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 Eric Chan  (1975 - )

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Lived/Active: Singapore/England      Known for: photo and paint blended images

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Eric Chan (b.1975 Malaysia/Singapore) is one of Southeast Asia’s notable contemporary painters.  A Masters (Painting) graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and LASALLE College of the Arts, Chan has cut a reputation for reinvigorating interest in painting as a resonant contemporary media.

His paintings are shaped by photographic and camera effects and aesthetics – from the blurring or smearing of paintings (simulating photographic images taken with slow shutter speed) to the distinctive graphics of film negatives.

Artist Eric Chan probes our romantic sensibilities and the mechanics of myth-making through a rich, vivid portfolio of images shaped by historical chronicles, classical and popular fiction, museum annals and photographic archives. Oriental Empresses, slave girls, exotic insects and butterflies, Victorian gardens, Indian sepoys, classical lovers emerge in these canvases, always with a twist. In his signature style of simulating camera and photographic effects, Chan frequently simulates the graphics of old black and white photographs as well as the ‘film-negative’ with its tonal inversion of the original image, reminding us that his painting is firmly set in contemporary times.

Chan characteristically ‘plants’ emblems in his canvases – using birds, flowers and insects to encode cultural meanings and associations. For Chan, body and beauty are both objects of desire and weapons in the charged arena of amorous power games and dynamics. Inspired by the epistolary form in literature – that device of inserting personal letters, journal extracts, printed clippings, or log entries to create a sense of realism and intimacy – Chan weaves visuals with texts that have held personal resonance for him in his life.

Chan has actively exhibited in Singapore and overseas including London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia and enjoying recognition for his work – receiving, amongst others the Jurors’ Choice at the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards (2002) and Highly Commended accolade at the 2003 UOB Painting of the Year Competition.

His works are featured by international auction houses Christie’s and Sotherby’s and collected by the Singapore Art Museum and in corporate and public collections such as the CapitaLand Collection, UOB Art Collection, UBS Art Collection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.

Source: (Synopsis of Interview with the Artist, September 2011)

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