Jane Lee: Where Is Painting?

Sundaram Tagore Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by Jane Lee, the Singaporean artist whose lush, abstract works have garnered international acclaim. The exhibition has been curated by Tan Siuli, formerly Head of Collections and Senior Curator at the Singapore Art Museum. A three-channel video installation capturing the artist’s painting process will be on view alongside the artworks, marking the first time Lee has invited viewers to observe her practice.

Lee first came to critical attention when her monumental installation Raw Canvas was showcased at the SingaporeBiennale in 2008. Her work was a highlight of Medium at Large at the Singapore Art Museum (2014-15), where her large-scale installation Status was acquired for the museum’s permanent collection. In 2015, Lee’s work was prominently featured in the global group exhibition Frontiers Reimagined at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Lee’s ongoing interest in examining the essence of a painting has yielded expansive bodies of work exploring the material possibilities of paint. For this exhibition, she focuses on the relationship between a painting and the space it occupies. “This new work explores the white space of the gallery as the ultimate ‘canvas,” she says.



The works presented are largely rendered in blue and white, a streamlined palette that puts the focus on Lee’s expressive, painterly marks. But on close examination, some of the paintings reveal tiny flecks of pink, red and green among the layers of impasto. There is also variation in size and surface treatment, with large- and medium-scale paintings alongside smaller works, some arranged into uniform rows.

Lee has always favored everyday household objects over traditional paint brushes to produce her characteristic textured surfaces. In earlier works she employed tools straight from the kitchen, treating paint like cream, generously slathering on layers as if frosting a cake. Here, she dispenses with tools altogether, opting to use her bare hands. Digging into densely applied layers of paint, Lee reveals chasms of color that are so deep the viewer must lean in to discover their hidden depths.

In a carefully curated arrangement, Lee’s paintings and site-specific installations flow into one another creating a playfuldialogue that brings all the pieces together presenting them not only as individual objects but as a cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery
Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock road #01-05, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108933
+65 6694 3378

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm
Saturday 11 am to 7 pm
Sunday, Monday and PH by appointment only