"A Bold Harmony” resonates through Armenia, Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam, as a diverse group of Asian artists come together to express their unique voices on the canvas. Among them are renowned painters like Rafael Megall, Sophie-Yen Bretez, Rai Julian, Uji Handoko Eko Saputro, known as Hahan, Tiffany Lafuente, and Chang Tengyuan.
This striking exhibition, curated by Michela Sena for Tang Gallery in October, brings forth a collection of figurative paintings that transcend geographical and temporal boundaries. Each artist's work, originating from different corners of Asia and influenced by various cultural and historical backgrounds, merges into a beautiful symphony of vibrant and bold artistic expressions. Their canvases, though diverse in style and content, unite in a perfect choir of colorful voices that sing together, creating a harmonious blend of artistry that captivates and inspires.
These artists, hailing from regions so diverse, bring with them a tapestry of cultural experiences and artistic influences. It is a testimony to the universality of art that transcends borders and connects people from all walks of life.
As you wander through the gallery, you'll encounter a symphony of emotions and ideas painted onto canvas. Rafael Megall’s work may transport you to his visionary and intimate world, while Sophie-Yen Bretez's brushstrokes reveal the stories of her dream-like surrealist figuration and depiction of her emotional states. Rai Julian's pieces resonate with the spirit of heartening tales and profound artistic poetry, and Uji Handoko Eko Saputro, known as Hahan, generates a sense of dynamism and whimsy in an upside-down world filled with humorous irony. Tiffany Lafuente's work goes beyond in critiquing global world, unearths further layers, and exposes our voyeuristic fascination triggered by depictions of individuals. And Chang Teng Yuan's creations with fictional means, through paintings as the carriers of his thoughts, re-constructs and creates new visual images with the fusion of the east and west.
The diverse styles and themes on display, from realistic portraiture to interpretations of nature and culture, create a vivid and captivating ensemble that captures the essence of Asia's artistic prowess. The harmony between these colorful voices mirrors the complex and beautiful mosaic of Asian culture and history, transcending language and time. As you immerse yourself in this exhibition, you'll find not only a source of inspiration but also a reminder of the power of art to connect us all in a harmonious blend of creativity and cultural understanding.
Hahan（Uji Handoko Eko Saputro）
Us Vs 2020 Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas With Frame 140 x 140 cm 2020
Hahan（Uji Handoko Eko Saputro）
Attn Call for all mediocre artists Acrylic, Spray Paint On Canvas Mounted On Board With Frame 134 x 100 cm 2020
Hahan（Uji Handoko Eko Saputro）
Dreaming Over the Year (from Hanging on the Wall Series) Acrylic on canvas mounted on plywood 63 x 83 x 8 cm 2021-2022
Scavenger Oil on canvas 160 x 120 cm 2023
Heretical Idols in Oriental Bloom Oil on canvas 150 x 200 cm 2023
The Shelves of Kaspar Utz Oil on canvas 260 x 510 cm 2023
Porcelain Idols, Puppeteer Oil on canvas 210 x 157 cm 2023
BOYBAND-Wait for nine lifetime Acrylic on canvas 190 x 220 cm 2023
BOYBAND-Piercing eye Acrylic on canvas 190 x 220 cm 2023
MIX-The Begining of New Chapter Acrylic on canvas 130 x 163 cm 2023
(WIP) Long summer night in the making, Fading bitter cold winter night, Through which the wind passes singing, But still you are, still you fight -And you do not run away. Oil painting on linen canvas 120 x 150 cm 2023
Should I have seen tenderness Instead of the blows And bruises on her face. Another way to love To learn how to love myself - Being in the grip of his hands. Oil painting on linen canvas 162 x 130 cm 2022
Swallows of goodbye, Waved by the sad wind of summer, You were not born here. You were taken from the East, And put in the middle of the ocean. - You were meant to be reborn. Oil painting on linen canvas 162 x 130 cm 2023
saw you again after eight years. But deep in your eyes I could no longer see myself. What could I've done against illness And memories fading away? - Nothing but to accept. Oil painting on linen canvas 150 x 150 cm 2023
And maybe one day, When the blue of the night, Will drop on the world, I will no longer be like the rain, Nor the word: Melancholy.. Oil painting on linen canvas 130 x 97 cm 2023
Oh God Help Me Acrylic on canvas 100 x 100 cm 2023
Timeless Love Acrylic oil stick on canvas 100 x 120 cm 2023
Acrylic oilstick on canvas Live as if you we’re to die tomorrow 150 x 150 cm 2023
Beauty & Brave Acrylic on canvas 150 x 150 cm 2023
Adam and Eve Oil on canvas 152.5 cm x 122.2 cm 2023
Yes, Mother. I Will Oil on canvas 61.1 cm x 76.2 cm 2023
Dennis the Menace Oil on canvas 153.1 cm x 122.2 cm 2023
b. 1983, Taiwan, China
CHANG, Tengyuan, an artist, was born in Kaohsiung. Now, he is residing in Taipei, where he carries out his artistic creations. Since 2012, Chang has created a doomsday saga, with doomsday archeology as the concept. With fictional means, he uses paintings, animation spatial installations, and mixed media as the carriers of his thoughts. In his works, Chang fuses eastern and western elements of painting. Transforming them into signs, he reconstructed and created new visual images with the fusion of the east and west. His works have been presented in solo exhibitions or joint exhibitions in London, Cologne, New York, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and Taipei. He established the Compound Eye Art Studio where Chang provides help and technical backup in artistic creations as well as endeavors in crossover collaboration. Working with other people, he expects to create a larger force in artistic creation.
b. 1994, Bandung, Indonesia
Rai Julian is a contemporary artist based in Canggu, Indonesia, known for his uplifting narratives and profound visual poetry. Inspiration from a diverse range of artists.
