IAN WOO

The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch

Shuffle, 2013  ©Ian Woo

In Ian Woo’s paintings forms are layered in a variety of hues and marks, appearing as an entanglement of altering visual elements within space. The picture plane equates to a signifier for the passing of time, continuing the exploration of the temporal within the ‘Modernist’ discipline of picture making. In the reading of traces upon the surface of each painting, one encounters a sense of dynamism and lively rhythm, at times fragmentarily displaced, suggesting an affinity with the random gestures and compositional elements that make up the relationship between sound and music. “The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch” is Woo’s first solo exhibition in Japan. The title in the form of an enigmatic ‘koan’ is the artist’s whimsical interpretation of ‘a Zen question’. It also bears kinship to the characteristics and processes of his works in which modes of representation merge, suspend and dissolve in space, resulting in paintings that reveal new possibilities within the locus of space and gravity.
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 “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 “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). Woo is featured in the recent publication “Art of the New Cities: 21st Century Avant- Gardes” (Phaidon, 2013).

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.