House of God
Painting as a practice is not simply the cerebral reflection that stows its physique in static conditions, however. For Boo Sze Yang, travels are not uncommon, and his sojourns have yielded temples and architectural splendours that are not found in Singapore or even in the average cosmopolitan city. His Angkor series studies interiors and exteriors; the passing of time and the capsule of time. His church interiors reveal an exploration of sacred and profane: a vivid study of space as concept and space as symbol. Beyond investing gestural invocations with the mastery of depiction and the gravitas of reflection, to paint the interior of a place of worship for instance, is to re-evaluate the space through making, through re-creation. The act of a gesture in paint is to make a mark on the surface that is timeless yet time-based, implicating the moment of its manifestation. Even to remove the mark, is to take away by making another. Complete eradication would be impossible. In contemporary terms, we regard the painter’s practice as one of enforcing permanence, an absolute: seeking to document, almost like photography does, the moment of death. It is a moment that exists in time, and subsequently cannot be repeated. It captures an emotive consonance, a question, an answer and a thought; a creation (to make something new) and destruction (to mark a space means to take away the void from something else).
Bridget Tracy Tan
Director (Institute of Southeast Asian Arts)
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
(extract from The New Cathedral catalogue, 2012)