Dancing With The Elements
Two Solo Exhibition By Dennis Chan & Cheev
18 July - 9 Aug 2014
QUINTESSENSUAL MOVEMENTS IN BLUE
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans;
in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)
Figurative wood sculptures of the female with contorted bodies in enrapturing movements, gyrating and twirling to an inner primordial rhythm, surrounded by large canvases awash in pure and soothing ultramarine blue, seductively inviting one to move or be immersed in the lushness of its ethereal ambiance and spiritual energies.
Painter Dennis Chan, known for evoking the antediluvian with textures and forms produced through his indefatigable experiments with dripping technique and together with Cheev, known for his exceptional and unique sculpturing abilities showcase returns with new works in “Dancing with the Elements”. Both self taught artists were originally scheduled to hold solo shows came together for fortuitous reasons.
By staging their works in the same space, the results can only be described as awe inspiring and certainly thought provoking. According to G13 gallery director Kenny Teng, “the artistry and the unconventional approaches to both form and material by these two artists, with no academic art platform to steer their artistic approaches, have no peers locally to compare and mimic. The simple raw qualities of their works are soulful moments to behold and refreshingly pleasurable to the gaze.”
Indeed, “Dancing with the Elements” provides an unique perception of the elements…water, air and life force, artistically embodied in figurative forms and fascinating landscape-like abstractions.
The two subject matter by both artists works brilliantly together as both personify the movements of the forces of life and nature.
Regarded for his raw and sensual 3 dimensional feminine forms , Cheev now continues to explore his sculpturing methodology by assembling with fragments of obscure wood re-cut into smaller and flatter dimensions and hollows on the inside to produce even much organic look than his previous works. Cheev’s ideology is about the energy of existentialism, which he terms as “Fragmentalism”. Transporting his sculptural forms into 2 dimensions, he uses photography and digital manipulation and converts them to exclusive canvas prints he terms as “Sculptographics”.
Dennis Chan on the other hand decided to focus exclusively on the colour blue. His trademark drip and pouring technique on canvas to reflect the movements of water, sky and nature is a natural progression from his previous works. Besides exploring the fluid nature of the components of his medium and the suitability of the subject matter chosen, the spiritual aspects associated with this colour is the main motivation for this new series. Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean and is symbolic of optimism and auspicious opportunities while also representing water, which is the source of life.
Though seen to lack the technical wizardry and compositional sophistication of many academically trained artists working in the local art scene today, Cheev and Dennis posses a distinctive charm due to their inimitable styles, untutored artistry and unpretentious peculiarities when assessed against the predictable repertoire of approaches overdrawn from secondary sources and second rate imitators. Against the popular and generic being promoted and celebrated here that is without provenance, context or destination, one is suddenly confronted with an inexplicable form of beauty, made possible due to its rare authenticity and explicit truthfulness to material, components and forms that could only sprung from the wellspring that is life. As informally trained artists, the simplicity and directness of their expressions underlies the ingenuity with which they arrived at such atypical results. Their works are completed by chance and improvisation, a method of working favored by both artists.
It is undeniable that the uncommon and unembellished character of their works offer a challenge to local palates accustomed to works that are formulaic and schooled, peppered with superficialities and pomp. Whatever the excuses for the shortcomings in taste or perception, perhaps in the future we may be enlightened by the kind of enthusiastic and respectful appreciations for the kind of works produced by self taught artists such as Cheev and Dennis Chan, that is found in Europe or America, which is growing exponentially. It is comforting for this writer to know that there will be always be a handful of eccentrics or individuated persons who will continue to produce works that are truthful to themselves regardless or circumstances, demands or trends. That is the real spiritual and sensual lessons that we should embrace from Art.
“Dancing with the Elements” is an one of a kind showcase that is uniquely rare and chanced by unusual circumstances which is now realized at G13 Gallery.
By TS Hon
Flows of Blue # 2
Oil on Canvas