Binge Watch

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Binge Watch, a new body of work reflecting Alvin Ong’s continued interest in the physicality of the body, and how human experiences of inhabitation are being reshaped in the current moment.

Characterised by fluid compositions and surrealist forms, these dreamy, introspective paintings draw from the artist’s lived experience, as well as his own fertile imagination. Oscillating between restlessness and desire, the figure is presented as a site of metamorphosis: distorting and colliding with one another, as though wrought by internal conflict. Flowing forms fuse the external with the internal, accentuating the relationship between the mind and body, capturing the ephemerality of a collective psyche.

In Binge Watch, the body’s appetites unfurl in a spectacle of fragmented, yet intimate scenes, through which audiences are implicated as flaneur and voyeur. Framed by the pictorial screens they inhabit, faces are set against surreal hues evoking both natural and artificial light. Limbs grasp and idly reach for each another and their electronic devices in search of connectivity. Eyelids are often shut, dreamy, introspective and restless. Pictorial screens and objects are used to simultaneously demarcate and complicate exterior and interior realms. Food references and smart phones are a recurrent motif, functioning as physical projections and manifestations of multiple interior lives and desires, as they have increasingly become, in the words of the artist, “the mediums through which we relate to one another and create communal experiences, at this moment in time.”

Alvin Ong (b. 1988, Singapore) is a graduate of the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, UK (2016) and the Royal College of Art, London, UK (2018). His paintings playfully combine diverse visual vocabularies alongside his own lived experience of hybridity and distance across a variety of spaces, physical and virtual. He was awarded a residency in 2017 with the Royal Drawing School, as well as the 2018 Chadwell Award. His works have been exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum (2007, 2012, 2013), Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore (2010), Peranakan Museum, Singapore (2015), Northampton Contemporary, UK (2017), National Portrait Gallery, UK (2018), and Royal Academy of Arts, UK (2019). His works are collected by the ILHAM Gallery, Malaysia, X Museum China, the Ingram Collection, UK, and the Victoria & Albert Museum (Print Collection), London, UK.