A joint exhibition by Lee Mok Yee and Liew Kwai Fei entitled This is Where We Meet showcases 19 three-dimensional sculpture and two-dimensional paintings that transform ideas on medium and material. When viewed together, their distinct approach to practice creates a unique sensory experience in the gallery. The exhibition aims to be a conversation in colour, shape and texture that also investigates ideas of space.
After Liew's successful series of figurative paintings and installation that looked at language, Chinese Malaysian identity and social politics, he revisits his interest in colour blocks and abstracted forms to present a series of works entitled The Art of Painting. These new works depart from his earlier modular, deconstructed pieces that focused on the external world of painting and their display. Instead they are relatively small with a new kind of density and attention to composition. Horizontal and vertical lines frame opaque and transparent bold colours that are layered into each other to create depth of space. Some include expressive shapes that infer natural forms and landscapes like windows into a formal and self-reflexive painterly world.
Emerging artist Lee Mok Yee also focuses on reflective spaces: one inhabited by the intention of the artist and the other by the imagination of the audience. His sculptures explore ideas of material reuse and transformation that are governed by the pattern, rhythm and geometry of his process and actions. For This is Where We Meet he presents The Stacking Memory series grounded in simple circles and squares, but painstakingly made up of humble cork board cut up into small pieces and rebuilt into highly textured rough surfaces. Suggesting architectonic forms and natural phenomena through an alternative form of craftsmanship, Lee shares his interests in 'the language of materials' from a physical, conceptual and cultural context.
This continues in Mata, which selects incense as its subject. As a functional object, incense must go through a cycle of creation and destruction to fulfill its purpose. However, Lee chooses to enshrine these scented cones and circular mounds into a densely packed type of 'collage'. By multiplying and fixing their presence onto a flat surface he transforms them from an atmospheric spiritual device, into objects worthy of their own devotion via the exhibition experience.
Together both artists present reflection points on the profound qualities of simplicity when arranged with precision and thoughtfulness. Building concentrated energies to allow audiences to see the possibilities of paint and alternative materials, Liew and Lee invite viewers to extract meaning from medium through a hypnotic trail of visual clues that unfold across the internal and external worlds created by each artist.