STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery
Breeze Blocks #19
Built into walls, breeze blocks, also known as cinder blocks in architecture, are the skin of a building. Breeze blocks are stacked one upon the other to let the breeze through while casting dappled light into the interior. This modular arrangement forms a permeable barrier between the interior and exterior. The richness and wealth of minimally treated blocks, like these linen surfaces reveals Truth to Materials — a tenet of modern architecture — and its surreptitious conversations with luminosity and shadow.
Genevieve Chua (b. 1984, Singapore) is a painter who works primarily through abstraction. Chua employs a method of working that unfurls and reveals the painter's process through diagram, palimpsest, syntax and the glitch. While notions of nature and wilderness persist across several works, the form taken by her exhibitions—image, text or object—is disrupted through painting.
Between 2014 to 2016, Chua was featured in solo exhibitions including Rehearsals for the Wilful, Silverlens, Manila (2016); Parabola, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore (2014) and Cicadas Cicadas, GUSFORD Gallery, Los Angeles (2014). These included works from the Unnatural History Drawings oeuvre, which explored the system of museological practices in configuring specimens within dioramas and often took into account historical trajectories or linguistic concerns. An example of such a work is Cicadas #2 (2014), in the collection of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). Referencing the early 19th century natural history drawings commissioned by William Farquhar, Cicadas #2 abstracts the shape of a cicada unfolding its damp wings. The deafening mating call of the cicada is translated into an ultrasound pattern on the painting’s surface, melding the sensory experiences of sound and the visual together.
From 2016 to 2018, Chua completed her Masters in Painting in Royal College of Art, UK. Providing her an insular environment to study the rules and ideology of painting, this period of study allowed her to develop an expanded approach to painting. While the narratives of nature were replaced with formal abstraction, her works expanded upon the pattern of the ultrasound to include a visual glossary based on computer graphics and bots (autonomous interactive computer programmes), which appears in her Edge Control and Swivels series.
Acrylic on linen
28 x 20 x 4.5 cm