Blossom A Solo Exhibition by Trixie Tan Lu Man



“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. […] I want to give that world to someone else.” Georgia O’Keeffe

From ‘I love you’ to ‘I am sorry’ human uses flowers as a medium to communicate an entire range of emotional expressions. In addition, flowers are also being used as a source of food, to be admired, and also as objects of ritual, religion, medicine and so on. For centuries artists have also been drawn to flowers for their evocative qualities for expressions. 

Rooted in ancient art and still prevalent today, depictions of botanical elements particularly flowers can be found in many of the most significant art pieces in Western arts. From Sandra Botticelli’s “Spring (1477-82)”, Edgar Degas’s “A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers (1865)”, Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflower (1888),”Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies (1914-26)”, Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque à la culotte rouge (1924-25)”, Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed’s White Flower No. 1 (1932),” to Robert Mapplethorpe’s “X” portfolio, flowers have been having long term relationship with arts. Besides a vast range of flexible meanings and significances including affection, virtue, chastity, wantonness, religious steadfastness and transience, flowers have also been used by artists to portray both male and female forms in many different ways.

Lu Man’s 13 canvases in Blossom shuttle between human and nature, all her images involve a combination of female bodies with flowers and a few of them mixed with animals that leave rooms for interpretation. As the UOB (2013) silver award winner in the emerging category, Lu Man has since made impressive development, both in technical and in handling of her subject matter, and heading towards maturity. Her works embrace the nature and became more sensitive about life. 2016 was a turning point for Lu Man’s life as her mother was diagnosed with cancer that needed to go through a few chemotherapy sessions that perhaps in somewhere shifted her perspective about life and death. A sense of decay and impermanent, and an endeavour of preserving the unstoppable time is the undercurrent of a series of works she produced for this exhibition.

“My paintings express the beauty of female forms, sexy but not sexuality. It is about freezing the splendid in time, to symbolise and celebrate life,” said Lu Man, addresses her interest in flora and her desire to embrace the understanding of ephemerality. The focus of her paintings is the observation of beauty and decay, to suggest all things caught in the cycle of life and death in transition. By freezing moments in time, her paintworks captured and cherished the beautiful and natural objects that can be observed without the pressure of time. Her canvases demonstrated how painting able to freeze time and grant eternality to the reality.
“Olive signifies new life, it suggests a new day with flowers [roses and carnations] blossom,” suggested by Lu Man on one of her paintings entitled 
“Olives”. In Western floriography, many flowers have important symbolic meanings e.g. carnations and roses as showed in her “Olives” symbolises incarnation and love. Apart from love, red roses are also given as a symbol of beauty and passion, while olive branch is a symbol of peace in Greek’s culture and mythology stories.

In “My Friends”, Lu Man’s central figure surrounded by animals including an alpaca, a sheep, a bull, a deer and a couple of rabbits as if a scene from a Disney film. “We gathered in the evening and we chat and share,” said Lu Man. “They are a mixed of noble, cute and strong characters, they encouraged me.” In some of her paintings, Lu Man’s blended beautiful flowers, butterflies and birds together with dazzling human bodies. In contrast with Ruben’s infamous “Tiger Hunt (1615-16)” and “The Lion Hunt (1621)”, “My Friends” lives in harmony with animals. Consisting of two central figures with one tangled by a twining plant called Morning Glory and the other surrounded by different species of butterflies, “Morning Glory with Butterflies” suggests a sense of interconnectivity and interdependent between human and nature. It also suggests that “Me” and the “Self” constantly engaging in conversation and negotiation. “We are leaning to each other and we need each other, just as flowers need butterflies to facilitate its reproduction process, and butterflies need flowers to survive,” said the artist. 

Unlike Jan Brueghel the Elder's “The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark (1613)” that depicts different assorted animals fill the earth and the sky in flying, playing, fighting, climbing actions and so on, the quality of elegance and serenity can be found in Lu Man’s paintings. There is also a strange sensation of calm that generates a sense of dreamy beauty. Her canvases are a coalescence of love, beauty, innocence and peace captured in surreal fashion. The surreal quality disseminated in the “Red Meat” piece that echoing Rene Magritte’s “The Son of Man (1964)”. “Meat and flower contrasting each other, meat is bloody and yet flower is tender. Female can be a combination of strong and vulnerable in one,” suggested by Lu Man.

In other pieces, Lu Man escaped herself into “The Garden”, a wonderland where she can find beauty and serenity when surrounded by greenery and flowers blossom. The imagined garden is a space that enables her to keep herself in situations as found in her “Waiting” and “Starry Night” pieces, where she can look up the sky and star glazing at night by the stream water, contemplating and waiting to depart on another new journey or new chapter in life. 

