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Anthony Chua Say Hua the echoes and eclipses of traditions
September 16, 2022 - September 30, 2022Free
AC43 Gallery is pleased to present Singapore artist Anthony Chua Say Hua’s latest solo exhibition, Anthony Chua Say Hua: The Echoes and Eclipses of Traditions. Featuring around 15 ink works completed in the period of 2015-2022, the showcase provides audience a quick survey of Anthony Chua’s contemporary ink approach, which experiments widely with effects of smudging, rubbing and layering of ink, as well as non-brush and collage techniques. The show officially opens on Friday, 16 September 2022, 6 – 8pm at AC43 Gallery, with the artist in attendance.
Anthony Chua is most known for his contemporary abstract ink renditions of local heritage shophouse scenes. His interpretations of these familiar landscapes and buildings, such as Under the Banyan Tree and Boat Quay, merge Chinese monochrome aesthetics and daxieyi (大写意; writing the idea) brush style with Western abstraction techniques in pure lines and shapes.
Like the Nanyang art pioneers before him, Anthony Chua holds sacrosanct the principle of learning from and drawing on traditions without being slavishly bound by them. Having worked with Chinese ink and rice paper for over two decades, he constantly seeks to transcend beyond familiar techniques and conventions. His new mixed media collage, In Search of Shangri-la, presents an enormous euphonious network of association formed through disparate and painted paper fragments that include spliced rice paper, newspaper, calendar pages and even a money bill. Images are laid upon images, just as his ink sits layered upon ink, evoking a multi-layered continuum where time, space and cultures collide. Amidst this Western collage approach, his handling of materials and paints amplifies rather than diminishes the rich ink wash subtleties intrinsic to Chinese ink tradition, revealing a work that successfully embodies an East-West fusion and the expressive potential woven from these tensions. Bold and stylised in conception, his work invites viewers to meander through the echoes and eclipses of traditions.
Anthony Chua Say Hua (b. Singapore, 1966) is a multiple award-winning artist who has been practising full-time art since 1996. An alumnus of the Goldsmiths College, University of London under the Chen Chong Swee Overseas Art Scholarship and former winner of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (2001), Anthony Chua also won the Silver Award in the established artist category in the 33rd UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 2014.
Apart from experimenting with different compositional themes, Anthony Chua is versatile in employing effects of smudging, rubbing and layering of ink to expand on the interesting subtleties of ink wash on rice paper. The artist is also known for utilising different types of brushes and unconventional tools such as peacock feathers and squeeze bottles in his paintings.