Internationally-renowned artist Jane Lee was recently at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute for the first part of her artist residency at the STPI workshop. The Singaporean artist is most well-known for her three-dimensional use of paint. The Artling had the opportunity to chat with her and see the works-in-progress, to see how Lee has been incorporating her unconventional use of materials into the print and paper-making process.
I’m very excited. This is my last day, I extended two more days when it was actually only supposed to be two weeks.
Paper is a lot more dry. I’ve been working with paint, exploring paint as a medium. Paint is wet, and naturally turns solid. For me to start with this, it’s actually less of a hassle. It’s another, new experience. It’s interest to see how I can push and how much I can do with dry media.
I’m trying to get away from painting. I’ve been practicing and exploring the possibilities of painting for a decade, but for me, this is like a new start. It’s a new start for me, a good excuse to get away from painting.
Not really, I’ll still work with painting, but perhaps for another area I’ll look into working with other media. Like for these works, we are also going to incorporate some video and sound into the work, it’s more narrative this time.
Basically it’s like I’m playing with the birds. It’s about being trapped and finding freedom. Here, I’m pulling down the color from the bird. But the colors will not be shown through painting, it will be through paper. It will become a long landscape, but a landscape created through the color of the bird.
As I mentioned, the subject matter for this show is mainly playing with being trapped, confinement and freedom. Paper is related to nature, and the environment includes birds.
I think I don’t do it consciously. People tend to want to touch it, but that’s not something I think about before.
Yes, we actually came up with 10 ideas when I first started.
No, that would be too much to show!
Well, we’ll keep it for another project…
For painting I use a lot of very intense colors. For this series of works, I’m trying to move away from that. For example, I’m using some clear materials and we’re keeping the transparency for some. Although I guess I can’t totally get away from colors, even if I try.
Look around in our society, everyone is working day and night. No one has time for each other anymore, because you have to work, you have to earn a living. So everybody is a bit trapped in what they’re doing.
Freedom? Well, to me, freedom is very important. I meditate, I pray, I believe in God. So that spiritual part, when you get in touch with God, that is freedom. I want to present that idea. I don’t know if it will happen or not, but I want to try.
I started as a painter. The first thing that attracted me to paint was the quality of the paint as a medium. When I started, I just stuck to the medium and tried to push it. It has been so many years, but there’s still so much more room for me to push the boundaries. But after ten over years, perhaps it’s time to for me to start thinking of trying something else. Hopefully this is a good start for me to get away from painting. It’s always hard for me to find a reason to get away from it.
For now, my paintings are moving more into site-specific installations. I’m trying to incorporate architecture, everything, into the painting. Everything gels into one. I’m trying to break the boundaries, no longer just 2D, no longer 3D, beyond that. Any possibility that I can push.
I’ll keep that free for interpretation!
Work really hard. Don’t think about other stuff so much. I guess the most important thing is that you need to have passion for what you’re doing, that’s all. The rest is beyond our control, whether people accept you, whether people like your work or don’t like your work, you can’t be concerned with that.
Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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