All too often our everyday life fill with distractions and works, we rarely look up at the sky or down at the flowers around us. Life lives in hurry and we lose touch with our own beauty and joy that can be reflected to us through nature.  Lu Man’s works remind us of the connection between flowers, animals and our mind, body and spirit. Her paintings encourage the rethinking of the human body, life and decay, re-contextualizing them into the natural world of which we are a part. 

Yet the contemplation of nature has often been associated with spiritual practices particularly in Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Flowers have provided inspiration to spiritual practitioners, artists, poets and philosophers for centuries. They inspired us to the beauty that is part of our innermost being and our true nature. Eckhart Tolle’s highlights the role of flowers in the evolution of humanity in his book called “A New Earth”, he suggested that, “Without our fully realizing it, flowers become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves, …[flowers are as if the] messengers from another realm.” Inspired by nature and depicting realistic human forms, animal portraits and flowers, Lu Man’s series of paintings presented in Blossom captured the rich symbolism of flowers, tracing the changing meanings of roses, carnations, morning glory, banana flower and more in her paintings.

Dr Pok Chong Boon (Andrew)

eCatalogue

Artworks


Olive
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Sold

Red Meat
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Reserved

Rainbow
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Starry Night
Oil on canvas
127 x 162 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Morning Glory
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Sun Flower
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Release
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

The Garden
Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Sold

Roses
Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Dress
Oil on canvas
177 x 101 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Waiting
Oil on canvas
121 x 91.5 cm
2017

RM 3,200 | Reserved

Banana Flower
Oil on canvas
120 x 91.5
2017

RM 3,200 | Sold

My Friend
Oil on canvas
199 x 169 cm
2017

RM 5,700

Opening




































Distant Emotion - A-RES Duo Exhibition by Joy Ng & Wong Ming Hao


Distant Emotion is a two person exhibition by young figurative artists Joy Ng and Wong Ming Hao having completed their a 6-month residency programme under A-Residency. Organised by HOM Art Trans, A-Residency resumes from a 4-year hiatus with the most recent developments by Wong and Joy.

Using this opportunity to develop unique ideas and aesthetics, Joy Ng considers herself as both the artist and the subject to express the female form, emotions and thought. She explores her notion of figure painting through new approaches, developing new techniques and languages along the way. Her paintings come together as a journal of autobiographical statements and self-exploration, seeking to digest the emotions that surface when responding to stories from around her.

Wong Ming Hao furthers his exploration to demystify the structures and conventions surrounding figurative painting. Further developing a new approach of painting technique using paint-skins collages on canvas, Wong builds camouflaging layers to submerge the underlying figures, masking over true emotions and faces of his subjects. As through peering through a kaleidoscope of history, this approach allows for tiny glimpses through the cracks to hint at the chaos in identity, documenting the beginnings of an internal battle.

Distant Emotion looks within to celebrate the power of emotion through the human figure. It records an insightful journey of pursuit and change as these young artists continues to challenge their artistic boundaries and consider new ways of expression.


ARTWORKS


Joy Ng


Ethereal
Oil on Canvas
121 x 91 cm
2018
RM 2,400 Sold

 Tranquil Tumult
Oil on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 3,600 Sold


Figure Study III
Oil on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 2,800 Sold


Figure Study I
Oil on canvas
151 x 91 cm
2018
RM 2,300

Figure Study II
Oil on canvas
80 x 156 cm
2018
RM 2,400 Sold

 Ennui
Oil on canvas
110 x 155 cm
2018
RM 3,600

Circumscribe
Oil on canvas
110 x 155 cm
2018
RM 3,600

Infest
Oil on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 3,600

Being
Oil on Canvas
155 x 213 cm
2018
RM 6,800 Sold

Overflow
Oil on canvas
213 x 155cm
2018
RM 6,800 Sold

 Immerse
Oil on canvas
155 x 121 cm
2018
RM 3,500 HOM's Collection


Wilderness
Oil on canvas
108 x 87.5 cm
2018
RM 1,800 Sold

Wong Ming Hao

Sitting Figure
Pencil drawing on canvas
152 x 152 cm
2018
RM 3,000

 I Still Don’t Understand
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
152 x 152 cm
2018
RM 4,800

Where Are You Now
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
140 x 90 cm
2018
RM 4,400 Sold

 Where Are You Now II
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 4,400 Sold

 Dissolved Mind
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 3,800 Sold

 Dissolved Mind II
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 3,800 Sold

 Dissolved Mind III
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
155 x 110 cm
2018
RM 3,800 HOM's Collection

 Are You Ok II
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
70 x 70 cm
2018
RM 1,500

 Are You Ok
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
70 x 70 cm
2018
RM 1,500

 Dissolved Mind IV
Acrylic & gloss gel on canvas
79 x 120 cm (diptych)
2018
RM 2,800 Sold

Man Sitting on The Chair
Acrylic on canvas
152 x 152 cm
2018
RM 4,800 Sold


Opening Ceremony