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1 Abstract Representations Chua Ek Kay. 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that abstract art brought about new energies and dimensions.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Abstract Representations Chua Ek Kay. 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that abstract art brought about new energies and dimensions."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Abstract Representations Chua Ek Kay

2 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that abstract art brought about new energies and dimensions in artistic creations.

3 3 Essential Questions Overarching Questions - How has abstraction affected our way of viewing art? - What can abstraction achieve that realistic art cannot? Topical Questions How did Chua break from his classical Chinese ink painting tradition?

4 4 Essential Questions Overarching Questions How has abstraction affected our way of viewing art? What can abstraction achieve that realistic art cannot? Topical Questions How did Chua break from his classical Chinese ink painting tradition?

5 5 5W1H When 1947 - 2008 What Where Born in China Practiced art in Singapore How Chinese ink painting Why Influence from modern Western art & to break away from tradition Which Abstract painting

6 6 Who Chua Ek Kay was born on the 21 November 1947 in Guangdong, China. Family moved to Singapore in 1953. Chua excelled in calligraphy and writing Chinese poetry. Was already well-known in calligraphy and poetry circles before 1975. Chua trained in Chinese brush painting and seal-carving under master ink painter Fan Chang Tien of the Shanghai School from 1975-84. Became a full-time artist in 1985.

7 7 Who Chua studied Western painting at the University of Tasmania and the University of Western Sydney in Australia in the 1990s. In 1991, Chua Ek Kay won the United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Grand Prize with his painting of a Chinatown street scene. Mr Chua received the Cultural Medallion in 1999. He passed away on 8 February 2009.

8 8 Where England The Russian artists, Naum Gabo (1890 – 1977) and Antoine Pevsner (1886 – 1962) issued a constructivist manifesto that calls for distancing from traditional sculpture methods such as stone carving and exploring space with new forms and materials. They were living at England. The 1930s was fraught with economic depression and political tension.

9 9 Which Painting Chinese ink painting Calligraphy Abstract painting

10 10 What His abstract paintings of grass, the lotus pond on rice paper, may be based on extensive ponderings on the universal meaning of nature and the lotus, but what appears to be scribbles or blotches, are products of well-thought-out, almost mathematical calculations. He began exploring his ideas about art, breaking away from traditionalist Shanghai School-styled subjects. Remembering his childhood days in Liang Seah Street and its community, Chua found new inspirations in his paintings from mountains and lakes, to shophouses and even abstract works inspired by Australian aboriginal cave paintings. Chua Ek Kays work came into prominence after he won the UOB Painting of the Year in 1991 with his mastery in ink and brush work of Chinatown and lotus.

11 11 Vivaldis Winter, 1999 ink and pigments on paper, 150 x 83 cm (need to find clearer image) Chua Ek Kay was moved by the music of Vivaldis Four Seasons when he painted autumn and winter. Influenced from music – Vivaldis Four Seasons

12 12 Influenced from music – Vivaldis Four Seasons He created them while listening to a recording of Vivaldis music. These works rate very highly amongst Ek Kays most memorable works to date. As he painted and the music changed, Ek Kays tempo and rhythm changed. Spring was light, dancing and casual. Summer was more intense. The most dramatic was Autumn: in anticipation of winter, the feeling of this work was very somber. Finally, the rhythm of Winter was melancholy and forlorn.

13 13 What Theme: Abstract and Lotus works Light in the Jungle, 1999 ink and pigments on paper, 78 x 60 cm Chua Ek Kay soon moved onto exploring what his brush can do, such as the flying white created by rubbing the heel of the brush on paper resulting in greater depth and dimension. His most challenging work is in the abstract where the image is sheer movement.

14 14 What Bicycles Rest at the Backlane, 2000 60 x 76 cm. Ink on paper. Collection of the NUS Museums. Theme: Abstract works

15 15 What Theme: Abstract works Tian Yuen, 2001 ink and pigments on paper 97 x 180 cm

16 16 What Theme: Lotus works First Light Lotus Pond, 2007 ink and pigments on paper, 124 x 124 cm

17 17 What Theme: Lotus works Ode to a Lotus Pond, 2007 ink and pigments on paper, 97 x 180 cm

18 18 What Theme: Chinatown Series The scenes of old shop- houses and crowded, bustling side streets of Chinatown in Singapore remind Ek Kay of the calligraphic strokes carved into stone of the Wei Dynasty. The well-known 'Tablet of Yique Buddhist Shrine. Wei Dynasty

19 19 What Theme: Chinatown Series In 1991, Chua Ek Kay won the United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Grand Prize with his painting of a Chinatown street scene. In the following years, Chinatown continued to be a source of inspiration for Ek Kay. Its disorganised, rambling and chaotic setting inspires him to be more and more expressive with his brush. Ek Kay finds character and history in Chinatown, and he tries to express the confusion and sounds in abstract terms.

