Richard Koh Fine Arts presents Eiffel Chong solo exhibition in Singapore

General Press Releases Thursday April 11, 2019 10:20
Bangkok--11 Apr--Total Quality PR

Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA - SG) is pleased to announce Eiffel Chong (b.1977) solo exhibition in Singapore. The exhibition is scheduled to run from 12 – 27 April 2019 at Richard Koh Fine Art (Singapore) and will feature 12 new piezography works on washi torinoko paper.

Over the years, Chong has developed a diverse practice within the tradition of lens-based media. His practice is renowned for its consideration of abstract concepts of life & death through banal details and silent landscapes. In this latest series, Chong delves deeper into these concepts, exploring themes of fragility, change, impermanence and decay. At a personal level, the series also serves as Chong's comprehension of his own mortality, having recently turned 40.

In I Dim The Sun So That Dusk Arrives Earlier, Chong engages the notion of 'pharmaceutical numbness' through a suite of piezography prints with wilted flowers as its subject matter.The prints manifest an aesthetic quality that seemingly suggest artificialness via the unique tonal depth of piezography ink. The ink reflects and diffracts light in very unique ways – creating a sumptuous, velvety quality. Compared to his previous 2018 series - Mud & Mashed Hydrangea Leaves and Salad of Dandelion Greens - the current body of works are purposefully shrouded in darkness as a conceptual strategy. However, as a sophisticated monochromatic ink, piezography effectively render darkness as highlights and shadows are greatly expanded, enabling a unique ability to render smooth tones. From this process, qualities of photography and painting are intertwined, creating a sense of the surreal and uncertainty for viewers.

Chong titles his works after names of widely consumed antidepressants. For example, Amitriptyline (Elavil), Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane), Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq & Khedezla), etc. Juxtaposed against his subject matter, the narrative conjures a notion of fragile peace which is achieved through 'pharmaceutical numbness' and, by extension, artificial alienation.In clinical terms, antidepressants are prescribed to patients who undergo immense psychological pressures and are unable to cope with their emotions. To a certain extent, the drug improves the patient however, the side effects are costly. Some people are altogether alleviated from all sense of emotions including basic experiences of joy and sadness. An onset of numbness takes over and the patient eventually becomes detached from everyone, alienating himself from the world.

The discourse of addiction is another aspect of the series that Chong explores. He anchors his narrative on a parallel between the human's mental and emotional health, and one of the planet. Despite the proven scientific fact that synthetic materials - like plastic - are harmful to the eco-system, human's folly persists at an unfathomable level. Similarly, in spite of boycotting harmful pharmaceutical medicine, people convince themselves that certain medicines - like antibiotics – are not efficient anymore and that stronger doses are required.Drugs, like plastic, are clearly pervasive as Chong believes. As stated by Chong, "Our life depends on these medicines, just like the flowers depicted in the series depend on the plastic to protect their fragile petals." Most importantly, the exhibition prompts viewers to reflect on the fragility of life and reveals how blissfully dependent humans are on non-organic and artificial matters.

Eiffel Chong (b. 1977, Malaysia) graduated with an MA in International Contemporary Art and Design Practice from the University of East London and a BA (Hons) in Photography from London College of Printing. Besides his production of photographic work, Chong is highly engaged with the Malaysian photographic community; taking on the role of mentor for the Goethe Institute Malaysia, Nikon Shooting Stars programme and Exposure+ Workshop. In addition, he has been appointed to the panel of judges for the Kuala Lumpur Photography Awards 2013 & 2015 and 2010/2011 Annual Nikon Photo Awards, Malaysia.

Richard Koh Fine Art has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer for introducing Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Promoting an adventurous roster of emerging and established artists, the gallery regularly mounts exhibitions locally and abroad with a commitment to emerging practices and challenging media.

For further information about the exhibition, please do not hesitate to contact Christiaan Haridas at +659788 4291, email: christiaan@rkfineart.com

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