Opening Night - Mysterious Skin by Simon Ng

About A Boy (2016)
Oil on Canvas
What can be more intimate than the exposure of one's skin? To be peeled back and laid bare to the public in all its raw nature. So, it was on a regular Thursday night that I walked into Chan Hampe Galleries at The Raffles Hotel Arcade. The night might have been young but you wouldn't have been wiser with a full house - the noisy clink of wine glasses, a well-heeled crowd chatter with varying levels of animation as a photographer weaved his way between them candidly snapping photos.

I'm certainly glad I decided to make my way here little earlier to attend MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Almost immediately, I was drawn to Simon Ng's use of vibrant colors and thick, forceful application technique; the bold strokes beckoning to me to feel the coarse surface of the layers of bright and cheerful textures.

It seems deliberate that the shape of the canvases used are square and depicted portraits that bared resemblances to the digital landscape of how we as users of social networks grew accustomed to the ever self-preserving selfie or the Instagram culture.

That aside, Mysterious Skin draws inspiration from both the Fauvism and the Expressionist movement. Note the use of striking colors on the subject and the background of an almost solid shade. The singularity of the shade allows us to focus upon the artist's fascination of what lies beneath the skin, be it the identities of these male silhouettes or the lineaments of the face.

A solid collection overall and I can't wait to check out his next venture as he takes part in a collaborative show this July.

Catch the exhibition at the Chan Hampe Galleries until 5 June 2016.


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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