Thursday, December 27, 2007

Joo Hong's Inks

Joo Hong's Inks

Opening reception: Wed 16th January, 7:00pm Gallery Hours:
Tuesdays to Fridays 11am-7pm,
Saturday 11am-6pm and by appointment
Lim Joo Hong: 1954-2005

Late artist Lim Joo Hong - who is known for the art working style of combining brush strokes and spatter marks on the computer - had artistic interests that originated in charcoal, watercolors, and Chinese ink painting.

On 16th Jan, to commemorate his life and his work, his daughter Tricia and wife Jessie will be organizing an exhibition, Joo Hong’s Inks, to showcase 24 of his early ink paintings.

Lim, who died at the age of 51, had a short and distinctive career as an artist after stepping down as the CEO of Singapore Computer Systems (SCS) in 2003. In his 20-year-long career in the information technology industry, he was a systems engineer and program manager with the Ministry of Defense before moving to the then National Computer Board. In the late 1990s, he helmed an Internet start-up company called Tricast. In 2003, he resigned after seven months as SCS' CEO, citing ill health stemming from hypertension and high cholesterol levels as the reason.

The father of three, who studied Chinese painting under cultural medallion winner Chua Ek Kay, was just beginning to attract critical and public interest as an artist when he collapsed at home after jogging on the night of Dec 28 last year.
His earlier work gives a modern spin on traditional Chinese brushwork and pushes the boundaries of the use of Chinese ink on rice paper. Through his art, Lim invites us to imagine forms within his brushwork - a rainfall, a palace, a swinging chandelier and interlocking leaves. In turn, he reveals to the audience his fascination with China (after living there from 1995 to 1998) and the rich western influences he was exposed to throughout his life.

The Singapore Art Museum had acquired two of his prints, Inside the Crystal Labyrinth and May, in 2003. He had also completed a commission of some 150 artworks for a new Four Seasons hotel in the Maldives.

Lim’s earlier exhibitions include Promise and Shared Passions (a two person show held with ceramist and wife, Jessie Lim) and Promise II, held posthumously in Singapore, Langkawi and Kular Lumpur. In 2006, Lim’s prints was featured in Hyper Design, the 6th Shanghai Biennale.

Lim has left behind dozens of works he tirelessly created throughout his life. These works are managed by his family, and can be found on

This exhibition will be opened by Mr. Kwok Kian Chow, Director of Singapore Art Museum, and ends on Tuesday, 12th February.



我认识的林裕丰,中学时代开始就爱涂涂画画;当时学校有一份文艺刊物,还有一份年尾才派送,万生期待的校刊。 林裕丰的绘画与设计,往往就成了它令人眼前一亮的封面,总结了一整个年头,强而有力全校师生对外的呈辞。

校内的人也不觉得不寻常——这位相貌和蔼一点并不炫耀的理科生,艺术天份竟然如此不同凡响;或许科学家、物理学家,与艺术家对事物的好奇心与态度毕竟是一样的 : 默默耕耘在练习簿上的涂描,开拓结果的是一个令人意想不到崭新的境界。


怀着科学家爱探索的精神他看到了数码打印可以跨越艺术的无穷潜质。 两年前展出的版画作品,是一次破天荒的尝试。 可惜真祗是那么的一次。 天嫉英才无奈又无情,让我们扼腕叹息。



展期 : 2008年1月16日 至2月12 日
时间 : 星期二至五 – 11:00 至 19:00
星期六 – 11:00 至 18:00
地址 : 陈家毅艺术空间
16-17 Duxton Hill Singapore 089600
Tel – 6423 0198 Fax – 6423 0197

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Published in 7 languages throughout the globe, Magnum Magnum brings together the best work from acknowledged masters —among them Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Eve Arnold, Marc Riboud, Werner Bischof and the rising stars of our time; Martin Parr, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Donovan Wylie and Chien-Chi Chang. This hardcover book edited by Brigitte Lardinois, comes in a breathtaking scale, giving the photos an impact never seen before in book form. It celebrates the vision, imagination and brilliance of Magnum photographers, marking the 60th birthday of the Magnum Group.

More information on this awesome book, and a great introduction by Martin Parr is featured on

PS: Temporarily out of stock on Amazon, support the local art scene and grab you're copy at our gallery bookshop! Psst! Our 10% discount on all books is still on! Besides, think of how much you're saving on shipment! Whao.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Forum #4 - Identity: Women in Photography

(The much-awaited transcript)

Meridel Rubenstein:

Maybe we should introduce you, or perhaps you can introduce yourself.Thank you for coming, men, this is great.

