Mulan Gallery



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Past Exhibitions


To Have And Not To Hold

Henry Lee

5 – 26 October 2019

Mulan Gallery presents To Have And Not To Hold, a solo exhibition featuring a series of charcoal and acrylic works by Singapore artist Henry Lee.

Evoking memory and cherished relationships through still lifes situated in and around the flat the artist has grown up in, To Have And Not To Hold comprises a series of intimate studies that examines the conception of home and belonging, the temporality of familial and social bonds, memory and loss, and the evolution of the self and identity.

Imaginary dialogues enacted between these domestic objects conjure up intangible familial bonds and ties that have made the house a home over the years, their immanent presence made manifest in the material world. Consciousness is embodied on canvas in a series of relations to intentional objects, parts and parcels that form the fabric of existence – an inhabitant with a sense of belonging among others, a conscious being-in-the-world dwelling and at home.

What happens when things are changed, broken or lost, by the ravages of time or otherwise? Like Saturn's rings that orbit at different speeds around the centre, one's myriad relationships and all their associated significances, debris and memories form a constant state of return and resurrection around the self, both a reminder of memory and loss and a promise of the future or horizon within the intrinsic temporality of consciousness.

An underlying sense of anxiety pervades these works, a continuation of the artist's ongoing attempts to reconcile the difficulties of constructing a coherent self and identity in a world where change and fragmentation appear to be the only constants. The re-turn home is a revisiting of beginnings, of what has been and is, or will one day be no longer. It is a search for the foundation of the self, to centre the locus of dwelling within the uncertainty of an everchanging society.

About Henry Lee

Henry Lee b. 1981) holds a Maser of Arts (Fine Art) from the LASALLE College of the Arts. He graduated with first-class honours in Bachelors of Arts (Fine Art) from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and was the recipient of the NAFA President Award in 2013 and Best Graduate (Fine Art) award in 2014. His works have been shown at Art Stage Singapore, Gillman Barracks, Goodman Arts Centre, ION Art Gallery, Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National University of Singapore.

"My practice has always revolved around exploring fictional dimensions and there came a point where I felt the need to ‘come home’. When does a house become a home? ‘Home’ and ‘house’ has been the same place for me for more than three decades. But it feels like a pipe dream to expect it to remain this way for three more.” ~Henry Lee


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