FOST Gallery is delighted to present 1998, featuring the early works of Ian Woo leading up to his first solo show at LASALLE Gallery in 2000.

The idea stemmed from a conversation between Woo and the artist Sherman Mern Tat Sam over an early painting, Finger food (1998), which Woo chanced upon in the midst of a studio renovation. Looking at the painting, Woo found himself intrigued by the idea that he was both a stranger and a friend to the work and his younger self. Moves, he thought, that have been forgotten, colours that now seem unusual in its pairings; more important is the almost flat ground relation to the appearance of a sequence of things, hovering, never quite congealing as form.

The works in the show span a five-year period, 1997-2001, when Woo returned to Singapore from England, and before embarking in 2006 on his doctorate between Singapore and Melbourne. We could regard these paintings as bearing the gestures of a young painter in transition, marks that, Woo now thinks, reveal the intimacy of anxiety, doubts and forms presented as sets of questions to the viewer. Is it a painting about pictures? Are they things in a house? Can we call them still lifes? Is the artist making a picture about what he cannot explain and see?

These early paintings provide an insight into the development of Woo’s thinking around abstraction.

The paintings in 1998 have been selected by Sherman Mern Tat Sam and who also wrote the exhibition essay.

FOST Gallery
1 Lock Road #01-02, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108932
+65 6694 3080

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Sun/Mon/Pub Holiday: Open by appointment