Time: Chen Wei, ChillChill, Masanori Handa, Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Hilmi Johandi, Yayoi Kusama, Guo-Liang Tan


Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Time", a group exhibition featuring seven artists from China, Japan and Singapore: Chen Wei, ChillChill, Masanori Handa, Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Hilmi Johandi, Yayoi Kusama and Guo-Liang Tan. Each of these artists have explored concepts of time in their work through different ways, such as capturing specific moments, or highlighting slowness, repetition and infinity through surreal or abstract expressions. Join us as we commemorate the gallery's 8th anniversary in Gillman Barracks!

In Guo-Liang Tan's (b. 1980, Singapore) painting, Untitled (Retrograde) (2019), 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. Gaps and overlaps, traces and fragmentation feature prominently in Tan's making process as he explores how these frame and orientate our sense of time, body and memory. Similarly, Tsuyoshi Hisakado's (b. 1981, Japan) practice explores concepts of space and time, but with a focus on the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life. In the crossfades #4 / air (2020) series of silkscreen prints, beautiful gradients of colours suggest different times of day. Upon closer observation, one will notice a spiral of minute numbers derived from the mathematical constant pi (π), alluding to concepts of infinity.

Re-looking at our recorded history, Hilmi Johandi's (b. 1987, Singapore) new painting Landscapes and Paradise VI (View of a garden with a cascading waterfall) (2020), takes inspiration from an old postcard of a local hotel. Motifs such as the refreshing waterfall and tropical greenery give one the impression of an island paradise. On closer observation however, one will notice that the plants and walls appear to be stage props or façades, leading one to question the extent of truth in the image. On the other hand, Chen Wei (b. 1980, China) looks at the ever-changing urban landscape in China, where LED signage boards have become a common sight in the streets. Chen, however, noticed that many of these LED boards have glitches. Yet, these neglected advertisement boards remain, playing broken patterns of images and letters on loop: an uncanny occurrence which brought inspiration to the artist. In his LED sculpture work Roadside Malevich (+) (2019), various colour patterns appear on the LED light boards, creating a synchronised rhythm that moves ceaselessly.

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, inspired by a traditional Japanese poem known for an expression of a long, humid night. The drawings depict surreal, imagined sceneries in rich watercolours and oil pastels, reminding one of a tropical slumber while attempting to invoke the feeling of comfort and slowness when viewing a landscape from a distance. Similarly, ChillChill's (b. 1990, China) digital works that are created by computer graphics shows a unique worldview that is positioned between reality and the virtual world. In a series of video works Subway Gym (2017), an avatar of the artist carries out various "strange" actions such as running on an escalator handrail, or climbing the walls inside a train, enjoying what he cannot do in the real world due to social norms. The video runs for less than a minute and replays in an endless loop, creating a short cycle of repetition that is jarring to the viewer.

Last but not least, Yayoi Kusama's (b. 1929, Japan) painting showcased here is part of her important My Eternal Soul series (2009 - present), characterized by the blossoming of Kusama's long-standing interest in the universal and immortality through her art. ALL OF MANKIND HAS, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM, INTONED PEACE (2017) features an amalgamation of Kusama's signature motifs: dots, nets and eyes. Her obsession is reflected in the endless repetition which brings forth a sense of infinity.

Ota Fine Arts invites all to experience these diverse contemplations by our artists, spanning paintings, drawings, photography, video and an LED light sculpture. The exhibition hopes to open up new ways to reflect upon the theme of time.

Installation Views