Yuet Yean Teo
Yuet Yean Teo’s ‘Swing’ series is rich with meaning and symbolism. The act of swinging is often seen as one of play, and not that of serious travel. You may move back and forth in the luminal area between falling and flying, but you are also rooted to a fixed spot.
However, she harnesses this device to express how she feels about her own relationship between traditional and modernity. Her woodblock colouration and style reminiscent at times of the masters like Hokusai while her injections of painterly gestures, drips and splashes pull us back into contemporary ‘freehand style’ or ‘literati painting’, with western oil painting techniques.
In the 21st century many of us similarly feel that we are travelling on a swing, rooted by their own sense of self but pulled back and forth from tradition to modernity; from work to pleasure and countless other examples. Finding the midpoint is often an idealistic balance but a swing back and forth over that middle threshold according to the moment demands.
The swinging figures in her pieces are very active, they contort and flex their body to include the pendulum movement. They are all very involved in keeping that momentum going.