Featuring Yeo Siak Goon at The Art Fellas Gallery
A SELF-TAUGHT AND Malaysian-born artist, Yeo Siak Goon vivaciously iterates the need for relationships as he relays the stories behind some of his works. In this exhibition, held from 10th to 23rd January 2015 at The Art Fellas, viewers may expect to be washed ashore--eyes greeted by a myriad of tropical colours--upon stepping into this independent art gallery. Indeed, the choice of colours in Yeo's works conveys his innate desire for a life in the tropics, to reside close to marine life. Apart from the dominance of tropical settings and colours in his works, another dominant feature of his works in the exhibition is the subject of nude figures--the genesis of the title for the exhibition: the affair.
There is a form of duality in Yeo's works--first established by the existing relationship between himself and the subject, as well as the relationship between the viewer and the work. These layers of dualities overlap each other, resulting in an amorphous substantiation of what "the affair" truly refers to. Even in his works, especially in Sunny Day and The Blue Night, the deft use of shadow and perspectives highlights the duality of time (day/night) and the delightful contrast and coexistence of different times.
While four of Yeo's earlier works displayed contain hints of cubism and abstract expression (with one of the paintings reminiscent of Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2), the collection of works in this solo exhibition is a chronicle of the evolution of Yeo's painting styles, preferences, and even the medium used for his works. "I believe that it is important to keep up with the times--because I paint based on my relationship with my environment, and my environment is constantly changing as time passes," he comments.
One particular feature of his nude figure paintings is that they are painted without faces. In certain paintings, he tacitly makes an appearance as a figure in the background of those works. Despite this, there is no explicit revelation of the identities of the figures featured in the works. When asked why, he responds, "I feel that the figures in the painting should not have faces. That's the whole mystery to them, you see. They could and should be anyone." With the identities of the paintings kept as seemingly clandestine, the viewer finds him/herself drawn into the affair--a relationship forged through an appreciation of beauty and art.
Images courtesy of The Art Fellas