By Shih Yun Yeo
Time is a mystery that confounds yet intrigues me. Time in its familiar increments of seconds, minutes, hours, days and years; serves a utilitarian function- a common unit that helps the world operate in a systematic way. People equate time with money and perpetually rush so that no time is wasted. Computers are rendered obsolete in a wink and technology companies are trying to build the fastest chips so that we can increase the processing speed by nanoseconds. So what is the world becoming? Time has not changed, one second in past milieus is still one second now. However, 24 hours day is no longer enough in the 21st century; people complain “ I have no time” all the time.
Time is fleeting and every moment is temporal and unique. I desire to capture the ephemeral quality of things around me using the most raw and direct ways. I seek to capture that which cannot be captured. My art tracks, documents, questions, investigates, challenges and 'freezes' time. My goal as an artist is to do this with the time I have left on this earth.
The series of works 'log:one03'is a personal diary recorded from 2001 to 2003 across cities of San Francisco and Singapore. I explored the documentation of time through mark-making using Chinese ink on sumi paper scrolls, 16mm film and direct on walls. Certain rules govern my works, for example, I will paint a section of the sumi paper scroll everyday in my studio and record the date and time.
I experiment with different mediums and use non-traditional tools. In using roller-blades to capture marks on paper, the start of the work is when the first mark is made and the end is when no more ink can be transfered to the paper. The work thus captures the moment and cannot be repeated.
Born in Singapore 1976, Shih Yun began her artistic career after graduating from San Francisco Art Institute. In 2004, she founded instinc, an international artists' collective which has seen successful participations with artists from UK, US, Europe, Japan & Singapore as well as corporate co-productions with Moleskine, Smirnoff and Guinness. Apart from paintings and drawings, Shih Yun works with diverse mediums including lithography, screen printing and painting directly on 16mm films
Influenced by Abstract Expressionists, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, she is known for her strong energetic use of black ink and a passionate obsession with capturing the elusive moment that exists between chaos and order. Shih Yun has exhibited at numerous leading galleries in Singapore and Europe. Her recent exhibitions include 'Light from the East' in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and 'Eye Openers' in Brussels, Belgium. Collections includes Sheraton Hotel, Guiyang China, Renaissance Beijing Hotel, China, Marina@Keppel Bay and arts patron, Mr Koh Seow Chuan. In 2008, an artwork was created by Shih Yun to commemorate the official opening of The Giving Place (National Volunteer & Philanthropy Center) by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Her recent awards include 26th UOB Painting of the Year Competition Singapore 2007, Certificate of Distinction and Highly commended entry(Abstract category). She recently also completed two artist residencies from Brussels and Slovenia in 2008 and is preparing to go Bergen, Norway in April 2009 for her two months residency.