.

Installation Views