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See lacquer in a new light

Vietnamese-American Phi Phi Oanh turns traditional art form into ethereal projections

Published on May 13, 2014 6:42 PM

Art lovers who slunk through the lustrous lacquer passageway which VietnameseAmerican artist Phi Phi Oanh showed here a few months ago will likely remember their intimate encounter with a traditional art form writ large.

Her work, Specula (2009), a glowing arched structure, turned two-dimensional lacquer painting into an experiential space. It occupied the entire chapel of the Singapore Art Museum during the Singapore Biennale, which ran from last October to February.

For her encore, the United States-born artist based in Vietnam has returned with her first solo show here and a new body of work which goes from large to all-embracing.

The exhibition at Fost Gallery in Gillman Barracks is a cavernous light installation. Eighty-one lacquer images ranging from organic shapes to silhouettes of major monuments in the world are painted on glass slides, shining through nine slide projectors onto walls and translucent silk screens. The result: a phantasmal space.

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Where: Fost Gallery, 1 Lock Road, 01-02, Gillman Barracks

When: Till June 29, 11am to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday), open by appointment on Monday

Admission: Free