My Little Pony grows up in Singaporean Sookoon Ang solo – picture feast

SINGAPOREAN ARTIST DRAWINGS PRINTS INSTALLATION

“Say Hi To Forever” is Singaporean artist Sookoon Ang’s solo exhibition at Chan Hampe Galleries in Singapore. The show, which ran from 29 May to 19 June 2012, is a dark take on nostalgia, and features new drawings, prints, sculptures, installation and video animation.

Sookoon Ang, 'Present Tense', 2011, pen and gouache on paper, 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Present Tense', 2011, pen and gouache on paper, 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Rainbow Dash's Inflamed Sense of Rejection' (color), Edition 1/3, 2011, inkjet print, 103 x 76 cm. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Sookoon Ang, 'Rainbow Dash's Inflamed Sense of Rejection' (color), Edition 1/3, 2011, inkjet print, 103 x 76 cm. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Sookoon Ang, 'Bye Bye Bye', 2011, inkjet print, 102 x 66 cm. Image courtesy Chan ampe Galleries.

Sookoon Ang, 'Bye Bye Bye', 2011, inkjet print, 102 x 66 cm. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Ang’s drawings are based on toy manufacturer Hasbro’s My Little Pony line, first released in 1983. Ang draws these colourful ponies in bleak settings, creating off-kilter realities.

Vinita Ramani Mohan, co-founder and director of Access to Justice Asia LLP, says in an essay on the exhibition published in the catalogue,

The ponies have been removed from their multi-coloured utopia and placed into an angular, two-dimensional realm of lightning, sharp-edged pyramids and thunderclouds. They still have a twinkle in their eye and they are still happy. But as the series progresses, they find themselves in compromising situations, isolated, angry, filled with bad dreams. Friendship is no longer magic; it is a masquerade, a photo shoot, a thing that will not last.

Installation view of "Say Hi To Forever" at Chan Hampe Galleries' Kreta Ayer space. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Installation view of "Say Hi To Forever" at Chan Hampe Galleries' Kreta Ayer space. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Sookoon Ang,k'Balthus', 2011, pen on paper, 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Balthus', 2011, pen on paper, 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Spin The Black Circle', 2011, pen on paper%rC 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Spin The Black Circle', 2011, pen on paper, 35 x 27 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Aside from drawings and prints, the exhibition also features sculptures and installations,  showing the wide range of media Ang works with. Through her three-dimensional works, Ang continues to explore the tension between the inner and outer worlds we inhabit. As stated in the press release for the exhibition,

Her work addresses both the physical and metaphysical world— the space we physically dwell in and the interior space within us that is our spiritual, emotional and imaginative world. Her artistic endeavour is to create visual representations of the eclipse between these two realms.

Sookoon Ang, 'Exorcize Me', 2006, stoneware, 88cm diameter. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Exorcize Me', 2006, stoneware, 88cm diameter. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'One Caress', 2012, wax, size variable.

Sookoon Ang, 'One Caress', 2012, wax, size variable. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'The Best Vitality Cannot Excel Decay', 2011, bread, mono ammonium phosphate, watercolor,kepoxy, 19 x 13 x 14 cm.

Sookoon Ang, 'The Best Vitality Cannot Excel Decay', 2011, bread, monoammonium phosphate, watercolor, epoxy, 19 x 13 x 14 cm. Image courtesy artist.

In an interview with the artist, she reveals her source of inspiration for the series. “Say Hi to Forever” is the title of the last blog post of Korean model and blogger Daul Kim, posted just before Daul committed suicide at the age of twenty. Mirroring the dark humour that the model used on her blog, Ang’s works in this namesake series are deceptively innocent, on the edge of something sinister. As the artist explains,

The idea for the works started with ‘Say Hi To Forever’, the last blog entry posted by Daul Kim before she committed suicide by hanging herself in her Paris apartment in 2009. Daul Kim’s blog was one of the many blogs I followed. I liked her blog because it was quirky. Apart from writing about fashion, Daul would write about her loneliness as a fashion model whose work took her away from home. I was shocked and very saddened by her death. She was just twenty years old. I always assumed the sadness she expressed on her blog was manageable and that it [was a] coming-of-age anxiety, a rite of passage. ‘Say Hi to Forever’ has such a chirpy upbeat tone, but it conceals an underlying darkness. This short statement has a profound effect on me.

Installation view of "Say Hi To Forever" exhibition at Chan Hampe Galleries' Kreta Ayer space. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Installation view of "Say Hi To Forever" exhibition at Chan Hampe Galleries' Kreta Ayer space. Image courtesy Chan Hampe Galleries.

Studio shot of Sookoon Ang, 'Say Hi To Forever', animation video installation, 20-second loop, TV, wood dekoden. Image courtesy artist. ------Web

Studio shot of Sookoon Ang's 'Say Hi To Forever', animation video installation, 20-second loop, TV, wood dekoden. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Say Hi to Forever', 2011, animation video installation, 20-second loop. Image courtesy artist.

Sookoon Ang, 'Say Hi to Forever', 2011, animation video installation, 20-second loop. Image courtesy artist.

About Sookoon Ang

Sookoon Ang was born in 1977 in Singapore. She trained at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, then at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, before graduating with a BA Honours degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has been very active in the arts scene in the past ten years, with residencies, solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and film and video screenings worldwide. Her most recent residencies were the Objectifs Artist-in-Residence Program in Singapore in 2012, and the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York in 2010. She currently resides in Brussels.

“Say Hi to Forever”, which ran from 29 May to 19 June 2012, was the last exhibition at Chan Hampe Galleries’ Kreta Ayer space. Chan Hampe recently expanded their space at Raffles Hotel Arcade, the official opening of which was held on 25 May 2012 and featured work by Singapore-based Korean artist Om Mee Ai.

NW/KN/HH

Related Topics: gallery shows, installation art, printmaking, art in Singapore.

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