Featured artists: Zico Albaiquni, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Johanna Helmuth, Radhinal Indra, Guy Maestri, Alvin Ong, Nicholas Ong, Wedhar Riyadi, Caroline Rothwell, Navin Rawanchaikul, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Agus Suwage, Ian Tee, Jason Wee, Pannaphan Yodmanee
Ten years ago, on 18 June 2010, Yavuz Gallery opened in the heart of Singapore’s museum district of Waterloo Street with its inaugural exhibition Open Frame: New landscape photography from China. Glancing into our metaphorical rear-view mirror at this decadal anniversary, 2020 provides us the opportunity to reflect on our past as we advance into the future.
Closer than they appear is a powerful two-part exhibition; the first took place in our newest location, Sydney last month, with the counterpoint in the gallery’s genesis city, Singapore.
Featuring 15 celebrated artists originating from across Asia-Pacific, Closer than they appear acts as a wormhole to connect the two galleries. Representing a diversity of generations, approaches, and viewpoints, artists embark on this spatial journey by exploring understandings of landscape, country, and location; as well as temporally – evoking life, death, and rebirth. The infinite lines of time and space meet always at the crossroads of the here and now. We pause to look back at where we’ve been – another glance into our mirror, before resuming the journey ever forward.
Works by Navin Rawanchaikul, Manit Sriwanichpoom, and Wedhar Riyadi showcase social commentaries, reflecting upon contemporary society in times of Covid-19 and the looming American elections; while Johanna Helmuth and Ian Tee examine themes of vulnerability and human connections through new paintings – with the former of a biographical nature and latter referencing popular culture. In the drawings Larung Ego #1 and #2, Agus Suwage probes questions about the Self and the ego; similarly, Zico Albaiquni reflects on the process of self-discovery and the necessity of historiography through two new paintings based on a Sudanese poem by K.H. Hasan Mustapa. Jason Wee investigates different elementary ways of markmaking and its abstraction process around the subject of the human body, and Alvin Ong’s works playfully combine diverse visual vocabularies, in surreal bodily configurations suspended between quotidian and intimate moments.
Pannaphan Yodmanee and Radhinal Indra explore relationships to the cosmological and the astrological through the lens of worldly religions, and conversely, Nicholas Ong explores themes of perception and dimensionality through formal experimentations of light and form.
Caroline Rothwell centres on a research-based enquiry into humankind’s interaction with the natural world, with her video work informed by carbon emissions – their cause, impact, and materiality. In a similar vein, Guy Maestri is known for his strong connection to landscape, with a large-scale plein air diptych. Lastly, Patricia Perez Eustaquio traces the notions surrounding the value and migration of objects, through mixed-media canvas works that see paint abstracted into land and sea topographical formations.