My work explores the nature of existential experiences as part of an inward journey towards self-knowledge and spiritual awareness. I use the painting process to subdue the analytical or logical mind and create a conducive space for introspection. The key concept explored is the source of existential experiences. I draw on life experiences and various secular and spiritual philosophies to query whether daily life is an objective reality or a subjective dream based on desires and fears—superficial and innermost. In other words, is experiential reality a reflection of our thoughts and beliefs? I pen my reflective thoughts as poems and self-musing quotes. Although the writing is not incorporated into the artworks, it remains an indivisible part of the creative energy that produces the paintings; the two components are inextricably intertwined.
I paint when inspired to do so. Inspiration comes in the way of a thought or feeling that prompts me to express what is going on inside me in a non-objective way using only the imagination. I do not look at other works for a creative stimulus. The compositions, colours, and motifs are all from within. I begin with a simple shape or colour and allow the painting to take a life of its own by following inner promptings on what to do next. I have no clue as to the end result. The shift or changes in my work happen organically. This method is in line with my belief that we should subdue the analytical mind and allow intuition to guide us on our creative endeavours or important issues. The analytical or logical mind should only be used to deal with mundane and practical things.
The paintings mirror the evolution of my inner world—all known and unknown aspects. The early paintings had recurring motifs in the form of semi-abstracted birds, trees, and a stickman-like figure that represented freedom, life, and the ego, respectively. The more recent paintings are non-objective and pared back in detail without any obvious recurring motifs.
My formative painting style was mainly influenced by South East Asian textile and Australian Aboriginal art. As it developed, my attraction to the Bauhaus and Surrealism movements and painters like Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky, and Joan Miro gradually changed the direction. Those influences resulted in simplification and a shift towards geometric forms, biomorphic shapes, purposeful colours, and lyrical lines while preserving a naive untutored approach to making the paintings. In the history of art practice, my style is a blend of modern and contemporary art. The modern being the Avant-Garde period (1910-1930) when movements such as Suprematism, Bauhaus, De Stijl, and Surrealism flourished. The contemporary being artists like Cy Twombly who used text, myths, and poems as the conceptual foundation for their abstract art; although, in my case, the writing does not form part of the artworks.
The colourful, playful, and naive paintings could be perceived either through the eyes of a child or an adult. A child sees things as they are and intuitively feels the visual stimulation. An adult, however, tends to analyse and their perception is likely to be influenced by the language of the titles. From the start, I decided to abstain from giving names or descriptions to the paintings in order to dissuade an adult audience from analysing the paintings and enjoy the visceral experience by allowing the inner child to come out and play. The colours, shapes, and lines in the paintings have a soft language, but only a quiet mind can hear their whispers.
South-East Asian Textile, Australian Aboriginal Art, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism.
Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Kazimir Malevich, Hilma Klint.
QUALIFICATION / EDUCATION
Solicitor, Victoria, Australia
Advocate & Solicitor, Malaysia
Barrister-at-law, England & Wales (Lincoln's Inn)
Leicester University (U.K.) L.L.B (Hons)
EXHIBITION / SHOW
Solo, Art @ St Francis
Solo, Bird's Gallery
Group, Brunswick Street Gallery
Group, No Vacancy Gallery
Warranwood Art Show
Art Lounge, Cambridge Studio Gallery
Group, Studio 2, Northcote Town Hall
Solo, Brightspace Gallery
Group, Melbourne Exhibiting Artists
Parallax (13) Art Fair, London
Solo, Bird's Gallery
Vogue Apartments @ South Yarra
Society Apartments @ South Yarra
Group, Gallery #9
Bluethumb (Australia) – Featured Artist
Contemporary Art Book (GAA - UK) Vol II
Artfinder (London) – 'Art of the Day'
Artfinder (London) – Featured Artist
'Lawyer's First Love'—Leader Newspaper (Melbourne)
'From Legal to Semi-Abstract Realm'—Star Metro (Malaysia)
* Detailed CV available on request