Gan Chin Lee

City Tales I 驚⼸弓之⿃鳥

City Tales I 驚⼸弓之⿃鳥

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2015

City Tales I 驚⼸弓之⿃鳥

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2015

Artist Statement

(Metaphorical) A bird startled by a mere twang of a bowstring.
(Literal) Having once suffered a bad fright, to startle at something small

Public social issues that are currently happening in Malaysia today inform the narrative of the series
City Tales. The main inspiration to develop this body of work comes after viewing the Chronicles of Crime (2006) series by Malaysian artist Wong Hoy Cheong, but I attempt to focus on the everyday public concerns such as the bothersome traffic jam issue, the recurring haze problem and public protests such as the Bersih rally.
I am constantly trying to enrich my social realist painting practice and there is no exception when I
was developing these works. I have studied and absorbed the formality of Chinese wood engraving and Japanese ukiyo-­‐e and applied them when constructing the formal structure of these paintings. I have always admired how those Eastern traditional painters and print-­‐makers used humor to not only record social observations, but simultaneously made sarcastic comments through the visuals of the depictions of the everyday. In this body of work, I attempt to combine formal and visual elements of Chinese wood engraving and ukiyo-­‐e together with western influenced genre of art that I have been accustomed to.
I believe this combination would accentuate the uniqueness of the visuals and allude to the hybridity
of my identity as I have been actively absorbing multiple cultural sources growing up. Furthermore, have titled pieces in this series with Chinese idioms, Malay peribahasa and English phrases, to echo our complex daily experience living in a multilingual nation.

City Tales II 百無聊賴

City Tales II 百無聊賴

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2016

City Tales II 百無聊賴

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2016

Artist Statement

(Metaphorical) To be without spiritual sustenance.
(Literal) Bored to death.

Public social issues that are currently happening in Malaysia today inform the narrative of the series
City Tales. The main inspiration to develop this body of work comes after viewing the Chronicles of Crime (2006) series by Malaysian artist Wong Hoy Cheong, but I attempt to focus on the everyday public concerns such as the bothersome traffic jam issue, the recurring haze problem and public protests such as the Bersih rally.
I am constantly trying to enrich my social realist painting practice and there is no exception when I
was developing these works. I have studied and absorbed the formality of Chinese wood engraving and Japanese ukiyo-­‐e and applied them when constructing the formal structure of these paintings. I have always admired how those Eastern traditional painters and print-­‐makers used humor to not only record social observations, but simultaneously made sarcastic comments through the visuals of the depictions of the everyday. In this body of work, I attempt to combine formal and visual elements of Chinese wood engraving and ukiyo-­‐e together with western influenced genre of art that I have been accustomed to.
I believe this combination would accentuate the uniqueness of the visuals and allude to the hybridity
of my identity as I have been actively absorbing multiple cultural sources growing up. Furthermore, have titled pieces in this series with Chinese idioms, Malay peribahasa and English phrases, to echo our complex daily experience living in a multilingual nation.

City Tales III ⼼心驚⾁肉跳

City Tales III ⼼心驚⾁肉跳

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2016

City Tales III ⼼心驚⾁肉跳

Gan Chin Lee
122 x 86.4cm
Oil on Linen
2016

Artist Statement

(Metaphorical) One’s heart trembles and one’s flesh quakes
(Literal) Extremely frightened and upset.

Public social issues that are currently happening in Malaysia today inform the narrative of the series
City Tales. The main inspiration to develop this body of work comes after viewing the Chronicles of Crime (2006) series by Malaysian artist Wong Hoy Cheong, but I attempt to focus on the everyday public concerns such as the bothersome traffic jam issue, the recurring haze problem and public protests such as the Bersih rally.
I am constantly trying to enrich my social realist painting practice and there is no exception when I
was developing these works. I have studied and absorbed the formality of Chinese wood engraving and Japanese ukiyo-­‐e and applied them when constructing the formal structure of these paintings. I have always admired how those Eastern traditional painters and print-­‐makers used humor to not only record social observations, but simultaneously made sarcastic comments through the visuals of the depictions of the everyday. In this body of work, I attempt to combine formal and visual elements of Chinese wood engraving and ukiyo-­‐e together with western influenced genre of art that I have been accustomed to.
I believe this combination would accentuate the uniqueness of the visuals and allude to the hybridity
of my identity as I have been actively absorbing multiple cultural sources growing up. Furthermore, have titled pieces in this series with Chinese idioms, Malay peribahasa and English phrases, to echo our complex daily experience living in a multilingual nation.

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