20 20 What Theme: Chinatown Series Sign Board of a Coffee Shop on Beach Road, 2007 ink and pigments on paper, 59 x 46 cm Such scenes conceived became the signature style of Ek Kays Chinatown paintings. He uses powerful ink for the structures in the foreground and lively dots for the modern buildings in the background.

21 21 What Theme: Chinatown Series Street Scene, 2007 ink and pigments on paper 59 x 46 cm There are other silk like strokes pulled across the painting to soften the bold and dark strokes.

22 22 What Theme: Chinatown Series Vehicle Parked Along Chulia Street, 2007 ink and pigments on paper 59 x 46 cm His Chinatown paintings often include dark doorways for which he uses only a few strokes of very dark ink. These black patches are purposeful and deliberate, suggesting activity beyond the doorway.

23 23 What Theme: Chinatown Series Sign Board of a Coffee Shop on Beach Road, 2007 ink and pigments on paper, 59 x 46 cm

24 24 What Theme: Chinatown Series White Wall, 2007 ink and pigments on paper 59 x 46 cm In his Chinatown paintings, the walls are done by the heel of the brush and the outlines of the roofs and structures of the building are done by the tip of the same brush.

25 25 His Works @ Clarke Quay MRT Station In their wisdom, the boatmen of old (the past), painted eyes onto their tongkangs or junks, to help guide them in the dark.- Chua Ek Kay Chuas diverse artworks at Clarke Quay Station presents a multi- faceted portrait of the Singapore River both past and present. On the walls of the station, a 60-metre long mural titled Reflections depicts the Singapore River as the city lifeline. As bold as the brushstrokes, as fluid as Chinese Ink – at Clarke Quay, Chua Ek Kay celebrates the parallels between life on Singapore River and the myriad possibilities of his lifes work n Chinese brush.

26 26 Lot 8 Teochew Street (The Reflections) Chinese ink on rice paper (3 panels) H120 x W210 cm (each panel is 120 x 70 cm) His Works @ Clarke Quay MRT Station

27 27 His Works Street Scenes Revisited features 32 works in Chinese ink on rice paper reminiscent of the early Street Scenes series of the 80s. Painted in 2001, the new works come with the winds of change reflecting Chua's tempestuous attempts to re-orientate and then transform his art stretching over a full decade. The new series has been motivated by a clear intention. Chua said: I wanted to re-examine the same haunts to sense the changes. My intention is also to re-examine an important phase of my art development. My purpose is to capture the lapse of time, which represent, for me, a history of sights, of my visual experiences. Street Scenes

28 28 Why His Background Chuas teacher, the late Fan Chang Tien was an influential Singapore pioneer artist in the Chinese ink style. In Ek Kays early training in Chinese painting, he was taught that colours should be minimally and economically applied. Chinese scholars consider the use of too much colour to be vulgar. Although Ek Kay is very much tempted to use colours in his work, he is still afraid to attempt it. His fascination with colour began after his trips to Nepal and India in 1999.

29 29 Why His Influence- Landscape in India He was inspired by the landscape in India during a painting trip he made in 1999. Spirituality and the silence of vast landscapes are important elements in Ek Kays philosophy of painting. Like the Zen painters of the Sung Dynasty, he places great importance on the principle of less is more. He realises that he has to remove all unnecessary details from his landscape paintings.

30 30 Why His Influence- Western Art As he explored new expressions in art, he found similarities between the Shanghai School style and the works of Western artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock in terms of artistic spontaneity.

31 31 How His Materials Rice paper Chinese painting brush Ink

32 32 How His Materials Of all his training in the use of Chinese brush, expressive ink is the most important to Ek Kay. Fan Chang Tien taught Ek Kay to be expressive in whatever subject matter he chose, be it a vase, trees, flowers or a rock. There must be rhythm within each stroke and each dot. There must be a gradation of black within black. Chua Ek Kay uses the technique of expressive ink for more than the simple depiction of subject matter.

33 33 How His Technique A classical Chinese landscape painting incorporates numerous styles of brush work to describe the various elements of water, mountains, trees and figures. These different brush strokes include: hemp lines axe-cuts, hook and nail flying white moss like dots

34 34 How His Technique Ek Kay can expertly demonstrate the major techniques in manipulating brush and ink: decisive strokes for bamboo; twists and turns of the brush for old, gnarled plum trees; fluid and gentle strokes for the leaves of orchid plants; dry flying white brush strokes for rocks; and random expressive ink strokes for chrysanthemum. He likes brushwork to be powerful and expressive: the stroke must give the feeling of being carved into stone


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