Five years ago, beheld artisan Sean Lean explored the assemblage of his Chinese ancestry and “Western” accomplishments in a colourful and astute exhibition blue-blooded Motherland. That antecedent alternation was a agog abstraction of appearance and culture.
‘Tiffany Dejected Aperture (Heroine Of The Yangs, Mu Guiying)’ (automotive acrylic on board aperture with animate frame, 2019). Photo: Wei Ling GalleryFor that abandoned appearance in Kuala Lumpur, this full-time artisan produced 18 artworks, anniversary depicting a recognisable Chinese appearance (from a dragon to the Goddess of Mercy).
Lean, who is based in Klang, Selangor, again advisedly removed elements which fabricated these iconic images acceptable and gave them a Western twist.
The 39-year-old beheld and agenda arts alum from Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology is now aback with a aftereffect exhibition alleged M2.
The exhibition is on at the anew adapted Wei-Ling Arcade in Brickfields, KL till Feb 29.
Lean is a approved at this gallery. His aftermost abandoned exhibition alleged 3 (2018) was at Wei-Ling Contemporary. In fact, the artisan had his admission abandoned in 2013 for his monochromatic Flesh: Blacks & Whites exhibition at the aforementioned gallery.
This time, Lean produced 14 artworks, diving added into his “obsession” with his own adverse cultural accomplished (growing up with a primarily Western angle while actual abundant angry to his Chinese roots).
“This was article I capital to revisit. I anticipation it was amateurish business, that I almost aching the credible aftermost time around, ” says Lean in a contempo interview, abacus that these capacity accept been a affection back 2007.
“Sean has connected to abound and advance back he aboriginal started, demography his aesthetic adventure to new levels through a amusing and aweless angle on his appearance and cultural background, analytic area he sits as a Malaysian in the ambience of his acceptable Chinese upbringing, ” says Lim Wei Ling, arcade architect and director.
For M2, Lean absitively to about-face things about and agreement with the material.
Unlike the apply and canvas pieces in Motherland, Lean autonomous instead to use adamantine animate as his canvas, stencils and automotive car paint.
“I like astriction in my work. Things that don’t absolutely fit altogether or hardly out of place. I don’t absolutely like things that are actual settled, ” explains Lean.
This new alternation took Lean about two years to complete.
“In this show, I capital to do article that’s fun for myself and see what comes out of it.
“My antecedent anatomy of assignment were absolutely austere and I capital to booty a breach from that.”
However, the artisan was afraid with the account he acquainted appear the antecedent materials.
“I accepted myself to be beneath absorbed and be able to adapt the images to a point area it break added from tradition.
Lean’s ‘Dragon (Samples)’ (automotive acrylic on steel, 2019). Photo: Wei Ling Gallery
“But there was a faculty of admiration to the antecedent abstracts that I begin surprising. I didn’t absolutely anticipate that I would be agitated by it but I was, ” he reveals.
Lean leaned on Chinese bedtime belief and a lifetime of disparate media that he consumed, from Romance Of The Three Kingdoms video adventurous and TVB dramas to the Lord Of The Rings adventure and American sitcoms.
And while these references were added specific in Motherland (remember the three Sanxing abstracts depicting a Roman goddesses?), M2 sees a abundant subtler approach, with Lean allotment to emphasise access added with colour, address and playfulness.
“Visually, the Western elements are not as apparent. At the core, the access is about play, and not so abundant about accepting a final angel afore I alpha authoritative the works. In that case, it’s beneath apish and added organic.”
The works begin throughout M2 border with colourful action and cultural richness.
In his Crane series, Lean takes the angel of a crane, a archetypal East Asian icon, and repeats them three times on steel. Anniversary has a audible change of colours.
Lean’s ‘Crane Sunrise (Distressed Pastel)’ (automotive acrylic on steel, 2019). Photo: Wei Ling Gallery
The aboriginal is in a added acceptable palette (red, dejected and white), the third in article added adventurous (bright delicate pink) while the second, average allotment sees the aggregate of both with the bearing of a new colour arrangement area they meet.
The apologue is accessible to chase here, cartoon a ablaze band amid that which is acceptable to that which is advisedly different.
Another arresting assignment is his allotment Tiffany Dejected Aperture (Heroine Of The Yangs, Mu Guiying). The 2m alpine artwork appearance the angel of a Chinese celestial alleged Mu Guiying in ablaze colours, corrective on a recycled door.
Interestingly, Mu Guiying is one of the guardians who would about be placed on doors for protection.
But Lean subverts the archetypal angel of the celestial by depicting her as an opera singer.
Lean makes it ablaze that he wants to accompany these capacity and becloud added curve back it comes to appearance and culture.
“I’m absolutely activity to abide in this path, ” he concludes.
M2 is on at Wei-Ling Gallery, 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur till Feb 29. Open: Tuesday-Friday (10am-6pm) and Saturday (10am-5pm). Closed on Sundays, Mondays and accessible holidays. Added details: weiling-gallery.com.
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