I decided to do something a whole lot personal, not because it is more personal to be a woman, but I figured that there will be a lot of young women here and I notice that in Singapore people don’t tell their ages? But I will be in 59 in March. So if anyone wants to help me in this per say, you could say that you’re Chinese and you’re 16 right?

So I’ve become a photographer working for over 30 years, during a time when women did not have a voice, and women now have a voice.

So I think it would be interesting for you to see some of the things that I had to grabble with.

In 2001, I was offered a chance to make a book, a monogram of 20 yrs of work. This is my first book, the copies never arrived, and there is one in a bookstore somewhere. And I’m putting it here not to brag, but to say that it was a landmark for me and it is actually why I am in Singapore. Because imagine working for so long and then being able to put your work together and stand back to take a look at it. You know, in a new face of gathering again. This is like a huge breath even though it is work from different projects.

It is related to 911, because of the issues we humans save in the role. All over the world, people became really concerned with up-rootedness and people’s loss of the sense of belonging. So that was a real focus in my work. So what you’re seeing here is somewhat a 3-dimensional piece, about that size actually, a little bigger than that actually. But it is the transparency between glass, sand-blasted on the outside in a 19 century wood go go. And what you’re seeing is called volunteer, it is referring to transit in safely called ‘trees volunteer they just grow on their own’ as oppose to landing somewhere else. We call these self-grow, self-rooting trees volunteer. These are people that have come and gone from Vietnam as a result of the war, and I’m going to talk about the later image of sandblast image of more dug out, trees falling into water and stray people to and from, in times of war. Just to mention, this isn’t just the last few years even though the book came out in 2004, 2005 the night of a couple years of retrospective shows, so I’m just giving you a sense of something, but also a way for me to begin talking. So this is a piece from 1990, I work with a lot of materials, and materials are everything to me. It’s a little different in Singapore, because materials have a hard time here. Buying materials is hard here, with all the different languages.

These are all, whenever you see a brown and white print, it is made with a 19th century platinum plated process, where I take my negative and enlarge them add cold water color paper and you can use the sun for a UV light source. So when you see something like this, that is bigger than this, each print is about 20 x 24 inches, so you add it up, and it is about 7 feet tall. This is called Three Missiles, and it is about ( I have to tell you that I know what it is about after I do it) science and religion, religion made out of science, and how science is made out of religion. It is a feminist piece because; well I’m re-contextualizing my work for you today, because I want to talk about women. A man could have made this piece, but I as a young woman looking, I come from two parts of the US, and what I’m really gonna talk to you about is the emicicle. Because its was the home where I spent 30 years, and the home of the first people, the indigenous people, there are 70 indigenous tribes, over 70 in the US and probably over 15 of them are in the amicicle. So we have a sense of preservation culture, and then we have the… which is the home of the first atomic bomb was designed to be built. So as young woman, thinking about all those things, I thus conditioned myself, 20 years ago, I shall save you the details.

I want to read something, but just going back, I want to say that the prints are on watercolor paper, but then they are set in steel mount. They are hollowed out, so they are like giant pieces of net-board. And there’s text standing in the field, so there is black and white font, the left says white force, the middle says for element, and the right says physic space. Right up on the top. But steel and platinum together are two different kinds of metal; hard and soft, warm and cold (you see the detail now in some of the images). With this image I want to reconnect, our talk about women. I think it is very important to honor our elders, as women. Because I’m a father-identified girl, I am much more identified with my father than from my mother. But I know from this identification process that I’ve had, how important it is to collect women mentors, and honor them. I was named after a great writer, whom my parents didn’t know anything about; they just liked the way her named sounded, they thought she was dead, and I had the chance to meet her in amicicle, she came from Minnesota. Her name was Meridel the third and she lived to be (oh this is so wonderful); she lived to write until she was 89. This is something she wrote. She wrote about (so imagine an older women writing this, she wrote this when she was 70).

‘The body repeats the landscape; they’re the source of each other. We are marked by the seasonal body of earth, by the terrible migrations of people, by the swift turn of the century, virgin unchanged, never before experience on this rainy earth.’

