Alive without breath – Keng Lye

K+ gallery - keng lye / tortoises

It’s almost alive. Hyper-realistic art by Singaporean artist Keng Lye are exhibited for the first time at the new K+ curatorial space. See the world suspended in time in Keng Lye’s exquisite sculpture-painting creations.

K+ gallery space

Alive without Breath – Keng Lye’s first solo exhibition – is exhibited at K+, Kinetic Singapore’s new curatorial space at the third level of Scotts Square. It’s a pop-up space that will be around until 31 August 2015 – so that’s another reason to check out Scotts Square (apart from Hermès and Wild Honey there).

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / statement

Painted layer by layer on clear resin, the technique was pioneered by Riusuke Fukahori, a Japanese artist known for the three-dimensional goldfish paintings in Japanese sake cups and pails.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Kopi-O-ctopi

Keng Lye’s work push the medium further – literally – by breaking free of the surface.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / What's It Like To Be An Octopus

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Rainbow in a bag

Either way, I’m sure we’ve all seen works by both artists on the internet. But seeing them up close is an experience.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Octopus, Let's do the twist

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Goldfish / Old school

The subjects of the art – goldfish, terrapins and octopuses – and its containers are ordinary. However, the very nature of the medium hides tensions, among a wealth of patience and skill in the creation, as one contemplates in the visual illusions. The pedestrian sights are suspended in time. Are they commonplace? Yes, in certain, lost moments. When was the last time you saw that bowl? Or when keeping terrapins was a thing?

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / What It Is Like To Be An Octopus

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Natural Habitat

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Can, Frog / Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Chair / Takeaway Fish

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Takeaway Fish, closeup

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Go With the Flow

If you enjoy watching fish swim, then at least two pieces here will be arresting. The one with the twig, especially, because the illusion of depth is simply amazing.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Watching Fish Swim

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Blue Beauty

Perhaps the most stunning piece is the Blue Beauty, which is a painting of a betta (fighting fish) in a clear container. Viewable at any angle.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / The gallery

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Acrylic on Resin 1

The exhibition also reveals how certain works were made, such as the terrapin shells, which were cut from what appears to be the plastic wrapping of Kinder Joy.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Tortoises / One Is A Lonely Number

While the works are perennial, the exhibition is not one that goes on forever. These exquisite pieces, which look far more alive in person, will only be displayed at K+ from now till 14 February. Don’t miss it.

K+ gallery - keng lye: Alive without breath / Rainbow in a Bag, drama

Alive without breath – Keng Lye

Now showing at the K+ curatorial space at Scotts Square (Level 3) – until 15 February 2015.
12:00PM – 8:00PM daily

For more information, refer to the K+ website. Pieces are also available for sale at the online store.

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