STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery
Portwine – Romance included
Portwine – Romance included is a classical presentation of a print work by Victor from her Acid Painting series created in 2015 at STPI. Here, water is again at the core of the work. But this time, it is not clear or nurturing water. It is not the element that is capable of creating memories of shelter and protection. This time, as the series title suggests, the water we are dealing with has a more violent capacity and an acidity that can be dangerous. Even though the title evokes an evening of romantic joy and culinary pleasure, the making of Portwine – Romance included (2015) is a radical opposition to this lustful image. Executed while completely fitted out in safety gear, the acidic water that was applied to the copper plate ate its way into the metal and left traces. Soft strokes, watery movements. But only the aggressiveness of the acid was able to create these soft craters which were then able to contain the warm red colour pigments for the printing process. If one leaves behind the warm reddish portwine dynamics suggested by the title, what can then be seen in the print are traces of the artist’s performative act. She works with different brushes. She shapes the dangerous water. She lets it drip and create a rhythm. This visual rhythm again harbours the possibility of becoming sound.
Suzann Victor is a prolific Singaporean artist whose practice spans over 20 years, from an award-winning abstract painter in the 1980s to being Singapore’s first female representative at the 49th Venice Biennale.
At STPI, Suzann Victor responded to and inverted traditional printmaking in experimental ways, creating new methods of performing materiality and ideas that resonate long after the aesthetic encounter. These innovative strategies resulted in architecturally-presented paintings with paper pulp, whilst her gestural acid paintings were the largest copperplate etchings ever produced at STPI in 2015. Her reconstruction of the postcolonial cultural/ family unit were fronted by Fresnel lenses whose perceptual effects confounded the act of seeing, all of which are unusual additions to her practice consisting theatrical devices, kinetic mechanisms, performance-installations, experimentations with the body, light, water and natural phenomena such as the meteorological where she induced double rainbows to appear inside the National Museum of Singapore.
Victor’s works have graced international platforms such as the 6th Havana Biennale, 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial (Queensland Art Gallery), Adelaide Biennale (2008), Sunshower
Exhibition, Tokyo and the 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Korea. She was a recipient of the 2009 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship and a special residency from the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in 2017. In 2019, her iconic performance, Still Waters, was honoured as the theme of the international theatre showcase M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
Spit bite aquatint on Saunders 638 gram paper
165 x 165 x 7cm