Artist: Baet Yeok Kuan, (b.1964, Singapore)
Title: Man And Environment I
Medium: Mixed Media on Wood Panel
Size (cm): 200.0 x 200.0 cm
Mr Baet expresses the relation and conflict between man the environment with the wu xong (or Five Elements) – water, fire, wood metal and earth - which are represented by various small objects in this tactile and robust collage.
The background features pages from a copy of a tong shu or almanac which used to be kept in every Chinese household. Some are actual pages whiles others are copies. Both are used by the artist to symbolise the principle of opposites in the yin and yang.
A grid motif recurs in the layout of the paper clippings and the knotted ropes – suggesting structure, containment and restraint. A more organic, unpredictable impulse is discernible through the human faces emerging from the painting, as if defying the constraints of their environment.