Oil on linen
Dimensions: 100cm (H) x 80cm (W) x 4cm (D) / 39.4" (H) x 31.5" (W) x 1.6" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
My works draw inspiration from the city I lived in, particularly in transitional spaces such as shopping malls, airports, train stations and construction sites. Singapore is a densely populated man-made city-state peppered with high-rise residential estates and an oversupply of shopping malls and industrial commercial complexes. Like many big cities in developing countries, it is a city under constant renewal and reconstruction.
These series of semi-abstract paintings venture beyond the limits of ordinary visual representation. Linear perspective prominent in Renaissance art is employed to create pictorial order within an idiosyncratic and subliminal landscape which lies beyond any recognizable or concrete experiences. The dark shadowed spaces framed within the juxtaposition of geometric structures bear a resemblance to metal scaffoldings, steel frames and reinforced concrete walls. The layered network of multi-spatial structures in the painting mirrors the evolving landscapes in our urban city.
These imageries do not evoke real moments of memories but refer to a special, in-between zone of the real space and the utopia; a baffling place where reality and fantasy coexist.
Based in: Singapore
Boo’s paintings deal with a broad range of subject matters, from mundane domestic objects to images of car and airplane crash scenes, derelict interiors of cathedrals and unpeopled chambers of shopping malls. Boo treats banal objects, modern architectural interiors and scenes of destruction as metaphors for the human condition, transforming these into a symbol of contemporary life. His monochromatic semi-abstract series of paintings conjure a natural world gradually dissected and displaced by urban development. These imageries do not evoke real moments of memories but refers to a special, in-between zone of the real space and the utopia; a baffling place where reality and fantasy coexist. In his portraiture series, Boo integrates his personal experiences with everyday’s social and political events to generate uncanny and idiosyncratic expressionistic portraitures serving as comic observations in our everyday life.
Boo Sze Yang graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in 1991; completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the University of Reading, UK in 1995 and received his Master’s in Arts Degree from Chelsea College of Art & Design, the University of the Arts London in 2004.
Boo has held 18 solo exhibitions, including Dancing with the Wolves, AC43 Gallery, Singapore (2021); The Mirage, AC43 Gallery, Singapore (2018); Boo Sze Yang: The Father, iPRECIATION, Singapore (2014); Boo Sze Yang: AIR at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (2012); Sanctuary, Art at St Francis, Melbourne, Australia (2012); The New Cathedral, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Galleries, Singapore (2012); Sanctuary, Red Mill Gallery, Vermont, USA (2011); Boom, Utterly Art, Singapore (2009); House of God, Utterly Art, Singapore (2007); Silence of the Canines, Utterly Art, Singapore (2006); and In-between, Zandari, Seoul, South Korea (2005).
He exhibited in group exhibitions such as Motionless Boundary, Da Xin Art Museum, Tainan, Taiwan (2018); Painters, Nakata Museum Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan (2018); Art Stage Singapore (2015 & 2016), 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Beers Contemporary, London (2014); The Realm in the Mirror, the Vision Out of Image, an Exhibition of Singapore Contemporary Art, Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China (2013); The 2012-13 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong (2013); the 26th Asian International Art Exhibition (AIAE), Hangaram Art Museum, South Korea (2011); Exchange China-Singapore Art Showcase, Yingu Art Mansion, Beijing, China (2010); Stretch Your Imagination, Penang State Art Gallery, Malaysia (2009); From Left to Right and Right to East, University of Huddersfield and Huddersfield Art Gallery, UK (2009); Txtrapolis: Contemporary Text-based Art From Singapore, University of Philippines Diliman, Philippines (2006); 20th AIAE, Ayala Museum, Philippines (2006); 16th AIAE, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2001) and 14th AIAE, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (1999).
He is a recipient for the Asian Artist Fellowship Award 2010/2011 sponsored by Freeman Foundation for residency at the Vermont Studio Center in USA, and the Distinguished Alumni Medal 2017 from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. In 2003, he was awarded the Juror’s Choice for the Philip Morris Singapore-ASEAN Art Award and in 2009, the Platinum Award, UOB Painting of the Year Competition. He is featured in the publication 100 Painters of Tomorrow published by Thames & Hudson in 2014.
His works are in the collections of the National Gallery Singapore, the Singapore Istana Art Collection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability Singapore, United Overseas Bank, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Simmons & Simmons Contemporary Art Collection, Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore and Yingu Art Mansion in Beijing.
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