Ruben Pang’s (b. 1990, Singapore) work focuses on automatism, the neurosis and drama of the human condition. Beginning with painting, Pang’s practice has also led him to explore the dynamism and spontaneous response of sculpture and the sensitivities and collaborative spirit of music production and performance.
Often, Pang resists binaries in genres such as ‘abstraction’ and ‘figuration’ and simultaneously enjoys the stability of established formats such as the finitude of the edges of a painting and a perfectly varnished surface. Working without a preconceived image of the final composition, his approach allows the imagery to surface spontaneously; a “visual syncopation, like searching for a melody in white noise”. Pang insists on the creative process being an adventure, with a narrative arc and conflict. He believes that the residual object distilled from a creative journey, is more than a memory, in the sense that it is a record that can inspire new experiences.
Using a combination of oils, alkyds and acrylics he paints, scratches and erases his paintings using brushes, hands, palette knives and sandpaper, revealing layers of colour that reflect projections of his psyche. Pang prefers aluminium panels as its rigidity reflects and captures the nuances of each moment and gesture in a way which canvas cannot. Its durability allows greater freedom to transform the image as it develops.
Pang has widely exhibited across Asia, Europe and the United Sates; including Contemporary Chaos, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway (2018), Meccaniche della Meraviglia, MO.CA Centro per le nuove culture, Italy (2018), and The Figure in Process: De Kooning to Kapoor, Paul Allen Brain Institute, USA (2015). The Singapore Art Museum acquired his paintings Fear of Lying and Type 0 Civilization in 2020 and 2018. Pang received the Georgette Chen Arts Scholarship, Singapore (2009 – 2010) and the Winston Oh Travelogue Award, Singapore (2010).