Israfil Ridhwan: Spaces In-Between Solo Show

Cuturi Gallery is delighted to present Spaces In-Between by Israfil Ridhwan (b. 1999, Singapore). This marks Israfil’s second solo show with the gallery. Embarking on an exploration of the intricate interplay between cause and effect, his fresh body of works delves into the nuanced fabric of everyday life.


Using oil paint, Israfil elevates the commonplace to a realm of vibrant expression. His canvases become vessels for tales of connection, unfurling a tapestry woven with sensuality, intimacy and raw emotion. Viewers are invited to immerse themselves in this fusion of artistry and reality.

Spaces In-Between mirrors the human journey – a mirror to melancholy, a sanctuary for introspection, and a portal to self-discovery. In this latest oeuvre, Israfil infuses each canvas with his personal disposition, their titles echoing the very emotions and ambience they encapsulate. Both his friends and found imagery serve as muses, their essence immortalized through his brushstrokes.


In his portraits, vacant gazes and furrowed brows capture the essence of emotions evolving. This sombre visage, juxtaposed against vivid hues, delves into realms of pleasure, vulnerability, and materialism, inviting the viewers to embark on a voyage of introspection.

Incorporating components from various aspects of life such as music and poetry, Israfil finds inspiration in a love song by Asmahan, “حتعرف إمىت “or “Enta hataraf,” translated as “When Will You Realize” for the painting, In the Voice of Asmahan, 2023. A tantalizing hint of seduction is embodied by unbuttoned jeans, shrouded in an enigmatic green aura – a whimsical nod to the delicate facets of love. Within this artwork, Israfil portrays his interpretation of love – the act of giving parts of oneself to be cherished by another.


Bearing resemblance to the works by Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo – one of the artists who influenced Israfil’s artistic style, If Touch is What I Desire, Cut It Off, 2023 draws parallel and pays homage to The Two Fridas (1939) by Frida Kahlo. Through a contemplative exploration of self-preservation amidst emotional turbulence, the repetition of tiles stands in stark contrast against a luminous backdrop, anchoring the dual figures in purposeful meditation. The red string symbolizes the emotional connections Israfil shares with both himself and the world around him.

Born in Singapore, Israfil Ridhwan graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) with a Diploma in Fine Arts in 2020. His artistic journey has been punctuated by participation in various group exhibitions, including the Summer Group Show (2023), ART SG (2023), Little Red Dot – Singapore Edition (2022), Little Red Dot – London Edition (2022), and Fresh Take (2021). Notably, he debuted as a solo artist with “The Divine Comedy” in 2021 at Cuturi Gallery.


Spaces In-Between will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 2 September to 1 October 2023. An artist guided tour and an exclusive visit to London-based artist, Lindsey Jean McLean’s studio will be conducted on September 16, 23 and 30, Saturdays, 3-5 pm.

Cuturi Gallery
61 Aliwal Street Singapore 199937
+65 6980 3069

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday: 12 noon – 7 pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays