Saturday, April 28, 2012

Postcard - Reframing Singapore River (Watercolour)

Watercolour, Singapore, artist, Choo Meng Foo, re-framing,Singapore River

Here is another set created with the watercolor painting of old Singapore River with the wooden boats. They form an astonishing view of the Singapore River and was once the main image featured  on the Singapore postcard. Now the iconic image is the MBS or the Art centre at the bay front. The cropping and re-framing creates an interesting relook at the details, 'modernizing' the old for the new consumption. The young at heart is excited by the brilliant dashes of saturated colours  and the pixellated square dots that coat the enlargement.

Watercolour, Singapore, artist, Choo Meng Foo, re-framing,Singapore River

Watercolour, Singapore, artist, Choo Meng Foo, re-framing,Singapore River

The Postcard - old Shanghai

A whole series of re-framing and digitally snapping the watercolor painting of old Shanghai.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Postcard - Reframing the watercolor painting into memorabilia

Permanence and the Importance of a great custodian

Turning watercolor painting of Singapore River into memorabilia

I had made many of the paintings into photo postcard for collection. As the exhibition set out to experiment with some ways to produce memorabilia from paintings. Here is my interpretation.

As the exhibition set out to experiment with some ways to produce memorabilia from paintings.  The paintings were re-shot and treated to digital treatment, leaving trails of digital imprints, signaling a copy becoming the original and its inability to duplicate the original. In so doing fail to accomplish the trial of permanence of the analogue medium, which it is destined to deteriorate. Only the derivative original could retain, in its entirety the original, however, which is also prone to perish if the digital storage is not readable, as such, each technology switch means the need to convert and transfer from one form to another. Effort and resources are the determinants of its permanence. And eventually the works need a custodian, otherwise, it is bound to be trashed and forgotten.

AThe custodian has the sole responsibility to preserve and promote the works, giving importance and life to the work. I shall elect one such custodian. In fact, I already did. Now it is to inculcate such responsibility and skill in the custodian.

ll photo postcards are derivative works from the watercolor paintings.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Portraits of History

Exhibition from 28th – 29th April 2012
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 8pm
At the Viridian Arthouse • The Foothills Fort Canning Park opposite Liang Court, entrance via River Valley Road (Formerly the old swimming pool complex)

Reconstructing images through old photographs using watercolor medium and creating vignettes with digital photography, turning them into snippets for digital posters, as memorabilia for keeping and enjoyment.

Merging traditional watercolor paintings and the digital medium, Meng Foo explores history through photographs he had captured over 30 years, re-living the nuances of past experience, with each stroke he recalls history and shares those experiences by reframing them through digital photography.
Through watercolor, as a traditional mean, the photographs are reinterpreted with his particular expression, emphasis, coloration and biases, which perhaps becomes individualized, and one wonders if this process could reinforce or dilute the encapsulation of history within watercolor as a documentary medium. Would the photograph or the watercolor painting attract more attention, or perhaps digital photography could position history as having more currency and gain popularity among the younger generation?
In fact, digital photography is used to its advantage of flexibility, it enlarges, frames, repeats and re-colors. It enlarges the nuances so much that, one begins to see pixels and colors, the image dissolves and becomes secondary, unless one steps back to see from a far. This signifies the dilution of history through the process of consumerism focusing on the particular which trivializes, simplifies, distorts, excites and be consumed.

Download pdf Portraits of History Poster

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Punggol Promenade - photographic documentation

I went to shoot the sunrise, sunset and park users for the past 2 weeks. Last Sunday was my sixth visit to shoot. Well, last week the weather was not so kind. There were too much cloud and too little sunlight. The shadow was so weak. The week before comparatively was much better, but I thought the rising sun was covered by the cloud too. Anyway, here are a few shots which I think are the selected few which I prefer. I have to spend more time on the post processing. A glimpse would satisfy one's curiosity. In the past, creating a great shot had a lot to do with darkroom printing  as much as the shooting and it never changes much, I now spend more time post processing and tuning the photos. Photography needs discipline and creativity too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hong Kong Street, Singapore, in the 80's

This is a series of snap shots on the paintings. The way the stroke and the colours interact is very intriguing. I thought perhaps The process is first selecting photographs from a series of old shots I had taken many years ago and reconstruct them in watercolours. Then scan or digitally photograph them, bring them into Photoshop and digitally manipulate them. The final output can be done on photographic print or on canvas. Here is the series of snap shots I had taken from the watercolour I had done. This process investigate the translation and interpretation of old photo, converting them into another form, fragmenting them, reframing them, adding digital manipulation to pixelate them, creating myriad of colours, allowing the audience to see the colours and enjoy its form and texture. The fragments are to be printed in large pieces. The audience step back to see the fragment. Perhaps they can them piece together the fragments in their mind. In the process, perhaps helps them to recollect past memories and re-live those memories, although they are tainted by the length of time and personal selective memory.

[gallery link="file" order="DESC"]

Friday, April 13, 2012

Old Shanghai

This continues to explore, through the medium of photographic print which was shot years ago, translating them into watercolour, forming a pictorial landscape, re-photograph them, framing and focusing on different areas, abstracting and reducing images into colours and pixel form. When we are seeing it close, we see an ocean of colours, when we stand back, we see the framing and through the mind perhaps we see the past and our prejudices.