Born in Bandung in 1994, Rai Julian left culinary school to devote himself to his lifelong dream of making contemporary art. After brief stints in the university studying communication and behind drum kits in the underground music scene, he picked up his first brush during the pandemic and poured his heart and soul into his paintings.
Rai's art is heavily influenced by his multicultural friends and surroundings – people with diverse backgrounds and unique stories. Through his art, Rai shares not only his personal experiences but also those of the people around him, making every piece truly special and reflective of his community.
Rai’s art could be described as a medley of uplifting narratives and profound visual poetry, often emulating the joy of everyday things. Rai now lives and works in Canggu with his dog, holding a canvas in one hand and an arak bottle in another.
Rafael Megall was born on January 2, 1983, in Yerevan, Armenia. He started to paint when he was nine years old. From 1998 to 2004 he studied at the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2008 he has been a member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Armenia. He has lived and worked in Armenia and the United States since 2010. In 2012 he received the Gold Medal from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia for his services and achievement. In 2013 the President of Armenia gave him the honorary title Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia. In 2013 at the Florence Biennale IX edition, he received the Lorenzo il Magnifico Award in the painting category. In 2014 he was given the Arshile Gorky Honorable Medal of the Republic of Armenia.
Sophie-Yen Bretez is a self-taught artist currently living and working in Paris. Originally from Vietnam, Bretez moved to France when she was 4 years old, providing her with a rich fusion of cultural heritage often reflected in her multifaceted artistic practice. After completing a master’s Grand École at Neoma Business School in Rouen, France in 2018. Bretez held multiple management positions in the creative industries throughout Paris. In 2021, Bretez decided to pursue her passion for art and began creating full time.
Rooting her artistic practice in self-awareness Sophie-Yen Bretez is inspired by the freedom found in observing her own experiences and simultaneously translating them into an enigmatic visual language. Striving to present an infinite dialogue between herself, the paintings and the viewer, Bretez confronts themes of the human condition and the complexity of the emotions while exploring the rich plurality of her identity as an adopted French Asian woman.
Building upon her signature style of dream-like surrealist figuration, Bretez’s works explore issues such as trauma, resilience, identity, intimacy, sexuality and empowerment. Focusing on discovering ways in which to mirror the human condition in a state of recovery, Bretez often includes an illuminated horizon line stating, “I paint horizons for those who have suffered.” By portraying her characters in semi-open spaces with a sunset or sunrise in the background, Bretez blurs the boundaries of the confined ‘safe’ space one builds for themselves in moments of weakness.
Interested in challenging the traditional male gaze Bretez utilises reverse voyeurism to challenge our societal relationship with the naked female body. Unfaltering and strong, the women in Bretez’s paintings look directly out at the spectator, serving to simultaneously create distance and prove they are not at the viewer's disposal rather they assert control of their own bodies.
A natural storyteller Bretez begins each painting with a poem linked to memory. Titling her works after these spontaneous and instinctual poems Bretez incorporates an additional layer of dialogue between the work, the viewer, and herself.Testifying to the intimate and the universal through substantive narratives, Bretez seeks to perpetuate a wider reflection of political, societal, and existential themes.
Messages of hope and perseverance permeate.
Tiffany Lafuente is a Filipino contemporary artist known for her whimsically provocative depictions of reality and convention. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree major in Painting. She has already set herself as a trailblazer in the art world, having presented in over ten solo shows in just five years of her professional career. Lafuente’s painting use humor as a vehicle of storytelling to expose people’s pretentions, mischiefs, and vulnerabilities.
Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (aka Hahan)
b. 1983, Indonesia
Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (aka Hahan) creates works characterized by an ongoing tussle between ‘high art’ and ‘low art’, blurring realism with decoration. His works illustrate a point of contact that exists between urbanization and agrarianism or between the local and the global that both critique and admit complicity with the structures and mechanisms of the commercial artworld. Indeed, themes of rejection and success are present throughout Hahan’s practice, which spans painting, sculpture, drawing and print-making. These works offer an insight into the psyche of a post-boom South-East Asian artist navigating the complexities and challenges of an expanding global art world.
In recent years, he has attempted to display an art with the concept that emphasizes on the interaction with the visitors and relate it with the development of art in global as well as its society. Based on his grounded interest in the realms of value, time and speculations, Hahan lays his nonpareil craft by showing a metaphorical atmosphere yet full of satirical humor. He would then elucidate the mapping of production / consumption matter of cutting-edge art market and its gleaming, and also the ironies which are then packed with alluring spirit of artistic exploration.
He was also one of the founders of Ace House Collective, a young artists’ collective and initiative space based in Yogyakarta . Ace House Collective is an artists' collective that works with communities and their networks in running a space as a youth art and culture laboratory. Established in 2011 on self-funding, this community strives to support and develop the potential and the contribution to the latest art practices by providing a platform for productions, dialogues, and collaborations through assembly forums and exchanges.
He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad, such on Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2019, NGV TRIENNIAL 1st 2017 Melbourne and APT 7th 2012 Brisbane. His art works have been being collected by several art museums like Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Brisbane, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Melbourne, National Gallery of Australia (NGA) Canberra, Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) Sydney, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) Darwin.