Did I read too quickly? Is it ok? It is a beautiful poem, such a sense of time and place. And looking for her in the 20th century, she was someone who would watch the storms on television, and say ‘the earth wouldn’t stand for this any longer’. She has this sense of earth and body, the women’s body, earth and the relationships between them. Moving on, I’m honoring (to my friends that just came in), the matriarch in my life. On your right is an image I made called matriarch. A photo of an egg in the photo and one of Meridel the third, great grandmother. That was an early piece, I was just your age. This one on your left is a very important picture for me, it is of my mother-in-law, but she’s come to stand for, she was 92 in that picture. Here is how I used her, as the woman in the middle; I used her over and over as the ‘woman in the middle’. I’m going to talk about being the women in the middle. Here she is part of a piece about the world of a Native American and a nuclear scientist being woven together. And I’ll show you a bigger project on that.

Here in the matriarch on your left, with my mother on the left and my grandmother who came from Russia, she was an immigrant, and they came to Detroit, and I’ll tell you how Detroit was, what a sleepy town, a car city, where all the American cars was and factories, big factories, its like Singapore, an industrialized city. I was brought up in the farm on your right. Sorry I don’t have a great photograph, it was a beautiful farm with hundred of acres with cows and animals (Just so you know). In the funny hippie picture over there, which is a funny picture of the family I married into in New Mexico. And they don’t really look like that, but we were out on an outing, this is just a student picture many years ago, but this is showing you the landscape that I went from. I went from Detroit, to Singapore, to Vermont, going to New Mexico. Then my husband came with my high school daughters. That was that white sand where the first Atomic bomb was detonated. So that gives you a sense of the space, of the web southwest of the US, a very dramatic space for us, with all sorts of contradictions.

I was very lucky to have had a woman mentor, when I was only 15 in summer camp. A very great photographer called Wendy McNeil. She was very interested in resentlessness, so she liked to put pictures together. This time, with this man on your left, with his great-grandmother to see how faces are mapped. Right away, through Wendy and myself, I became quite interested in portraits. And I just want to mention another teacher I had, which was Minor White. I don’t have any good reproductions, but he was one of the great metaphoric using landscapes and abstractions from rocks, stones water. Just imagine a crystal of ice, and doing a close-up on that. This might be that, a close-up on a pattern on a rock. Very dramatic and very powerful photographer to study with.
This is me also being a student.

You have to imagine now, that I started photography as a student, and Wendy’s taken my work to Minor which happens to be at a place called MIT, very technological, and this is where they teach engineers how to be creative. With older men only, and all the men was photographing rocks and trees, so when I had a chance to take photographs, I went right away to where I thought there were rocks and trees, a place that was as far east as you can get in Newthanland. And I photographed rocks and trees, but I was able to find one woman subject, a girl in an abandoned house, a girl’s room. So I did my first year in photography as the only girl with a master in photography, amongst a group of men who wanted to be just like him. It was a very dynamic situation as I was the only girl, and who did portraits, so basically, they would just ignore me. I did try to make photographs of landscape, but really, I was interested in people. This was 1972, and I understood that I needed to support myself, as during this time, there weren’t galleries, and this obviously was not a commercial attempt, so I wasn’t going to be a commercial photographer. There wasn’t any example of women as studio photographers anyways, except for Diane Arbus.

So anyways, going to New Mexico and studying to learn to teach. So he sends me to New Mexico, and I take these romantic pictures. You must know that New Mexico is closer to California, so romantic pictures are not going to fly there at all.

But in any case, I went to study with this man and a few other men, but I happen to have a photograph of him. So for you who are interested in photography, this is Beaumont Newhall. Lot of time, his name gets loved because he’s old, he’s passed on, and he was the first person to write about the history of photography. He wrote the first book he did the first research by going to flea markets in Europe finding new photographs and piecing it all together and writing it down. This is one of his photographs. But as a young female student, what I did know was that there were only 11 women in this book of hundreds and hundreds of photographers. And when I said something, it was just a normal responses as the only women with this book, the rest were men who had wives making lunches for them, as the only girl you want to know where the other women went. So I went to the library to do research, at the Smithsonian restriction, telling them I’m covering 19th century photography, I was trying to find some sources.

I’m going to bring this up for everybody who are students, because as I was talking in my photo club, these are issues on woman who came up before other issues about your otherness, you’re differences in terms of ethnicity, religion, your gender preference or whatever.

To be Continued…