Constructs: Chen Wei, Hilmi Johandi and Guo-Liang Tan


Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present “Constructs”, a group exhibition by Chen Wei, Hilmi Johandi and Guo-Liang Tan. The works in this exhibition, spanning various media such as painting, lithography, photography and mix media installation, explore the idea of “structure”, whether physically or conceptually.


In Hilmi Johandi’s practice, the element of stagecraft, in which he finds similarities with the process of collage and image-making, is often interwoven into his works. Motifs are extracted from archival materials and composited on the canvas or paper as though he is putting together a stage set. The mix media installation piece Stagecraft: Sentosa Island (2022) presented in this exhibition pushes this idea further – the two-dimensional image derived from tourism postcards of Singapore in the 1980s is enlarged and painted on a wooden panel propped up by a support, akin to props and backdrops used on stage. A wooden painting stretcher is hung on the wall adjacent to it, highlighting the structure that usually exists behind a painting. Drawing a parallel between these two components, the work reflects on structures and frameworks, façade and truth.


As an artist living in Beijing, China, Chen Wei is constantly observing the rapidly-changing landscapes in the country, and his art-making is influenced by his findings. His work, As a Wall (2022), depicts folded tables of various shapes and sizes that are arranged to form a makeshift “wall” or partition. Chen noticed that during the Covid-19 lockdown in China, small eateries on the roadside were not allowed to operate, so the unused tables and chairs were folded up and placed on the street as barriers, prohibiting people from passing through certain areas. Over time, people started to become accustomed to such scenes, which is an instance of the reshaping of our urban landscape.


Guo-Liang Tan employs a translucent aeronautical fabric in his paintings and installations, effecting light washes of paint reminiscent of bruises, skin, or membrane. The shadowy presence of the wooden stretcher beneath can often be observed through the translucent ground, revealing the work’s structure and adding another layer to its visual plane. Extending his enquiry into modes of abstraction and his exploration of paintings as phenomenological ‘surface-objects’ and markers in space, Tan began to make works that are presented in alternate ways. Shown in this exhibition, 1 & 3 Flat Things (2019) is comprised of 4 rectangular paintings that each lay horizontally atop wooden stands, with their painted surfaces facing upwards. The work can be viewed up-close in parts or as a whole, by moving around and between the pieces.


Ota Fine Arts Singapore invites all to experience the works of these three artists that reveal and ponder on the structures inherent within them as well as the society that we live in.

Installation Views