Exhibiting Artists: Joel Yuen
Dates: 01 Sep 2011 - 25 Sep 2011
With a short history, Singapore is still in the process of carving out her own national identity. Riding along this search, Deadlocked takes on a more personal perspective. I am 28-years old, Singaporean Chinese, English-educated Roman Catholic. For me, the deadlock lies in a constant negotiation I have with myself, torn between my ancestral roots in China and my Western ideology. How and when can I resolve this dichotomy?
The answers would take forever to unravel. There is no real merit in coming to a quick conclusion, neither is it the point of this exhibition. Instead of severing off any ties with my heritage, I embrace them all, expressed through the medium of mixed media wood sculpture. The red ropes and metal binds the pieces together, a symbolic representation of my contrived identity. The appearance of the figures are neither Eastern or Western, but a blending of both, resulting in an aesthetic that resembles more archaic, prehistoric representations.
My inspiration for the works stems from Biblical narratives, Asian and Western art history, Asian cultures and personal experiences. Collectively, I seek to find closure in my deadlocked identity by acknowledging the unique position of being a Singaporean. Yet, the sculptures portray my mixed feelings of tension and repose, suffering and consolation.
186cm x 64cm x 45cm
115cm x 37cm x 49cm
70cm x 35cm x 19cm each (wood); 75cm long x 1cm thick (rope)
Father & Son
46cm x 42cm x 23cm each (wood); 80cm long x 4.5cm thick (rope)
93cm x 109cm x 46cm
53cm x 22cm x 30cm (head); 5cm x 4cm x 4cm each (eyeballs); 137cm long x 0.7cm thick each (rope)
118cm x 27cm x 28cm
53cm x 14cm x 10cm each (wood); 57cm loop length x 1.3cm thick (rope)
Born in 1983, Joel Yuen studied interactive media design at Temasek Polytechnic, and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in photography and digital imaging from the Nanyang Technological University. His insightful concepts, along with innovative approach to various media have won him the prestigious 27th UOB Painting of the Year Award (2008) and a merit prize in the first Ngee Ann Distinguished Sculpture Awards (2010). The multi-talented artist has been collected by the Singapore Art Museum,