Maiko Sugano [Japan] + Hsiung Lu-Fang [Singapore / Taiwan]
A pleasant scent greets you as you step into INSTINC SOHO. The whiffs of something familiar, reminiscent of a Shangri-la hotel lobby, or perhaps the whiff of ION Orchard as you step out of Orchard MRT. Yet this scent is distinctive. Faced with that familiarity in INSTINC, in a different context and space, it is challenging to identify the connection.
Invisible Connections creates links and connections across several levels, placing the audience on its head and makes one wander and ponder. Creating those links are Singaporean-Taiwanese artist Hsiung Lu-Fang and Japanese sculptor Maiko Sugano who met for the first time during Sugano’s residency with INSTINC. Yet the transition between the two artists’ works is seamless.
As one enters the space, bright lucid colours greet you. Hsiung’s series of paintings fill the space with splashes of composed colours. Layered and textured, the paintings are void of brush strokes, creating moments of intrigue as to the techniques utilised to create. Intensity of colours and swirls create instants of the cosmos, of starry nights to bright burning days.
Traverse through the INSTINC space and one finds the colours from Hsiung’s paintings extended to a table laid out with colourful, sculptural objects. As if filling out the abstract voids of Hsiung, Sugano’s precise cravings in “Soap Diary” showcase her technical prowess and attempts in spatial exploration. Each object signifies an occurrence during her residency and is each given a hierarchy as they are laid out in the order of a Japanese garden. Similar to the Chinese belief in “Feng Shui,” we see a social and philosophical construct of memories and its physical manifestation. With a source of water in the form of the lap pool on the exterior, Sugano creates a mountain where at the foothills, these vibrant delightful constructs lay. Organic in form, they almost look moulded. Take a closer look and sniff and you will realise that they are carved out of soap! Hence the wonderful scent and array of vibrant hues!
Just as how Sugano’s forms “flow” and relate to one another, as one traverses the INSTINC space to encounter Hsiung’s paintings, the layered approach becomes apparent, as the solids of one painting meets the voids of another.
Just as how the individual artworks are layered both physically and metaphorically, the synergy between the two artists and their artworks draw upon more connections, beyond what the naked eye can see. Standing side by side as they complete each other’s sentences, the invisible connections between them are made a little more apparent.
Maiko Sugano + Hsiung Lu-Fang
15-17 March 2013