Conversations with Trees

Edgar Degas " Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing"

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself." William Blake, 1799

A collection of tree drawings at different intervals over the two months( 01-11-2010 to 31-12-2010) , Conversation with trees is a collaboration between artist Yeo Shih Yun and trees across Singapore. In this exhibition, there is a multi-media presentation of drawings, photographs, silk-screen paintings and video installation.

In this latest series of works, Shih Yun tests the influence of external physical and metaphysical forces- wind and chance on the glorious mark-marking process. At random intervals, she attaches Chinese brushes dipped in Chinese ink to the tips of branches of trees in various settings across Singapore and allows the chance movement of the wind to create the marks. Each brush stroke created by the tree and wind is spontaneous, without the constraints of a limited visual vocabulary, creating drawings of absolute freedom and honesty. The resulting 'tree drawings' are then selected and transferred onto silk-screens. The silk-screens are then used by Shih Yun to create abstract paintings on linen of various sizes.

This series of works continue to explore the mystic aspects of the drawing process (accidental and impermanent manifestations) in Shih Yun's works. Through inventive, often playful techniques since 1999, she have been using non-traditional tools like household brooms and mops, rollar-blades, remote control cars as well as toy robots with the traditional medium, Chinese ink in her works.

Chinese ink was invented by the Chinese philosopher, Tien-Lcheu in 2697 BC and became commonly used in 1200 BC. In China, ink is the origin of calligraphy and painting. The clash of old (Chinese ink) and new (the non-traditional tools and ideas) intrigues Shih Yun immensely. Her main intention of using these non-traditional tools is to surrender authorial control, to release drawing from its enslavement to the artist's hand.

Each work in Conversation with trees celebrates nature, the medium, ink itself and its playfulness. Every work invites contemplation of the process of their making and whatever the viewer imprints on to them.

Copyright © 2008 Shih Yun Yeo. All Rights Reserved