EXHIBITIONS
JADA ART 's 2nd Anniversary Celebration

3 - 9 July 2013
11am - 9pm
ION Art Gallery,
Level 4 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore.
"For the Love of..." is an exhibition featuring 13 South-East Asian artists from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, who have delved deep into their souls to explore and express what Love means to them. Love of country, culture and people; old love, new love, parental love and passionate love. Each artist has taken inspiration from their personal experiences and portrayed their meaning of love through a variety of subject-matters, colours and materials. Their individual celebration of love has resulted in an eclectic mix of techniques and styles in painting and sculpture which would strike a sympathetic chord in many of us.

A mixture of young, veteran and award-winning artists will be participating in the exhibition, including the late Huang Yao, whose unique Chinese ink paintings demonstrate a compelling blend of modern and traditional styles, combined with distinctive South East Asian influences. His works are found in the collections of the British Museum, the Singapore Art Museum, the Taipei National Palace Museum and the Shanghai Art Museum. There has not been a public viewing of his work in Singapore since The Singapore Art Museum's retrospective in 2001 and this exhibition will contain some rare and valuable pieces from the private collection of the Huang Yao Foundation.






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HUANG Yao ( b. Shanghai, d. Malaysia )

The immensely talented late Chinese artist Huang Yao (1917-1987) was a famous cartoonist, an educated scholar and a prolific painter during his working years. Born in Shanghai in 1917, his artistic skill became apparent at the young age of 18 when he became renowned for the creation of his cartoon character Niubizi. Huang Yao received an orthodox education and training by his learned father and was considered to be one of the last practitioners of the highly respected Chinese literati recluse tradition. Despite this, he maintained a diverse and vast portfolio ranging from Chinese ink paintings of traditional and non-traditional subjects and landscapes, to cartoons, as well as calligraphic work of an abstract nature. He left China to live in Malaysia in 1956 at the invitation of the Malaysian Minister of Education, Tun Abdul Razak (who later became Prime Minister).

Huang Yao remained a loyal follower of Chinese brush work, with many of his paintings bearing the trademark subject-matters. He mastered extraordinary painting techniques derived from Chinese calligraphy and incorporated them in an innovative way to write poems, phrases and also images that resemble abstract western art. When the artist set off for the first time to explore South East Asia in 1947, there is a shift in his work, with fresh new scenes and landscapes of daily life that he observed of Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia permeating through his work. Although Huang Yao continued to work in the same medium of Chinese ink, his paintings of "foreign lands" transport the viewer from China to the realms of South East Asia, giving his Chinese ink paintings an avant-garde perspective, not often seen in paintings of this genre. Huang Yao's ability to transition seamlessly and absorb beauty and information from his surroundings is what makes his work so compelling.

There hasn't been a public viewing in Singapore of Huang Yao's work since 2001 when the Singapore Art Museum held a retrospective. More recently, solo exhibitions have taken place in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur in 2011 and 2013 respectively. There has been increasing interest in Huang Yao's work and in the recent Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013 CHRISTIE's auctions, his paintings were well received and were sold beyond expectation in excess of their reserve price. His paintings are also owned by several prestigious world-renowned institutions such as the British Museum in London, the Singapore Art Museum, the National Palace Museum of Taipei, the Shanghai Art Museum and the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford University) in Oxford, United Kingdom.




CHONG Ai Lei ( Malaysia )

Malaysia Emerging Artist Award (MEAA) Winner for 2011, Chong Ai Lei was born and brought up in Johor Bahru and graduated in 2005 from Dasein Academy of Art, Kuala Lumpur. In 2011 Chong was also awarded an honorable mention for the Freeman Fellowship Asian Artists Program, Vermont Studio Centre, USA.

True Romances 1 and 2 are paintings of a slice of life, where the artist has unmasked a single private moment in a woman's life and presented it for the world to see. This voyeuristic style of representation is somewhat reminiscent of the 20th century American realist painter Edward Hopper, where lone women are portrayed lost in contemplative thought. Although more optimistic in her portrayal, Chong's attention to detail is also elaborate, with the insertion of essential objects that summarise her close observation of life in contemporary society. Giving us a glimpse of the conduct of a young woman in love, the artist authentically captures her subjects in their own surroundings and puts them into context of modern day.

