Joint exhibition by Alvin Ong and Esmond Loh
Passages examines time and space as experienced in the context of modern-day Singapore. The paintings in this exhibition are the reflections and memories of the personal encounters and collective histories of emerging Singapore artists Alvin Ong and Esmond Loh.
Individual frames within the passage of time are captured and extracted into painted compositions, such as a close encounter during the morning rush hour, a poignant moment as a nation unites in grief, or a timeless second of solitude. Through these paintings, the artists invite the audience to think about what makes a moment in time significant.
Iconic scenes are counterbalanced with feelings of displacement as each artist introduces fresh looks to familiar narratives. For Alvin, his body of work journals his interpretation of Singapore through archival photos and video stills. Esmond takes a more intimate approach, assembling characters close to him by projecting them onto a timeless void and examining their lives as detached individuals.
The highly-detailed portraits alternate between distance and familiarity – shifts that are daily occurrences in Singapore’s fast-paced environment. Viewers are invited to reimagine the moments portrayed in the paintings and plot their own journey through the passage of time.
Alvin Ong is a contemporary artist who works with historical and cinematic material, fluidly recombining these pictorial sources in his paintings as explorations of memory, loss and nostalgia. At the age of 16, he was the youngest winner of Singapore’s prestigious art prize, the United Overseas Bank (UOB) Painting of the Year award and a year later, he had his first solo exhibition in the presence of His Excellency President S. R. Nathan at the Jendela, Esplanade.
He has since exhibited in group shows at the Singapore Art Museum (2007, 2012 and 2013),
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (2007), ARTSingapore: The Contemporary Asian Art Fair at Suntec City (2010), Altering Alvar Aalto (2010) at the Asian Civilisations Museum, and Great Peranakans: 50 Remarkable Lives (2015) at the Peranakan Museum.
A former architecture student at National University of Singapore, he is now reading Fine Art in the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.
Esmond Loh is an artist working primarily in painting. He is currently in the process of exploring various painting styles and other artistic media. He had his first solo show, Generations at Chan Hampe Galleries in 2014.
He was the winner of the 31st UOB Painting of the Year competition and has showcased his works in two exhibitions for the UOB Painting of the Year winners. Other group shows include Creation – an exhibition by Saint Joseph’s Institution Old Boys 2013, Spectrum Art Elective Programme Exhibition 2013, and the Singapore Youth Festival Arts and Craft Exhibition 2012.