2012. Graphite on paper, frame: 76 x 106cm
Horses appear often in art - since the prehistoric times, on the cave walls of Chauvet, France, to our contemporary age, and across civilisations. If art were seen as an expression of its time, place and culture, then the horse image not only reveals its subject but also the artist’s gaze into the social condition in which it is produced, just like Song Dynasty Gong Kai’s Emaciated Horse.
However, unlike Gong Kai, Widjaja did not set out to compose the equine iconography as a social commentary. Instead, using a technique developed from Drawing on myth, the artist's hand moved to follow the lead of the drawing.
The strokes that emerged were straight, linear, and repetitive. The drawing act pulled Widjaja's body into a front-back motion, the strokes building into a horse; it was a physical and urban event. When finished, how much does HORS21E reveal Widjaja's (unconscious) gaze of the contemporary condition in 21st century Singapore, an Asian global city: its time, place and culture?
2012 31st UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Highly Commended prize in the 31st UOB Painting of the Year Competition