Singaporean artist David Chan presents widely acclaimed human and animal hybrid paintings at EY Asean Art Outreach program

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Local artist and educator, David, takes on social issues in his latest solo exhibition, CONTEXT.

Singapore, 29 May 2014 – EY opens CONTEXT by Singaporean artist David Chan at the EY Gallery today. This 16th exhibition of the EY Asean Art Outreach program will run from 29 May to 26 September 2014.

David is widely acclaimed for his vivid paintings and sculptures of animals, human and animal and human hybrids. At first glance, the works seem comical and bewildering but upon closer observation, the initial impression gives way to the artist’s reality and his take on social issues such as popular culture and genetic engineering, and human behavior in our current times.

CONTEXT is David’s seventh solo exhibition. It is an accumulation of 20 artworks that have spanned six years and specifically selected to illustrate an artistic timeline and present a gestation of concepts. While the presentation of the artworks indicates a significant artistic shift over the years, the overarching theme has always revolved around humanistic issues. While David’s works are cynical social commentary, they are hardly confrontational or aggressive in their messages and one gets a sense that his cynicism is peppered with plenty of irony and humor, much like life itself.

In the process of reconstructing figures in his paintings or sculptures, either humans or other creatures, David is intentionally evasive by ignoring, twisting, or misinterpreting some regular features of the figures in order to produce barriers between viewers and artworks. This creates a scenario where viewers think they understand what they are seeing, while the underlying truth is not so easily revealed.

About the artist, David Chan and his latest exhibition, CONTEXT
(Source: Terry Wee, Founder and Director of Art Seasons Gallery)

David Chan is a full-time artist who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art, First Class Honors) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. At the age of 25 in 2004, he held his first solo exhibition, Genetic wonderland to much critical and public acclaim. In the same year, he was also the winner of the 23rd UOB Painting of the Year – Representational Medium category award.

A talented young artist can sometimes lose his sense of direction as a result of overwhelming applause and media attention. However, previous successful solo exhibitions did not result in David turning into a market-oriented artist. Instead he spent his time developing his practice. He read, thought, contemplated, generated, created and surmounted, which resulted in his latest creations. David is a typical “plot twist” artist if we see his artworks from this perspective. A “plot twist” is a change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot of a novel, film, or other narrative work. It is a common practice in narration, and is used to keep the interest of an audience. 

CONTEXT is David’s latest solo exhibition, which showcases his works from his previous exhibitions Hybrid society in 2008 and 2009 and Every trick only needs one truth in 2013 to his most recent works in 2014. Many of the works have evolved metaphorically throughout the period, at times giving themselves new meanings, but the theme remains similar, touching on issues such as technological dilemmas, social stresses and psychological conflicts.

Apart from exhibiting in Singapore, David has also shown his artworks in Beijing, New York, Taipei, Shanghai, Korea and Indonesia. In addition to painting and sculpting, David also lectures part-time at the LASALLE College of the Arts.

Please see Appendix A (pdf, 383.4kb) for a list of the exhibited works in CONTEXT.

Selected exhibitions:

Solo exhibitions

  • 2013 - Every trick only needs one truth, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
  • 2011 - Ego states, Richard Koh Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur
  • 2009 - Hybrid society: Schizophrenia, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
  • 2008 - Hybrid society: The infant cycle, Art Seasons Gallery, Beijing

Exhibitions

  • 2012
    Detour, National Institute of Singapore, Singapore
    The collectors show: contemporary art from Asia, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
    ART STAGE Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
  • 2011
    Art Seasons 10th anniversary show, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
    New pop new world, Element Art Space, Singapore
    La Biennale di Venezia: future pass, Fondazione Claudio Buziol, Venice, Italy
    Future pass, Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    ART STAGE Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
  • 2010
    Idiolect: contemporary art from Asia, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
  • 2000
    Animamix biennial: visuals attract and attack, Taipei MOCA, Taiwan
    Animamix biennial: metaphors of unreal, Shanghai MOCA, China

About EY Asean Art Outreach program

This is the 16th exhibition of the EY Asean Art Outreach program. The program was started in October 2007 with the dual objectives of promoting the development of art in the region and contributing back to the community, as part of the organization’s corporate social responsibility program. 20% of the sale proceeds from the exhibitions are donated to three local charities: the Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore), the NCC Research Fund and Club Rainbow (Singapore).

The past 15 exhibitions have raised over S$192,000 for the three local charities through the sale of works of Singaporeans Ron Wong, Ho Sou Ping and the late Chua Ek Kay; Vietnamese Hà Mạnh Thắng, Lý Hùng Anh and Phạm Huy Thông; Myanmar Zaw Win Pe and Nay Myo Say; Malaysians Chong Siew Ying, Hamir Soib, Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Umibaizurah Mahir and Kow Leong Kiang; Java-born New Zealander John van der Sterren and Filipino Jon Jaylo and Marina Cruz.

The EY Gallery is located in EY’s office at One Raffles Quay, North Tower, Level 18. The exhibition is open to the public on Tuesdays (12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.) and Wednesdays (5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.), from 29 May 2014 to 26 September 2014. Viewing is by appointment only. The public is encouraged to call +65 6535 7777 to make an appointment at least three days before visiting.

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