Separated by ten thousands kilometers, and culture differences between the east and west, there seem to be no common ground for this two artists Shih Yun Yeo and Katja Pal. Shih Yun Yeo was born and lived in Singapore since 1976. Katja Pal on the other hand was born in Slovenia and has been living there since 1979. There are not only cultural differences. There are also vast differences in their artistic approach. Katja is into geometric abstraction and creates labor-intensive and super precise 'movable' paintings whereas Shih Yun's works are influence by the Abstract Expressionists and are all about the paint and the act of painting.
Their friendship began one eventual day in July 2008, Shih Yun Yeo and Katja Pal met in a residency in Lendava. A year later, artist Katja Pal was invited to INSTINC residency in Singapore and it was then that their very first collaboration was conceived.
The title of this collaborative project “Zerorize” means to reset something to zero. In this project, these two artists are going back to basics- the raw form of language. Back to the times when language was made up of just signs and symbols.
The strong link between them was the commitment and great passion of the art form, painting in the 21st century when the trend is do create videos and installations. There is no big philosophy behind their collaborative paintings, no hidden messages. They are not out to change the world. In their own quiet ways, their collaboration can be seen as a pure cohabitation of two souls.
In a way, it is not even a collaboration; their styles merged during their painting process, one cannot tell the authorship of the marks made on the canvases. They do not know beforehand how the painting will look in the end. When either one artist poses a question, the other seeks to answer it by marking marks on the canvases. Some kind of communication takes place between the two artists without words. They let the painting grow with the time and stop "talking" (working) when they feel that everything they had wanted to say has been said on the canvases. To them, every line, every mark is a trace unrepeatable; it is an authentic expression of their feelings, as they emerge within a specific time and space.
Born in Singapore 1976, Shih Yun began her artistic career after graduating from San Francisco Art Institute. In 2004, she founded INSTINC, an art space in Singapore that runs exhibitions, artists' talks, workshops, international artists' residencies program and champions collaborations with different artists/groups. Apart from paintings and drawings, Shih Yun works with diverse mediums including silk-screen, video and painting directly on 16mm films. Influenced by Abstract Expressionists, she is known for her strong energetic use of black ink and a passionate obsession with capturing the elusive moment that exists between chaos and order. Shih Yun has exhibited at numerous leading art spaces in Singapore and Europe in the past ten years. Her recent exhibitions include “New Readings” at Esplanade Jendela Visual Arts Space, Stiftelsen 3,14 gallery, Norway and 'Hello World', Ito Folk Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan.
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