In June 2014, I installed a wall painting at Gallery NAGA with Kevin Lucey, another abstract painter. I have always been intrigued by the open space of a large paper surface; this was a chance to expand the idea of freedom and spontaneity of my works on paper by working on a surface bordered only by the floor and ceiling. This white wall was 145 x 109” in the expansive space of the gallery.
I wanted to create an environment. I admire the dynamic Water Lilies (Claude Monet 1914-26 triptych) – a large triptych that encompasses its’ viewers and eliminates conventional clues to a vantage point. The scale, and approach with color and material, give the viewer the sense of being immersed in the work. I wondered, then, if it is possible to create a similar experience on a smaller scale/wall.
In this new wall painting, Kevin and I have created a long panoramic structure that makes demands on us to study closely and then read visually, sometime from left to right, sometime from right to left. It has gradually unfolded in front of us.
Our approach is to use shadows of dotted marks to create strong value contrasts, which can be more vital than contrasts within the subtle color palette of the dots. We believe the three-dimensional surface made with the quiet palette brings the viewers physically closer to the work, possibly changing the way the viewers normally engage in a painting.
Photo by: Yuqi Huang