"Poppies" is a developing series of work that stems from the encounter between asian and western flower mythologies.
In two earlier pieces, “Defiance” borrows its imagery from the legends of Emperor of China, Wu Ze Tian. Upon ascending the throne on a late winter's day, Emperor Wu commanded the flowers in her garden to bloom, but the proud peony refused to be out of step with the seasons. In sheer fury, she burnt all the peonies in her garden to the ground, and banished the plant to Luoyang, where peonies never grew. Yet, in exile, the peonies flourished splendidly. “Tall poppies” reflects on the term in the Anglosphere nations: "tall poppy syndrome", where persons of genuine merit are persecuted because their talents or achievements elevate them above their peers. The beautiful field of fragile poppies persists and spread; a wildness of ash and poison. "Keep your head down," it seems to say. “Defiance” and “Tall Poppies” attempt to respond to the questions, "what attitude can one have to face the chaotic and difficult winds of change? How does one survive and weather the storms?"
“Defiance” and “Tall Poppies” were exhibited at the Visual Arts Development Association (VADA)’s very first “UNTAPPED EMERGING” group show, at ShopHouse 5, June 2016.
“Poppy Wall” and “Rise and Fall” explore the fragility of a wall of poppy flowers, formed by brush painted charcoal. Blending story, medium, and form, the pieces reflects on the bloom and wither of group lifespans, and the strength of their defence against forces beyond themselves.
They are currently being exhibited at “Flower Flights” from 7th November 2018 to 4th January 2019 at Art Porters Gallery, Singapore.