Pang, Ruben b.1990 / Light and Divine Winds
about this work
Ruben Pang: I remember I did a divination exercise on 3rd August 2016 (singapore time), this was around the period where I was battling with the first painting done in the similar layout and size-- "Hyacinth Girl-Skinned". I began Light and Divine Winds with a different approach, one of ease and reflex and confidence--very little composition or conceptual thought. In a sense, it was a painting that came about very physically, I relate this "physical" approach to the improvisation of a guitar solo, samurai swordsmenship and figure skating--that it isn't entirely muscle memory but its energy arrives faster than regular consciousness is able to perceive.

This is a small excerpt from an I-Ching divination (consultation) that I did during this period: "Dissolve the difference between yourself and objects. No longer be bothered by color or form. Remove the dirty clothing of your pain and bitterness, and your true nature will instantly appear."

If there's something I try to look forward to in other artist's works, its this sense of honesty and authenticity, and next I look for whether I can "feel" the pulse of their imagination in the work. To me if a painting comes across too prescriptive, no matter how much finesse there is in technical execution or a rich narrative, I find myself unwilling to engage.

Naturally this expectation is something that I hold myself to, and fall short of regularly. If anything, Light and Divine Winds is an attempt that I remember clearly because of how there was a point where I surprised myself...and I allowed that layer to sit "unfinished" to see if I could have the viewer experience that same sense of balancing on a pin head, like titration-- perhaps not visually but that they could feel it in their skin or at the back of the head.

It was in a conversation with visiting artist Bili Bidjocka that we both agreed: even though the final image where you decide is "right" arrives from the unknown, there is a sense of recognizing-a knowing. What it is I cannot say for sure, but one can hope that it is leaning in the direction of what the I-Ching describes as ones own "true nature".

Ruben Pang (b.1990, Singapore)

Light and Divine Winds, 2016

Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum panel
267 x 150 cm
105 1/8 x 59 1/16 in.
Zwitterion, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan 2016 Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si PaintingSouth Asia


Primo Marella Gallery, Milan


Segno, Zwitterion – Ruben Pang – Primo Marella Gallery
(Online), December 30 2017
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Neo Huiyuan, Inside the Mind of Ruben Pang
The Octant (Online), Sep 15 2016
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Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Zwitterion Catalogue
Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (Catalogue), 2016
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