NN Gallery is delighted to present Cheong Laitong’s solo exhibition presenting new works from 2012-2015. This exhibition sees an evident stylistic progress from the works produced in 2012 to 2014 compared to those completed in 2015. These recent 2015 paintings are also shown together in this solo exhibition.
These new paintings are entitled “Intuition” and show an inventiveness in his painting style, as intended by Laitong to produce something different and new, and as a result he has produced a series of works that has been distilled to its most fundamental elements to reveal the vitality of form and the essence of colour.
“I like these new paintings, their freshness and broad gestures” enthuses Syed Nabil of NN Gallery . “They’re the paintings of a man involved in life, who feels the possibilities of the world are within his grasp. His new palette include fashionable colours such as cobalt blue and khaki green, colour that were also found in Chanel and Topshop windows in 2014-2015. It’s possible that these hues have entered his world via his lovely daughters who have returned to live in Kuala Lumpur, after almost a decade in England.
“These new paintings feature broad, dynamic black brushstrokes on top of large washes of colour of varying intensity. The controlled brushstrokes of Laitong’s 1950’s and 60’s paintings have been freed up to form an expansive line, powerfully stretching across the expanse of the picture plane. The focus on the black line links Laitong’s early paintings with this 2015 series. Yet the line has changed, from controlled power to dynamic expressiveness.”
Syed Nabil goes on to add , “These works merit from being seen in person. Like the best abstract paintings, such as the work of Jackson Pollock and Sigmar Polke, reproduction on screen and on the printed page don’t do justice to the actual work. In reproduction, the black jumps out and dominates the image. However, in person, Laitong’s paintings radiate with warmth and liveliness and the black forms a framework and structure, what the traditional Chinese painters call the “bones” of a painting.”
There is lightness in his new approach to these set of paintings. They are evocative of watercolours and ink brush paintings. Laitong creates luminous washes that are seemingly poured at variable intensity onto the canvas to allow lines and shapes to merge, whilst leaving an expanse of white space untouched, to allude to a freer, and more spontaneous and organic expression.
“My art has always been a reflection of my feelings through physical actions” Laitong would succinctly explain whenever asked about his works ‘it’s up to you to catch it.” It is through the experience of viewing his paintings that one can sense the emotion as well as the energy which he has laid bare onto the canvasses.
This exhibition of two evolving ranges of new works shows Laitong’s sublime hand to continuously create beautiful images for art lovers to ponder and imagine for themselves. And at the age of 83, this solo exhibition recognizes and celebrates Laitong’s inquisitive mind to explore the creative processes in art embodying his love for music and literature to reflect in his art a spirited vision of beauty and love.
INTUITIONS 2015 will be featured at the White Box Gallery, Publika Mall from the 23rd to 29th Oct, 2015.