Chinese Ink & Acrylic, 2020
坚 is the Chinese character for the quality of strength. Often used in tandem with other characters of synonymous quality, it reflects a positive, strong and resolute spirit.
The primary pictorial content is rendered in Chinese ink, displaying lines of various qualities that can be suggestive of lithification, a process whereby sediments are being compressed and compacted into solid sedimentary rock. The austere red square is superimposed in the middle to provide a pictorial focus, contrasting in ocular quality to its adjacent areas.
While the hard-edgedness of the red square was performed on the dry surface of the canvas, the Chinese ink was rendered during an entirely wet canvas to achieve the seeping effect. The varying degrees of moisture in the canvas determines the concentration of hue as well as the rate of spreading due to gravity, resulting in a variety of line qualities.
This work can however be interpreted in any terms that its viewer wishes to.
Teacher-artist painter, Darwin Goh, has been interested in the juxtaposition of contrasting visual qualities resulting from the use of acrylic paint and Chinese ink. Inspired through the introspection of the Chinese culture, his works are reminiscent of the Chinese calligraphy practice paper format. Yet it is filled with imagery that pervades and defies it’s rigid grid-like constraints; that demands a second glance and thought.