Beautiful Singapore by Daisuke Takeya

Beautiful Singapore  by Daisuke Takeya

Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and grey. Canadian based, Japanese Artist Daisuke Takeya’s palette, layers the skies of Singapore with curious depths. Takeya’s residency in the melting pot of Singapore manifests his Japanese outlook, combining it with Western techniques in his depiction of the Singapore skyline.

The man-made is placed within nature. There is fragility in the Japanese balance between nature and the urban. Takeya juxtaposes the manicured planned city of Singapore against skies rendered in solid primary colours, creating a tension to the detailed renderings of the architecture and space. Across the skylines of Marina Bay or the Shophouses of Geylang, layers of glazed oil paint create textures, shadows and contrasts to capture the ethereal in a concrete moment.

Captured at twilight, the lights of the city attempt to invade the sky, as smooth as the interface appears to be, the sky is thick and heavy, resisting this penetration. It is through this juxtaposition that we begin to question the beauty of this city-state.

Within this man-made scape, we see the lack of humans and activity. Marina Bay is depleted of its human activities. We can only second guess the activities of the architecture and the beings it hosts within. The equally buzzy Geylang is shown as a ghost town. Its delightful and colourful occupants are painfully missing. The streets are stark with working street lamps and traffic lights, and yet there is a tranquillity of the facades of the Shophouses. A view out of INSTINC SOHO sees the empty pool, with the sky ablazed with hues of brown, resonating the activities of the city unseen to the eye.

Twilight is the interface between the city and its occupants. Just as the sun sets and brings relief to the tropical city and the lights turn up to seize its prominence, occupants begin to fill up the city. The surreal moment questions where this stark beauty leads to in the facilitation of human living.

Come forth and immerse in this questionable beauty. Takeya’s presents this critic in the form of elongated skylines through vertical panoramas, to further extend the state of surrealism where one can soak in the overhead view in one single frame.



26 – 27 Oct 2013

Text by Fann ZJ


About the exhibition:

INSTINC is pleased to hold an exhibition titled Beautiful Singapore by a Japanese born, New York educated, Toronto-Canada based artist Daisuke Takeya. With new bodies of paintings created during his a month and half residency in Singapore at INSTINC’s AIR programme, Takeya depicted various views of Singapore from distance known as Kara series.


His recent series of paintings entitled Kara (“Kara”, the Chinese ideogram for “sky”, also meaning “emptiness”), ongoing since 2002 has been described as a “hybrid of abstraction and representation in contemporary landscape painting”. Seen from a distance, urban and natural landscapes lose their characteristics in these paintings, emphasizing the emptiness of sky, and accentuating its beauty. Bird’s-eye vistas echo his vision, as well as perspectives developed through, and influenced by, his experiences living in various international locations. The empty sky extends endlessly around the globe and absorbs the universe, yet seems intangible. These landscapes implies selflessness, and expresses fundamental questions about the existence of human beings.

The opening reception will be held at INSTINC gallery at the Central, SOHO on October 25th from 7pm following the artist’s talk starting at 6:30pm with a slide presentation of Takeya’s past work which had lead the artist to the current series of work.


 Dates/ Duration:
25 Oct 2013, Artist's talk 630pm | Opening Reception 7-9pm
Exhibition dates: 26-27 Oct 2013