Begin Again – A New Journey
The ninth solo exhibition by renowned Singapore artist Ms. Christine Mak
Singapore, 23 March 2007 – It’s time to slow down.
Two figures sitting at the end of a bench, looking at three children spinning tops on the ground outside. A doorway of immense height provides an uninterrupted view from the inside to the outside.
You, the viewer, have to slow down, to discover the empty space in between.
Welcome to Begin Again – A New Journey, a new exhibition by one of Singapore’s prominent third generation artists, Ms. Christine Mak.
Featuring 40 new paintings, this is Ms. Mak’s first exhibition in five years and ninth in her career as a full-time artist since 1986. This new exhibition promises an extension of concepts developed from the past. Harnessing on her understanding of both traditional Western and Eastern painting techniques, her works display a contemporary fusion edge and she has continued to build upon these strengths, carrying refreshing elements of narration and humour in her latest works.
The works on exhibition are inspired by Ms. Mak’s experiences and observations gathered from her wide travels through rural communities in Shantou, in the province of Guangzhou in China.
As Ms. Christine Mak expressed, “In all my years as an artist, I believe that life should be simple and uncomplicated. Having spent time in these Chinese villages watching the children play in the courtyards, I can tell that they are truly happy and contented in the uncomplicated surroundings. The scenes of the country-life made me realise that simplicity in life offers a new meaning.”
Ms. Christine Mak’s works have been lauded by art critics as well. Said Mr. T.K Sabapathy, a local art historian, “The imagery is partially characterised by references to her past. Motifs and compositional schemes, as well as brushwork and colors are reprised, re-introduced from earlier pictures and reworked in paintings for this exposition. In these ways, Christine Mak underscores continuities in her practice.”
Professor Liu Deng Han, an art critic added comments on her artistic oeuvre, “The theme of ‘tranquility’ that she generalises from the glimpse of the countryside is purely an expression of her own emotions and desires. The hustle and bustle of city life and the tension and lack of communication in relationships are very likely to evoke strong sentiments of longing for the simplicity and serenity of the countryside, which coexists with nature in harmony. Thus viewers might want to understand Mak’s paintings as a creation and expression of her thoughts, and are not just a reproduction of the reality.”
Since her first foray to the public eye in 1986 through Shell Art Discovery Exhibition, Ms. Mak has garnered an impressive following by corporate and private collectors which includes the Economic Development Board, Keppel Corporation and The Esplanade, just to name a few. Her works have gained favour with the public with a 1st Prize Award in the 1991 Port of Singapore Authority Art Competition and also a commendable award in the highly contested 15th UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1996.
Ms. Christine Mak’s individual style of the usage of rich colours and minimal brush strokes exemplifies the fusion of her learning from Western painting and the Lingnan style of Chinese Brush painting. It is this unique style of hers that attracted the attention of many admirers who have snapped up all her paintings during her previous eight exhibitions.
Begin Again – A New Journey is opened to the public from 6 – 15 April 2007, 10am to 9pm daily, at the Gallery, The Arts House, admission is free. This exhibition is supported by the National Arts Council and The Arts House. Part of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to the Business Times Budding Artists Fund, The Arts House’s initiative to help children distanced by socio-economic background to pursue their aspirations in the arts.
The Arts House at the Old Parliament
Opened in March 2004, The Arts House is a Singapore’s arts and heritage venue where all are inspired by the arts and where the arts become a fundamental in life through a connection with artists and their works. Built in 1827, Singapore’s first Court House and former Parliament House, is the only gazetted government building designated as a multidisciplinary arts centre. At The Arts House, audiences connect with artists and arts organizations through a broad spectrum of engaging, contemporary arts and entertainment events. The Arts House is managed by Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee. For further information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg
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See Ling Ling
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