Jimmy Ong

Elo Progo

January 10, 2013 — February 23, 2013


ENLARGE

Sangam, 2012

two-channel video

8:27 min

ENLARGE

Kungkum, 2012

single-channel video

4:30 min

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 9, 2012

gouache on paper

26 x 50 in. (66 x 127 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 1, 2012

gouache and chacoal on paper

27 x 49 in. (68 x 124.5 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 2, 2012

gouache and charcoal on paper

36 x 50 in. (91 x 27 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 3, 2012

gouache and charcoal on paper

45 x 25 ½ in. (114 x 65 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 4, 2012

gouache on paper

22 ½ x 29 ½ in. (57 x 75 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 5, 2012

gouache on paper

50 x 24 in. (127 x 61 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 6, 2012

gouache on paper

50 x 27 in. (127 x 68 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 7, 2012

gouache on paper

25 x 50 in. (63.5 x 127 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 8, 2012

gouache on paper

50 x 26 in. (127 x 66 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 10, 2012

gouache on paper

50 ½ x 24 ½ in. (128 x 62 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 11, 2012

gouache on paper

50 ½ x 25 ½ in. (128 x 65 cm)

ENLARGE

Gerry Gender 12, 2012

gouache on paper

50 ½ x 26 in. (128 x 68 cm)

ENLARGE

E & P, 2012

gouache on paper

22 ½ x 29 ½ in. (57 x 75 cm)

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Elo Progo" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, January 10 - February 23, 2016

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Elo Progo" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, January 10 - February 23, 2016

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Elo Progo" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, January 10 - February 23, 2016

 

 

Works

INSTALLATION VIEWS

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

One of Singapore’s preeminent contemporary artists, Jimmy Ong has been noted for his large-scale, figurative charcoal works on paper since his first solo exhibitions in the 1980s. His early, pioneering work focused on sexual identity and gender roles, often within the context of the traditional Chinese family. Now a US resident, Ong has, over the past twenty-five years, explored the ways in which multiple identities and perspectives – whether sexual, ethnic, national, or even generational – can coexist within the individual. His deeply personal works have taken inspiration from a stark analysis of his own experience, and indeed of his own physical form, an ongoing process of what he calls “creative self therapy.” In recent years, he has investigated issues relating to marital roles, informed in part by his experience as a spouse in a gay marriage. His inquiry has gradually broadened from the personal to the plural and has incorporated gender archetypes as conveyed through mythology and spiritual traditions. His seminal exhibition, Sitayana, exhibited at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in 2010 and subsequently acquired by the National Art Gallery of Singapore, marked the first major public exhibition of this new focus, with its feminist re-imagining of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, a work which continues to play a vibrant role throughout Southeast Asia, acting as an endless source of inspiration for the region’s folk and popular cultures. Ong used the Ramayana as a point of departure in creating new narratives that were informed by his sensitivity to the way gender roles play out in contemporary relationships. Also in 2010 Ong presented a solo exhibition of new works, entitled SGD, at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute following his residency there. In 2011, he participated in a two-person exhibition, Transfiguring, at the Private Museum in Singapore as well as another group show.

In 2012, Ong’s investigation of the contemporary resonance of ancient myths led him to a series of projects in Yogyakarta, one of the major artistic centers in Java, Indonesia, where he began documentary research into gender roles as reflected in folklore as well as contemporary society, the latter specifically relating to the local transgender community. His current exhibition, Elo Progo, takes its name and inspiration from the confluence of the Elo and Progo rivers – one said to be male, the other female – located in the Kedu Plain near Borobudur, one of Java’s sacred places. Ong was captivated by this local myth as well as the traditional Javanese practice of meditation in water. The Elo Progo exhibition centers on Ong’s first public showing of video works, which were inspired by the rituals of water meditation and informed by themes of gender fluidity and mythic transformation. The exhibition also includes a new body of works on paper, done in richly colored gouache, that appropriate a type of Chinese splash ink brushwork in mirrored patterns created by the repetitive folding of the paper along an axis. Through a circular and meditative process of drawing, transferring, and redrawing, which echoes the cyclical, ritualistic time of the videos, Ong has created a vivid series of works that features a recurring, androgynous figure. In various degrees of abstraction, the figure is shown twice in each work, in a mirroring of form that reflects Ong’s ongoing interest in ideas relating to duality, the gender binarism, and the fluidity and transformation of identity.

EXHIBITION REVIEWS

Blouin Art Info, Jimmy Ong Tackles Video for Second Solo Show in NY

January, 2013


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GENERAL PRESS

National University of Singapore Museum, Recent Gifts: Works and Documents of Lim Mu Hue and Jimmy Ong

2014


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Men’s Folio Singapore, A Room of One’s Own

February, 2014


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C-Arts, The Private Museum

July, 2011


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Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Jimmy Ong

2010


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Asian Art Newspaper, Politics and History in Recent Southeast Asian Contemporary Art

November, 2010


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Newsweek, Singapore: Portraits of the Prime Minister

October, 2010


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Time Out Singapore, Jimmy Ong

September, 2010


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National University of Singapore Museum: Highlights of the Collection, Jimmy Ong, Venus Rising with the Moon

2009


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VCM, Venus Rising with the Moon

2009


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The Invisible Thread: Buddhist Spirit in Contemporary Art

2004


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12 ASEAN Artists, Jimmy Ong: Talking Charcoal

July, 2000


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Asian Art Newspaper, Bodhisattva Pudica: The Nudes of Jimmy Ong

January, 2000


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Art Scene, Jimmy Ong

1999


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Asian Art News, An Intimate World

September, 1997


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The Business Times (Singapore), An artist who lets his pieces do the talking

July, 1997


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Channels & Confluences: A History of Singapore Art

1996


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The Straits Times, The play of life

August, 1990


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