Style and Concept of Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
a lecture by Marjorie Chu @ Singapore Art Museum, 11 March 2006


Of the new school of art, important changes have occurred:

1/ Rhythm in Painting


Yunizar uses sensitive lines to build up the stillness of his village.




Yunizar (Indonesia, b. 1971)
Untitled, 2003
acrylic and pencil on canvas, 200 x 250 cm

Jeremy Sharma is a young artist and he applied black boot polish onto paper to create an abstract using feathery stroke of different intensity.

Jeremy Sharma (Singapore)
Heroes and Metaphors Do Not Exist, 2003
shoe polish on paper, 158 x 180 cm

Rudi Mantovani captured the rhythm of roofs. This is also a favourite subject of many artists who enjoy the handmade sunburnt clay roof tiles.

Rudi Mantofani (Indonesia, b. 1973)
Rumah-Rumah Coklat, 2005
Tran Van Thao’s painting is textual and impermeable, there is no movement in the work. I visited him in Ho Chi Minh city and I noticed that he painted his gate in the same way, without rhythm.

Tran Van Thao (Vietnam, b. 1961)
Black and White I, 1999
mixed media on canvas 110 x 85 cm


Tran Van Thao (Vietnam, b. 1961)
Black and White 2, 1998
mixed media on canvas, 150 x 200 cm
Ang Yian San painted with ink and brush to create the background of his two-panelled work and he applied coloured strokes over the black and white. The texture and rhythm become richer and more complex.

Ang Yian San (Singapore, b. 1964)
Sliding, 1998
mixed media on rice paper , 180 x 130 cm

2/ The Translucence of Painting

Chua Ek Kay created dimension by taking advantage of the splash ink technique and using his brush to push the colour to create the translucence






Yusra Martunus used light colour and touch to create the organic form.

Yusra Martunus (Indonesia, b. 1973)
05207 (Landscape Series), 2005
acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

Great Techniques used by some Contemporary SE Asian Artists

Vicenta Manansala's painting combines perfect colours and brush technique. All the 4 C's in painting are satisfied: colour, contrast, compostion and concept.



Vicenta Silva Manansala (Philippines, 1910-1981)
Crucifixion, 1968
oil on canvas, 121 x 106 cm


Le Pho is the most sought after artist in Vietnam and it is no wonder when his work is beautiful to the eye. His style is gentle and with sufficent detail to give the idea of time, space and feeling.

Le Pho (Vietnam, 1907-2001)
Motherhood, c. 1938
gouache and ink on silk, laid down on paper, 72 x 52 cm

Anwar Zakii Anwar is a master of illusion and atmosphere and he seduces his collectors by his mood paintings.


Ahmad Zakii Anwar (Malaysia, b. 1955)
Dark Interior, 1997
acrylic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm (2 panels)

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