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Yvonne Xu talks to Singaporean photographer and artist Choo Meng Foo who will be presenting at The Art Spectacles exhibition from 17 March.
A three-metre long piece of art by Choo Meng Foo will be unveiled at The Art Spectacles at the Fort Canning Park this Saturday.
The piece is part of the trilateral exhibition supported by Singapore’s National Parks Board, which hopes to promote an appreciation for nature, buildings and history through the eyes of 3 practising artists, including Choo as well as Chua Keng Hee and Choo Meng Yong.
Titled “A Million”, Choo’s pièce de résistance references the controversial work of German artist Andreas Gursky, whose photo of River Rhine fetched a record-setting $4.3 million at Christie’s late last year. “My piece shows green blades in the water of MacRitchie Reservoir, with dazzling straight and crooked reflective lines. This is also a question [directed] at Singaporeans and the art museum – if they could pay millions of dollars to acquire works of art by foreign artists, would they pay for the same sum one by a Singaporean?”
For The Art Spectacles, Choo, who is an architect by training, will also be presenting Project 49, a collection of acrylic paintings he has done as part of an art-meditation project on the iconic Marina Bay Sands.
“The praxis was to paint Marina Bay Sands for 49 days; each day a painting, each day a different way of painting, limited by the circumstances that I experience each day,” shares Choo.
“49 days has great significance in Chinese numerology. The pugilistic master who goes into a sealed cave or room to meditate for 7×7 days will supposedly emerge with greater wisdom. ’49 days’ is a form of therapy of the mind. The idea about the creative process is to create from nothingness, something of certain value and attachment.”
Project 49 includes pieces such as Harsh Night, created on the day when Choo forgot to bring water to the site and had to use paint directly from the tube. “What I got was something like charcoal drawing. I thought it was fun and flexible, and of the spur of the moment. When there’s a will there’s a way.”
There is also the impressionistic Horizon, produced by layering acrylic paint in quick succession. Choo says that this is a meditation on focussing the mind, especially when working through a repetitive process.
Another deeply moving piece is Trilogy, a painting whose paint Choo describes as having the ability to cry.
For more of Choo’s work, visit dimagehunter.dimagehunter.com
The Art Spectacles is on from 17 to 28 March 2012 at Galeri Utama at The Foothill at Fort Canning. For full details, visit art.dimagehunter.com