Pang, Ruben b.1990 / Auto Pilot
about this work

'Auto-Pilot' is a study in composition with figures painted within rooms. For Pang, this room detail was a pragmatic method of dealing with the confines of painting at a large scale indoors. In this way, the paintings can be seen as windows – an access into an architectural psyche. 

Of Auto-Pilot, Pang notes: ”This is a portrait of a phantasmal advocate holding up a Stephen Hawkingesque figure – a man who has been taken apart and put back together and reconfigured so many times – and he holds his mind by the brain stem. The flesh and nerve looks weak... Having it separated from the body – and extended out to the tail bone – makes the brain easier to see as an object, someone else’s design, God’s design, evolutionary design. We think about the word “thought”, “thinking”, “philosophy” yet look at the house of these ‘thoughts’ and you will see [the] architecture is not pretty.” 

Questioned on whether this painting constitutes an empathetic gesture between two figures, Pang states that the painting is about survivalism through the splitting of a single self. “The very modern man... is capable of imagining himself in third rather than first person. [And] this person doesn’t seek the enlightenment of Buddhism. For him, this is what the modern world has shaped him into.”

Pang’s Buddhist and Catholic upbringing show greater presence in his move towards figuration which is also, by its representational nature, a move away from the abstract.

Ruben Pang (b.1990, Singapore)

Auto Pilot, 2014

Acrylic and retouching varnish on aluminium composite panel
170 x 140 cm
66 15/16 x 55 1/8 in.
Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy  Current Location:
Hong Kong - BRINK'S HK PaintingSouth Asia


Bright S'pore(s)
Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy
October 2014 - December 2014


Bright S'pore(s)
(Catalogue), October 2014

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