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Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery Ocula Report Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery 21 Jun 2019 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s, a major retrospective at Singapore's National Gallery (14 June–15 September 2019), opens emphatically in flames. At the exhibition's entrance, viewers encounter a wall-sized image from 1964 titled Burning Canvases Floating on the River. The photograph captures a performance by Lee Seung-taek, in which...

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Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture Ocula Conversation Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture

When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...

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'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion Ocula Report 'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion 21 Jun 2019 : Emily Verla Bovino for Ocula

Without punctuation, She Said Why Me, the title of May Fung's 1989 video presents itself as a statement, rather than a question. It suggests a subject who expects no response, a person prepared to make what she can from being chosen though perplexed by the attention. The video follows a blindfolded woman, then unmasked, through late colonial-era...

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Wilson Shieh

b. 1970, China

Wilson Shieh received a B.A. degree (fine arts major) and a M.F.A. degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1994 and 2001 respectively. He set up his studio in Fotan industrial district of Hong Kong in 2008. He started his artistic practice in Chinese gong-bi (meticulous fine-line) style figure painting, with contents of sexuality, role play, costume play and cultural symbols presented in a contemporary approach. One of the iconic series is the “Architecture dresses” in which ladies dress up in costumes symbolize skyscrapers in modern big cities. In recent years, he expands his art form in other media such as printmaking, acrylic painting, drawing and collage, transforming his painting practice into live projects and installation.

Wilson Shieh's Music Families springs to life in a symphony of vibrant colours in his portrayals of human figures as delicate instruments of music. This body of work revives Ukiyo-e practice in Shieh's contemporary subject matter. Ukiyo-e’s international appeal is not new; it was a source of inspiration for many Impressionist and Post Impressionist painters, notably Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Édouard Manet. They were especially drawn to the compositional freedom of placing the subject off-centre, simplicity of line-work and flat graphic areas of strong colours. Vincent van Gogh's The Bridge in the Rain (1887) was painted after Utagawa Hiroshige, a virtuoso example of the 19th century Master printmaker work, which van Gogh had in his collection.

Shieh paints in 17th century Ming dynasty Gongbi style, a technique of super fine and controlled brushstrokes acquired while studying Masters of Fine Art at the Chinese University of Hong Kong that later applied to his contemporary themes. Ukiyo-e historical associations with sensuality underline Shieh's carefully arranged bare figures resembling musical instruments. The Music Families series conveys the physical and spiritual process of music making. The characters quirky acts - men contorting into lutes, violins, double basses and harps, women plucking serenely at delicate musical strings, and children in whimsical hosiery playing mini cymbals and drums; illicit curiosity and mesmerize like musical oeuvres.

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Featured Artworks

Go! Save the Queen by Wilson Shieh contemporary artwork
Wilson ShiehGo! Save the Queen, 2015 Chinese ink and gouache on silk
43 x 43 cm
Duddell's
Super Mama by Wilson Shieh contemporary artwork
Wilson ShiehSuper Mama, 2008 Chinese ink and gouache on paper
45 x 33 cm
Duddell's
The Paradise of Snails by Wilson Shieh contemporary artwork
Wilson ShiehThe Paradise of Snails, 1998 Chinese ink and gouache on silk
29 x 25 cm
Duddell's
Paper and Scissors by Wilson Shieh contemporary artwork
Wilson ShiehPaper and Scissors, 2007 Chinese ink and gouache on silk
33 x 53 cm
Duddell's

Recent Exhibitions

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

‘Do you know anything about me? Do you understand me?’: A love letter to M+ Ocula Report ‘Do you know anything about me? Do you understand me?’: A love letter to M+ 21 Jul 2017 : Leung Po Shan for Ocula

Dear M+,Forgive me if this letter surprises you. We have never met, but this is the only way I could reach you after years of longing. Nearly 19 years have gone by since the Hong Kong government announced its plans for a West Kowloon Cultural District.Our relationship was bound to be turbulent. The government's original plan, made not long after...

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In Related Press

Curator asks Hong Kong artists for their take on tradition Related Press Curator asks Hong Kong artists for their take on tradition South China Morning Post : 20 July 2015

Many curators choose to make statements through their exhibitions, which can be as important as the art itself in the contemporary scene.However, Duddell's is turning this practice on its head in its Here is Where We Meet exhibition. Rather than dictating the agenda, the curator has invited participating artists to offer their take on the...

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Ink Remix at CMAG: Chinese traditions remixed in cutting-edge collection Related Press Ink Remix at CMAG: Chinese traditions remixed in cutting-edge collection The Sydney Morning Herald : 1 July 2015

Delicate brush strokes on paper – calligraphy, lyrical subjects, perhaps woodblock prints on handmade stock.These are the things that most commonly spring to mind when it comes to Chinese ink art – ancient methods and traditional subjects, perhaps reinterpreted in a contemporary context but always recognisable. Recognisable and...

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