IAN WOO

Falling Off Plastic Chairs

25, 2015  ©Ian Woo

Introduction

Ian Woo is a painter working in the language of abstraction. Influenced by forms of modernism, perceptual abstraction and the sound structures of music improvisation, his work is characterised by a sense of gravitational and representational change. He often uses the term ‘picture making’ when describing his position and approach, maintaining the discipline and evolvement of painting as a vehicle for pictorial reflexivity.

Concept

I have a history of falling off from chairs. Recently, while making a work, I fell off a plastic stool and decided to name this exhibition after the incident. Stuff like that happens but this time it actually began to feel good — like a victory chant.
– Ian Woo

Falling Off Plastic Chairs presents Woo’s most recent work, as he continues to explore the possibilities of alternating spatial relationships within the pictorial plane. At first glance, the viewer is confronted by a variety of forms, differing in quality of the marks yet seemingly harmonious in its overall colour palette. There is stillness in each frame and, at the same time, speed in each brush stroke. The layering is intense, suggesting a transient moiré, and the viewer, rewarded, with each extended reading. Through his process of working the painting to resolution, Woo guides the viewer to construct relations and connections between the paint marks on the surface of the canvas. One tries to grasp hold of each painting’s unique gravitational force and sense of time, and in attempt to recognise the traces and sensations presented, assigns memory’s meaning to his/her reading. Each painting has its own structural make up and to understand it one has to probe further into its codification. Misunderstandings, while inevitable, become part of the open-ended viewing experience.

Artist Profile

Ian Woo

Ian Woo is a painter working in the language of abstraction. Influenced by forms of modernism, perceptual abstraction and the sound structures of music improvisation, his work is characterised by a sense of gravitational and representational change. He often uses the term ‘picture making’ when describing his position and approach, maintaining the discipline and evolvement of painting as a vehicle for pictorial reflexivity. Woo continues to explore the possibilities of alternating spatial relationships within the pictorial plane. Through his process of working the painting to resolution, Woo guides the viewer to construct relations and connections between the paint marks on the surface of the canvas. One tries to grasp hold of each painting’s unique gravitational force and sense of time, and in attempt to recognise the traces and sensations presented, assigns memory’s meaning to his/her reading.

Born in 1967 in Singapore, Ian Woo lives and works in Singapore. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore) in 1991, he received a master’s degree in European Fine Art at the Winchester School of Art (U.K.) in 1995 and a research practice DFA with RMIT University (Australia) in 2006. His recent solo exhibitions include “Falling Off Plastic Chairs” at Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore (2015), “The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch” at 8/ Art Gallery/ Tomio Koyama Gallery(2014), “How I Forgot to be Happy” at Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore (2013) and “Ian Woo: A Review 1995 – 2011” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2011). Selected group exhibitions include “Medium at Large” at Singapore Art Museum (2014), “Market Forces – Erasure: From Conceptualism To Abstraction” at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2014) and “Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2012). His works are acquired by institutions such as Singapore Art Museum, the National Gallery Singapore and UBS.