Sunday, November 08, 2015

[ART EXHIBITION] Here and Now (在这里) by Wu Qiong at Ode To Art Raffles City Gallery

Internationally acclaimed sculptor and painter Wu Qiong, the man behind post-pop and neo-cartoons, is back in Singapore with his whimsical characters and compositions.

Wu Qiong and his gf with Meryl and I. Photo Credit : Jan Jee
Big thanks to Meryl for bringing me to the opening of Wu Qiong's Here and Now 在这里 art exhibition held at Ode to Art Gallery, Raffles City. I didn't even realized there's an Art gallery there and this is my first time stepping into one. Visitors can find themselves to be immersed in the paintings of luscious dreamscapes, whimsical characters and compositions.

Thanks Meryl for the photo
Wu Qiong took a year to prepare for this exhibition which showcase his paintings and sculptures that are characterised by a broader concept. His newer masterpieces are more subtle, allowing more open-ended interpretations and portraying more powerful emotions and feelings. Let's take a look at some of his paintings.

听 - Listen
英雄 - Heroes
梦幻 - In the clouds of our dreams
望日出- Want to See the Sunrise. This painting depicts a child wearing a full suit with a walking stick, suggesting that of a child trapping in an adult life.
How these feelings are communicated to the viewers is through the postures, facial expressions and depiction of the characters. This allows for more emphasis on individual characters and development of their emotions.

Born in a generation absorbed with graphic novels, comics, digital worlds, animation and gaming, Wu Qiong's distinctive cartoon style resonates well with the current generations. In his artwork, we can see that the characters all have their eyes closed and mouths agape with upturned faces which depicts living in dreams where havoc unfold. Wu Qiong hopes to tap upon this notion through the recurring use of this facial expression, allowing viewers to draw their own associations with the different scenarios presented in his works.

Lulu and Lulu - On a half zebra half unicorn fiber glass artpiece
Dream and Here and Now Sculpture
Quick March
This is also a milestone exhibition for Wu Qiong as he celebrates his transition to sculpting. A maestro of oil painting, Wu Qiong has been experimenting with the medium of sculpture as well as casting in bronze. In fact, a lot of his latest fruits of labour are being featured in Here and Now.

Interviewing Wu Qiong
"Here and Now represents an entry point into a state of mind or being, with no single definition or explanation as to where 'here' is. I want to engage in a dialogue with viewers, introducing scenarios that would provoke thought or trigger memories and experiences. I want to highlight the wealth of emotions contained within my characters. They are a manifestation of common emotions and considerations of society; hopefully these feelings will resonate with viewers even if the situations and contexts, which I present them in, do not," says Wu.

Being just a young age of 34, Wu Qiong's paintings have already been acquired by the Beijing Poly International Auction, the biggest auction house in China.

Mark Lee, Vivian, Wu Qiong, Addy Lee, Guo Liang and Jeremy
There were many local celebrities who came down just to show their support during the opening.

Wu Qiong, Eleanor, Quan Yi Fong and Addy
We found out that in this showcase, two of the paintings were jointly created by Wu Qiong and Eleanor, daughter of award winning host, Quan Yi Fong. This is one of the painting.

Ben, Wu Qiong, Eleanor, Addy, Quan Yi Fong, Vivian, Guo Liang, Jeremy and Mark
All the celebrities gathered for a group photo for the other piece of painting that is jointly painted by both Wu Qiong and Eleanor.

With Vivian Lai and Ben Yeo :) 
It was indeed a starstruck moment for us as we were able to see the celebrities up close. Meryl and I even managed to take a photo with Vivian Lai and Ben Neo. So awesome! Thank you!

The talented Eleanor shared with us how she was taught to be daring and expressive with her artwork, thus she straight away painted on the canvas without any draft.

Quan Yi Fong mentioned how Eleanor used 2 weeks using Wu Qiong's material to learn and completed the two art pieces.

Mark Lee even shared how much he admires Wu Qiong's artwork that he was already a proud owner of two of his paintings. One was even too big to be hang on the wall and have to be mounted on the ceiling.

Happy to be able to attend such function. Refreshments served was yummy and a wefie with the pretty Meryl. Recently, I've started to appreciate art even more and have even started the popular Secret Garden Colouring Book by Johanna Basford given to me by Jessie. Glad to have so many great friends who think of me ever so often. Thank you!

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