Thursday, February 28, 2013

Clarke Quay Tiles: In Homage to Chua Ek Kay

by Mary Pal

What could be more ordinary than a wall in a subway station?  Unless you happen to be in Singapore, and at the Clarke Quay station.  There you will find a mural depicting the Singapore River created with bronze panels that have been aged with chemicals, made by Singaporean artist Chua Ek Kay.  Thousands of people walk blithely past it every day but, being an enthralled tourist, I snapped a shot as it was just too dazzling to ignore.

I did attempt two other pieces for this challenge which did not capture my imagination, so I was dissatisfied and flipped through photos from my last trip again – lots of extraordinary things, but none that could be considered “ordinary.” And then I saw the glorious wall again and it was perfect.  I quickly decided I could fit six “tiles” in the required finished size. The individual tiles are painted with Setacolor transparent paints and metallic paints, with foil accents, then quilted with variegated thread.  Only when I began painting did I realize the complexity of what the artist created with metal – there are reflections in the water, shimmering light, and even the flash of swimming fish.  I would love to make another version in a much, MUCH larger size.  But who has time?  There's another challenge under way!

1 comment:

  1. The original is stunning and so is yours Mary. Wish we had more interesting subway [train tunnel] art in Brisbane- just advertising.