Since becoming a professional artist in 2010, Chong's paintings have concentrated mainly on female figures in an intimate setting. However her figures have evolved recently: previously the faces were partially hidden from view whereas now we see the confident expressions of the women. Chong's paintings are like a narrative with plenty of clues and details to direct our eye and formulate our own stories.




KOW Leong Kiang ( Malaysia )

Kow Leong Kiang's focus in painting is firmly committed to his Malaysian cultural roots and the traditional ways of life which is still very prominent in the north eastern state of Terengganu, a location that he is tied to and returns to time and again. His paintings are of rural subjects from this area, which convey the romanticism of a rustic way of life that is sometimes forgotten in the fast pace of city living. In his picturesque series entitled To The Sea, Kow masterfully captures the lightness in the fluid movement of a beautiful woman strolling in the water, whose gentle gaze in his painting is both sympathetic and alluring.

Kow firmly established his place in Malaysia's art scene since he became the first Malaysian Grand Prize Winner of the Philip Morris Asean Art Awards in 1993. Since then he has been working relentlessly to further cement his artwork in his home country and abroad. His talent was propounded in 2004 when he was the first Malaysian to be awarded the Asian Artist Fellowship by the 11th Annual Freeman Foundation, and he completed his artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the USA. Born in Selangor in 1970, Kow graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from the Kuala Lumpur College of Art in 1991. Many of his works have made their way into some of the permanent collections of corporations, private collections, as well as the National Art Gallery of Malaysia.




LOK Kerk Hwang ( Malaysia )

Lok Kerk Hwang was born and raised in Malaysia of Chinese descent. The dragon being a symbol of the artist's culture and heritage, Lok returned to his ancestral origins to paint a subject that strikes close to his heart. In 1994 he first painted the dragon for the Phillippe Chariol competition and was awarded a distinction. 20 years later, he set himself the challenge of tackling this subject again and the result is a powerful and detailed image of dragon scultpures. His ability to capture in watercolour the roughness of the stone and the texture of the carving is a true mark of his observant eye and technical aptitude.

Alongside his career in graphic design, Lok persists with his passion for watercolours and regularly participates in exhibitions around the world, including countries such as Japan, USA, Korea and China. He is a signature member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, a member of the Singapore Watercolour Society and a life member of the Penang Watercolour Society. Lok has won numerous national and international awards including Most Promising Artist Award in the Phillippe Charriol Foundation Contemporary Art Competition, First Grand Prize in the Canadian Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition, and Distinction Awards in UOB painting of the year competition.




ROSLI Mior Rizzuan ( Malaysia )

There cannot be a love more profound and pure than that between a parent and child. Mior Rizzuan Rosli's trilogy of newborn infant portraits is a touching tribute to fatherhood and the immaculate joys of first time parenting. The vulnerability of life is strongly felt in the close focus, black and white composition. This is further emphasized by the juxtaposition of a fragile newborn life wrapped in a pair of protective hands -the hands that will guide and shape the life of the child and provide him with stability and unconditional love. As a father himself, Mior knows the trials and tribulations faced by every parent when it comes to the future of their children.

Malaysian artist Mior Rizzuan Rosli was first introduced to charcoal drawing by a Thai artist, with whom he studied under for half a year, before refining his own drawing technique. Charcoal was a medium that was readily available to Mior at the time, and he initially took it up to create portraits in black and white, but now he introduces an occasional splash of colour to his work. He has been working as a professional artist for over ten years and mainly draws subjects familiar and accessible to him. Mior has participated in many group exhibitions, including the 2011 Affordable Art Fair and Jada Art's "Charcoal, Crayons + [Colour] exhibition last year in Singapore. His more recent success was at the Young Contempo Auction at Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers in September 2012.




ROSLI Mior Rizzuan ( Malaysia )

There cannot be a love more profound and pure than that between a parent and child. Mior Rizzuan Rosli's trilogy of newborn infant portraits is a touching tribute to fatherhood and the immaculate joys of first time parenting. The vulnerability of life is strongly felt in the close focus, black and white composition. This is further emphasized by the juxtaposition of a fragile newborn life wrapped in a pair of protective hands -the hands that will guide and shape the life of the child and provide him with stability and unconditional love. As a father himself, Mior knows the trials and tribulations faced by every parent when it comes to the future of their children.

