In his first solo exhibition in Singapore, emerging Indonesian artist Erizal As focuses on the symbolic function of the classical portrait as a reflection of identity and character.
When considering a portrait, one often imagines the classical figure painted in a stately pose: solemn and magnificent. Portraiture is a visual documentation not only of the physical attributes of the subject, but also their psychological state, character, and ambition. In Indonesia particularly, portraits of political leaders are ubiquitous, reflecting the prowess of their authority everywhere from classrooms to family homes.
Yet reflecting on these leaders, the artist asserts "as political subjects we are not familiar with their true substance, their true face". In Refiguring Portraiture, Erizal As confronts the discrepancy between public image and the truth, as he perceives it. The human face thus becomes terra incognita: an unfamiliar space charged with perceptional and reactional values.
Erizal's faceless figures represent the boundary between the distinguished and indistinguishable, the known and the unknown. They are not a destructive elimination leading to the disappearance of form, but rather an honest attempt to capture the human character, disfigured and unrefined as it may be.
Gajah Gallery is proud to present nine new paintings from Erizal's Faceless series, which form a complex view of the contemporary figure. The exhibition will be on view from 15 December 2016 to 2 January 2017.