SEA Focus: Artwork Selections
Advisory Perspective

SEA Focus: Artwork Selections

By Tessa Moldan | Singapore, 13 January 2022

SEA Focus, Singapore's yearly showcase of Southeast Asian contemporary art, returns with over 20 galleries from across the region and beyond. We share some of our favourites from this year's presentation.


Joanne Pang, Forgotten Botany in His Palms (2021). 52 cm diameter.

Joanne Pang, Forgotten Botany in His Palms (2021). 52 cm diameter. Courtesy Yavuz Gallery.

Joanne Pang at Yavuz Gallery

Traversing contemporary art and graphic design, Joanne Pang's practice explores the poetry of memory and materiality through sculpture, installation, and objects.

The porosity of memory translates as fluid forms in Pang's canvases, as with Forgotten Botany in His Palms (2021), which depicts an abstract bouquet, while the circular canvas reflects the cyclic nature of time.

Having received her MA in Fine Art from The Royal Danish Art Academy in 2013, the artist is currently a design lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts alongside her contemporary art practice.


Mit Jai Inn, No.3 (2021). 135 x 135 cm.

Mit Jai Inn, No.3 (2021). 135 x 135 cm. Courtesy Silverlens.

Mit Jai Inn at Silverlens

Mit Jai Inn has had an extraordinary journey as an artist, working as a studio assistant to Franz West in Vienna in the late 1980s before setting up what is recognised as Thailand's first public arts programme, Chiang Mai Social Installation.

His paintings have an inherent generosity, their vastness providing a kind of hug to viewers, while his process is shared with assistants and volunteers in the installation process.

Ikon Gallery in Birmingham recently presented the artist's first institutional solo exhibition Dreamworld, which was accompanied by a monograph published with ArtAsiaPacific Foundation.


Zelin Seah, Overman (2020). Oil and aerosol spray on linen. 200 x 180 cm.

Zelin Seah, Overman (2020). Oil and aerosol spray on linen. 200 x 180 cm. Courtesy Richard Koh Fine Art.

Zelin Seah at Richard Koh Fine Art

Zelin Seah is concerned with negative space, centring cloud-like figures in his paintings to generate a feeling of transcendence.

These forms are rendered from a variety of media, including oil and aerosol spray in this painting, while other recent works utilise knife-carving techniques to emphasise the empty spaces within their surfaces.

The artist, who graduated from the University of Central England with a B.A. in 2007, is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at The One Academy, Kuala Lumpur.


SEA Focus: Artwork Selections Nicholas Ong, Primary Focus (2021). Courtesy Yavuz Gallery.

Nicholas Ong at Yavuz Gallery

Shifting between two and three dimensions, Singaporean artist Nicholas Ong's practice blends neon with painted elements to formulate his take on filmic language.

His sculptural assemblages each have a distinct mood, aided by the light that they generate.


Citra Sasmita, Land of Our Ancestors (2021). Acrylic on Kamasan canvas, brass hanger. 193 x 144 cm.

Citra Sasmita, Land of Our Ancestors (2021). Acrylic on Kamasan canvas, brass hanger. 193 x 144 cm. Courtesy Yeo Workshop.

Citra Sasmita at Yeo Workshop

Born in Bali, Indonesia, in 1990, Citra Sasmita developed her practice from illustration, initially working for Bali Post.

Five years later, once the publication's short story section was abolished, she became a full-time artist, developing a unique visual language that deconstructs misconceptions around Balinese culture.

Sasmita also explores society's gender constructs, and on 14 January 2022, the artist will take part in SEA Focus' Online Webinar to examine systemic sexism present in arts institutions.

Main image: Nicholas Ong, Primary Focus (2021). Courtesy Yavuz Gallery.

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