“Presence of Whiteness” features the work of Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi across Pearl Lam Galleries’ two spaces in Singapore.

Running until 30 April 2017, the dual-space exhibition includes a series of over 20 coloured paintings created between 2012 and 2016 at Dempsey Hill, as well as painting, installation and text works spanning 50 years of Zhu Jinshi’s career at the Gillman Barracks.

"Presence of Whiteness", solo by Zhu Jinshi, installation view with 'Mistaken Dream of the Lotus Pond', 10 January - 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhu Jinshi, “Presence of Whiteness”, installation view with ‘Mistaken Dream of the Lotus Pond’, 10 January – 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

Despite the sheer masses of paint employed, such as in the expansive triptych Mistaken Dream of the Lotus Pond (2014), the paintings do not seem excessive, but rather driven by an assiduous focus on the material, physical qualities of paint, particularly in its extension far beyond the plane of the canvas’ surface. As with Presence of Whiteness 2, detailed inspection of the surfaces of these artworks – despite their comparatively imposing scale – reveals all manner of physio-chemical interactions of varying degrees of incidentality.

"Presence of Whiteness", solo by Zhu Jinshi, installation view with (left to right) 'Low-Key Singer 4', 'The Chu King Trembles 1', 10 January - 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhu Jinshi, “Presence of Whiteness”, installation view with (left to right) ‘Low-Key Singer 4’, ‘The Chu King Trembles 1’, 10 January – 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhi Jinshi, 'Mistaken Dream of the Lotus Pond' (detail) in "Presence of Whiteness", solo by Zhu Jinshi, 10 January - 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhi Jinshi, ‘Mistaken Dream of the Lotus Pond’ (detail) in “Presence of Whiteness”, solo by Zhu Jinshi, 10 January – 30 April 2017, Pearl Lam Galleries (Dempsey Hill), Singapore. Image courtesy the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries.

When applied at the thicknesses Zhu employs, masses of paint may shear and crack; solvents might sweat to the surface, and, more commonly, undulating wrinkles emerge on paint surfaces, either complementing or contrasting the directions established in his brushstrokes. Particularly apparent in monochrome works like the Wall of Nine Dragons (2011) series is a subtle staining of the canvas near the paint proper – emergent shadows which yield an even greater sense of depth to his works.

Bruce Quek

1551

Related Topics: Chinese artists, painting, installation, gallery shows, events in Singapore

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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