Malaysian artist Mior Rizzuan Rosli was first introduced to charcoal drawing by a Thai artist, with whom he studied under for half a year, before refining his own drawing technique. Charcoal was a medium that was readily available to Mior at the time, and he initially took it up to create portraits in black and white, but now he introduces an occasional splash of colour to his work. He has been working as a professional artist for over ten years and mainly draws subjects familiar and accessible to him. Mior has participated in many group exhibitions, including the 2011 Affordable Art Fair and Jada Art's "Charcoal, Crayons + [Colour] exhibition last year in Singapore. His more recent success was at the Young Contempo Auction at Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers in September 2012.




JERESANO Ronald ( Philippines )

Ronald Jeresano's canvases are influenced mainly by his own personal beliefs and outlook on life, which may on occasion have political resonances. His paintings for the exhibition are a commentary on the topic of love and respect for a higher being that is instrumental in the evolution of the world. They suggest that there are miracles that take place everyday, such as the birth of a child, the power of prayer and the enduring faith of humanity. Opposing this is the will and desire of man to shape the world in his own vision and to keep up with progress, to the possible detriment of the things around him.

Ronald Jeresano was born in 1983 and raised in Sorsogon City in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Throughout his schooling, he pursued art as a serious hobby although he went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Santa Mesa, Manila. Despite having studied architecture, Jeresano decided to follow his heart and his instincts, and found his way back to the brush and canvas. In 2007, he was the Grand Prize winner of "ArtPetron" and "SM Manila On-the-spot Painting Competition". Jeresano has been highly prolific since he started actively exhibiting in 2008. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in the Philippines and won several awards annually since 2003.




CALUFETTI-LIM Chiara ( Singapore )

Born and raised in Italy, Chiara Calufetti-Lim received informal art training from established local artists but subsequently decided to qualify and practice architecture in Venice instead of pursuing her art calling. Over the last 20 years she has worked and lived in three different continents, enjoying cities like Venice, Lisbon, San Francisco and more recently Singapore, where in 2008 she decided to move after 15 years of visiting Asia. Her international and multicultural experience is reflected in her work, which takes inspiration from universal elements and common emotions that can be experienced by every one of us.

The artist's renderings of the cities close to her heart was a personal journey for Calufetti-Lim. Each location has associations, experiences and ever-lasting memories for the artist- and possibly the viewer- with ties to family, friends, romance and self-growth. In much the same way as humans change and develop over time, so does the face of the densely populated, pulsating metropolis. "Each city is what it is because of the people who live there and shape it. There are spaces where love stories are interwoven with the urban landscapes, and city maps where people find each other like in a labyrinth, following a trace between the lines formed by roads, buildings and plazas". With her architectural background coming into play, Calufetti-Lim opted to portray Singapore and San Francisco from interesting angles not often viewed in landscape paintings.




Kumari Nahappan ( Singapore )

Kumari Nahappan works with energy. "Life is about tension which creates an enormous amount of internal and external energy. This in turn produces movement, and it is this movement of energy within the linear and cyclical space" that intrigues Nahappan. Nahappan's bronze sculptures are practically calling out to the viewer to be touched and admired from all angles, with the smooth rhythmical ebb and flow of the designs, they are tactile and truly pleasing to the eye. Her subjects are typically objects that are found in her own living space, and as she grows to develop a fondness for her subject-matter, she injects an element of joy and wit, which is most evident in her final masterpieces. Born in Malaysia and resident in Singapore, this creative and talented artist (painting, sculpture and installation) has amassed a wealth of international training and experience. After qualifying in interior design in the UK, Nahappan persisted with her education in fine art at the Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore, and subsequently obtained a Master of Fine Arts at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. With her high-profile work in great demand, Nahappan has exhibited in several cities all over the world and her work is in private collections in Europe, USA, and Asia. Moreover she has regularly received private commissions, most notably in Singapore in 2009 with Nutmeg –the signature sculpture for ION Orchard and in 2007 with Saga sculpture –Changi Airport Terminal 3.




Tang Juey Lee ( Singapore )

It is more than accurate to say that the master orchid painter has a passionate love for the stunning flowers since he has painted hundreds of them throughout his career. Why Orchids? "Because there are 3000 varieties. Each of my paintings is of a different variety and I have not yet finished all of them" declares Tang. With the divergent leaves and meandering branches precisely painted, the artist ensures a well-balanced framework that is not too overwhelming. Although the orchids are the main attraction, intertwined amongst the leaves and petals are budgerigars, macaws, cockatoos and butterflies, which compliment the flowers and establish a completely natural setting. The viewer can only commend the artist's skillful hand and immense tenacity for being able to consistently reproduce such authentic paintings after many decades.

