Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Explorer

  It was the first time we attended the Affordable Art Fair in Singapore. The wifey wanted to go, so I accompanied her. I wasn't expecting anything much as we've been to many art galleries and exhibitions before. Most of the pieces weren't much to crow about. The "good" ones were merely prints of the originals. This was to keep prices "affordable". However, no one knew that we would stumble upon a find that would eventually set us back a few grand.
   Introducing, Shay Kun's "Explorer". This renowned Israeli artist is based in New York. You can view examples of his work on Google. What caught our imagination was the thought behind the work. The ancient greeks, such as Ptolemy, the philosopher/ mathematician, knew that the earth is round. How did medieval man lose that knowledge? Why did it take the renaissance to bring it back? Man could've rekindled that knowledge by the simple act of going up in a hot air balloon.
   Besides the complex philosophical thought behind the piece, what drew my attention was the artwork itself. No doubt the detail in the brushwork merits value in itsef, but more than that; if you observe long enough, you would notice that there seems to be two "vanishing points" - one where the water meets the land at the "V" and another on the "horizon". To me, this gives it a mystical feel. To those who are familar with Shay Kun's work, the hot air balloon in this painting is different from the rest. This one seems a little too "cartoonish" when juxtaposed against the classical style of the environment. The bright colours make it strikingly obvious. It almost suggests how simple it is to retain the knowledge of a round earth - just fly up in a hot air balloon. No need for any complex calculations or machinery. All it takes is an innocent, "cartoonish" hot air balloon.
   Then again, as with all art,  the final interpretation lies with the viewer. Who knows, I just might be reading too much into it... 

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