Leftover Dots From Atoms And Constellations is YUH-SHIOH WONG’s first solo exhibition at Foxy Production. Wong presents paintings that appear to contain trace elements from dreams or memories that form and reform to produce deeply affecting visions and experiences. Her work ruptures the relationship between form and content, and between figure and field, subtly destabilizing our understanding of painting. With shards of acid color, or subtle shifts of hue, her palette gravitates between the beautiful and the discordant. In places, her brush-strokes seem to assault the canvas, while elsewhere washes of color ebb and flow.
In Wong’s paintings, the figure is always in flux. Its boundaries seem caught within a struggle between abstraction and representation. The dynamic force of these relations elicits meanings that seem to gel and then dissolve within the field of the canvas.
On studied reflection, her canvases begin to reveal moments of sentiment, humor, and drama. Hovering between landscapes and dreamscapes, they refuse conclusive definition, but their emotional charge and sensual pull is irresistible. Whether they be recollections of dreams, or unresolved memories of lived experience, they produce a mesmeric, almost cinematic experience of visualized imaginings, feelings, and responses.
Wong has developed a striking language of representations, a repertoire of imagery that includes animal, plant and architectural forms. Her animal-like figures signify life in its most experiential mode. Without a sense of identity, history, or reflexivity, but with a transparency and purity of action, animals may illuminate the experience of the pre-symbolic, or the nascent consciousness of early childhood. There is a sensation of newness, of a time when images are first seen, before words can define meaning.
Wong’s bold palette may evoke the Fauvists, in particular Matisse and his experiments with representation through his use of bold color and dynamic brushstrokes. Her practice may also recall the composition and drama of Richard Tuttle’s work, who, like Wong, seems to collapse the divisions between painting and sculpture, and whose sheer inventiveness confounds expectations of contemporary painting.
Leftover Dots From Atoms And Constellations includes Living In Trees (2005), a painting that may initially appear abstract; however, with time, intriguing elements come to the fore. What may be eyes, ears, animals, fish, and buildings form part of an embedded narrative of conflict and resolution that begins take root. Cropped Forest With Yellow Leaves And Maybe A Cat (2006) also reveals its depth on considered reflection. One’s first impression is of bold colors brushing up against more tempered tones, and powerful brush-strokes evoking drama and action. Again with time, the painting’s details and subtleties appear, drawing the viewer into an emotional narrative that is more suggested than defined, like an incident half-understood and half-remembered from childhood.