Following the success of iPreciation’s inaugural participation with a solo exhibition of multi-disciplinary artist Lee Wen at Art Basel Hong Kong 2014, iPreciation will return to Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, with a solo exhibition of Tay Bak Chiang’s new body of paintings under the Insights section at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016.
Tay Bak Chiang (b. 1973) continues to explore and contemporize the genre of Chinese painting through the use of acrylic and pigments on canvas instead of ink on paper.
Managing Director, Helina Chan comments that:
“As a gallery that has always been interested in contemporary ink works and has observed many ink artists who have developed different ideas over the past two decades. Bak Chiang’s work is both refreshing and redefining. These works capture the artist’s spirit of consistently reflecting, questioning and experiment with new ground within the traditional Chinese painting in today’s contemporary art world.”
In this body of new paintings, Tay’s progressive attempts have borne fruit; experimenting with mineral-rich tones that range from brilliant blues to opalescent greens and shimmering yellows. In this exhibition we observe two main subjects as the recurring theme: geological forms as stones and rocks and the ancient Chinese instrument guqin.
The inspiration behind his stone paintings came about during a walk in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore some years back, he was inspired by the hulking forms in nature, though inanimate, but they appeared full of life and personality. To give life to the rocks, Tay manipulates colour and shades to achieve subtle gradations and ink-like translucency using acrylic paint, a technique forged and refined by the artist since his encounter in the nature reserve.
The other subject in this exhibition is one of China’s oldest stringed instrument; the guqin a seven-stringed zither, viewed as a symbol of Chinese high culture and the most expressive of the essence of Chinese music. In Chinese, “gu” means ancient and “qin” means musical instrument. There is much symbology surrounding the instrument, for example it measures 3’6.5” (Chinese feet and inches) to symbolize 365 days of the year; the upper surface is rounded representing the sky and the bottom is flat representing the earth. The first 5 strings represent the elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The 6th string is sorrowful and the 7th string represents strength. The thirteen mother-of-pearl inlays along the outer edge represents the 13 months of the lunar year. The guqin has been frequently referred to as the preferred instrument of the sages and literati. In imperial China’s past, monks, scholars and ladies of the elite society were supposed to master the four traditional arts, and one of them is qin, for the purposes of enriching the heart and elevating the human spirit.
Tay’s minimalist compositions are not about representing minimalistic images or technical skills, but meant to evoke a sense of poetry and inner emotion, a nod to the values of Chinese literati painting rendered with a contemporary sensibility. For more information on his latest works, please refer to enclosed documents.
Art Basel Hong Kong opens on March 24 – 26, 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Tickets can be purchased online or onsite at the fair.
iPreciation’s booth is located on Level 3 , 3D18. Nearest entrance to the booth is the 3C or 3D (VIP entrance).