Wong Keen’s critically acclaimed Flesh Series provides audience a glimpse into the artist’s unique and ever-evolving visual language, which encompasses oil, ink, acrylic, collage and mixed media works.


The New York-trained artist first embarked on the visual discourse of flesh and meat during an artist residency in Beijing with Galerie Urs Meile in the summer of 2012. His dynamic exploration on the subject has since evolved into a magnificent series characterised by highly stylised images of the burger, the butcher shop, and the nude, which he dramatises through various strategies and mediums. The treatment of human flesh as synonymous with animal flesh manifests as a recurring motif through which he could constantly reinvent forms and techniques to synthesise his formal explorations of two different subjects: the nude and the meat. His paint handling techniques have been refined to convey the structural expression of meat — colour, texture, density — and his composition often aims at a liberation of objects and meanings from familiar contexts.


Wong Keen (b. 1942, Singapore) grew up in a Chinese literati environment and studied drawing and painting at an early age. He was an acclaimed teenage artist in the early Singapore art scene and held his first solo exhibition at age 19. In 1961, Wong Keen travelled to America to study at the Art Students League of New York, making him the first Singaporean and among the earliest of Chinese artists to venture into the flourished post-war American art scene — then the most avant-garde art centre in the world.

Having spent over fifty years in the US, Wong Keen registered a plethora of artistic influences in the fast-paced American art scene. His pictorial language is a powerful embodiment of the elegant expressivity of Chinese ink wash aesthetics and Western inventive approach towards form and colour. In 2007, the Singapore Art Museum celebrated Wong Keen’s masterful repertoire with the solo exhibition, Wong Keen: A Singapore Abstract Expressionist. Wong Keen’s work is held in a number of private and public collections, including the National Museum of China, Minnesota State University Art Museum, Albright Knox Art Gallery, New York, Singapore Art Museum, Resorts World Sentosa and the Fullerton Hotel.

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