Modest and composed, Tang is fondly known as the "orchid painter". He completed his art training at the prestigious Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore and from 1991-98 he was Principal of the Raphael Academy of Art, Malaysia. Apart from private commissions, Tang's paintings are also held in the private collections of many corporations and institutions, including Singapore Cricket Club, Changi Airport and the National Museum of Singapore. As one of the original members of Della Butcher's protegees of Singapore's pioneer artists that included Ong Kim Seng (Jada Art's special guest artist in 2012), Ng Bak Kim and Ang Ah Tee, Tang very actively exhibited his work during the 1970's and 80's, where for over a decade he annually participated in group and solo exhibitions. He hasn't exhibited since 2001 when he held a retrospective in his hometown of Johor Bahru, hence this exhibition presents an exciting opportunity to re-visit one of the region's most well-respected painters.




WONG Ron

In these two paintings for the exhibition, Ron Wong has magically captured the expressions and gestures of the children in an attentive and light-hearted manner, enabling us to appreciate the imaginative perspective of Ron's version of love, which derives from a nurturing source that is innocent and naive.

With three major solo exhibitions in three different cities under her belt (Shanghai, Yangzhou and Singapore) this young contemporary artist brings a large dose of humour to the canvas with her unique style of figurative paintings. Ron conveys to the viewer a message that is mature and intelligent, yet expressing the whimsical aspect of human behaviour.

Ron was born in Macau in 1983 and raised in Singapore where she graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic in 2003 with a Diploma in Digital Media and Design. She was artistically trained in Shanghai, where she attended Shanghai University, College of Fine Arts and completed her Masters degree in Oil Painting in 2008. Aside from Ron's figurative paintings, her landscape canvases reveal a completely different feature of her painting style.




CHATCHAWAN Prof. Nilsakul ( Thailand )

Prof. Nilsakul Chatchawan was born in Ayutthaya, Thailand in 1970. He attended Chiang Mai University and received his Bachelor in Fine Art degree in 1994. He then moved to Oregon, USA in 2000 where he obtained a graduate teaching fellowship and his Master of Fine Art at the University of Oregon. In 2001, Prof. Chatchawan returned to Thailand and is currently an art lecturer at Chiang Mai University, producing new works and sharing his vast experience with his students. For the past 20 years, he has consistently participated in numerous exhibitions, mainly in Thailand but also in Japan and the USA.

From his earliest work, Prof. Chatchawan has explored the primitive beauty of the human form in paintings and drawings. His featured work deals with the movement and freedom of the human form integrating with colour. Having devised his own painting style and materials, his figurative canvases are wholly unique. With the colours harmoniously juxtaposed and melding into each other, his paintings appear almost abstract in nature and are aesthetically emotive. Artistically energized by music, modernity and the progress of digital technology, Prof. Chatchawan continues to be inspired by the constant advancement of the society we live in.




NGOC ANH Nguyen ( Vietnam )

Born in 1980 and a native of Than Hoa, Northern Vietnam, oil painter Nguyen Ngoc Anh discovered a deep passion for art at a young age and ambitiously pursued his knowledge through books and magazines to enhance his skills. He later attended the Central College of Music and Art in Vietnam in 2002 and has been actively painting ever since. Not completely satiated with his art education thus far, Nguyen wanted to hone his technical ability further and is currently studying at the prestigious Hanoi University of Fine Arts. He will graduate this Summer. Nguyen has participated in many solo exhibitions in Vietnam since 2003, as well as in Korea in 2010.

Ubiquitous in Vietnam, the "bicycle" is a much loved subject–matter of the artist, which he repeatedly paints in several of his canvases. It is old-fashioned, abandoned, a relic of the past… especially when motorcycles are the modern, faster mode of transport in the country. However the dependable, stable and reliable bicycle is symbolic of a nation when "daily life was simpler and human relationships warmer", claims Nguyen. The artist paints with feeling and emotion, nostalgic scenes of his country, from his own personal perspective and experiences.




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