24 July 2012
The artist has shown previously in South-East Asia (in 2011, the artist was included in a group exhibition after completing his second residency in Chiang Mai, Thailand) and has garnered a strong-Asian collector base both in the UK and abroad. His practice consists of large-scale, figurative paintings that typically re-consider the conventions and historicity of figurative painting to explore a continued pursuit toward abstraction.
In Order to Rebuild, refers only partly to the artist’s personal experience as a victim of hate-crime, but more markedly, it refers to broader concepts surrounding destruction, reconstruction, and ideas related to how identity is formed through tragedy. Portraits in the exhibition include friends of the artist who have had a direct confrontation with personal loss; strangers who have been victims of violent-crimes; but also individuals who have been the victimizers (the exhibition includes dual portraits of homosexual serial-killer Jeffrey Dahmer) or who straddle the divide between aggressor and victim (a diptych depicts two brothers, victims of sexual and physical assault, who murdered their father). However the handling of such questionable material is always handled in a manner in that questions the artists and the viewer’s empathy with the subject; inspired by a quote by Lucien Freud that states ‘the painter's obsession with his subject is all that he needs to drive him to work’, the artist’s objective was to penetrate ideas surrounding loss and the ability to forgive and rebuild.