A Folding Scene expands Guo-Liang Tan’s ongoing explorations into the idea of paintings as objects existing in space. These painterly objects are made by folding and unfolding fabric before layering paint over its surface. While developing this site-specific work, Tan began to question whether the process of painting is similar to how events unfold scene by scene in a dramatic story. Suspended across the Esplanade Concourse, A Folding Scene comprises six angular forms of varying sizes and shapes which are softened by the use of aeronautical fabric: a material favoured by the artist for its lightness, translucency and ability to glide paint. Awash with glowing colours, including violet, orange, pink and varying shades of blue and green, the coloured surfaces are accentuated by textures and fold lines, which are traces of Tan's process as paint pools into the creases and stains the fabric. Carefully composed across the undulating stepped architecture of the space, these draped painterly surfaces shift between image and object, inviting a visual and bodily perception of the Esplanade Concourse as a performance space and an unravelling scene.
Working primarily with painting, the works of Guo-Liang Tan (b.1980, Singapore) engage with surfaces and spaces to explore ideas of abstraction and gestures of affect. His paintings and painterly installations are informed by how phenomenology and materiality orientate our sense of time, body and memory. In other works, Tan also incorporates text and video alongside collage and printmaking processes to experiment with gaps, overlaps, traces and fragmentation. Tan’s works have been presented at group and solo exhibitions, including more recently in Strange Forms of Life, STPI Gallery, Singapore (2020-21) and Soft Turnings, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2021-22). In 2021, his public installation Arrive, Arrive, was presented at National Gallery Singapore.