08sep(sep 8)11:00 am23oct(oct 23)6:00 pmCHOK YUE ZAN - ‘THROUGHOUT’SINGAPORE
The word "throughout" is a statement of personal memories from the past and present, encapsulating his childhood journey and providing closure to this period of his life.

Event Details

Chok Yue Zan – ‘Throughout’

Art Porters Gallery, Singapore

8 September – 23 October 2022

Born in Tawau, Sabah, Malaysian artist Chok Yue Zan grew up with his grandparents in a forested environment surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking scenery. It was his haven—a place of unbridled joy that he now considers his lost paradise. Following the passing of his grandparents, Zan’s family was broken, and the paradise that he held dear to his heart started to disappear.

Zan has been interested in the representation of his hometown, particularly forests and oceans, since the beginning of his artistic career. His life experiences at the time are reflected in each scene from the many stages of his life, as does his connection to his memories. When remembered at different points in time, the same setting might convey very diverse meanings. Is it true that when people go through a variety of experiences, the values and priorities that they had established in the past begin to shift gradually? This change is becoming increasingly unclear and foreign to him.

The word “throughout” is a statement of personal memories from the past and present. He hopes that the exhibition encapsulates his childhood journey and provides closure to this period of his life. It is a trip that is full of both joy and grief. It also serves as a reminder for him of both life and death. In his preliminary ideas, he focused on the transformations and issues that are plaguing modern society. In his subconscious realm, these recollections are crystal clear, but in his conscious mind, they have become increasingly hazy with time. He wants to show how this contradictory feeling makes him feel in a painterly way through this series of paintings.

Zan decided to hold the exhibition in “Room 2″of the gallery. It would appear that the visitors are in an enclosed space. It is almost as if the viewer is walking into his exhibition and immersing themselves in his narrative from the inside out. The exhibition site does not appear to have any openings for ventilation, as there are no windows. During his time in the studio, the Movement Control Order (MCO) from the Malaysian government made him feel like he couldn’t move as freely as he wanted to. This made these memories slowly come back to him.

In addition, he ruminated on the myriad calamities brought on by the pandemic and the current state of affairs in the world. He contemplates the past as well as the memories that have yet to come. This feeling is brought on by the similarities and differences between how life and death were experienced in the past and how they are experienced today. What does it mean to him to watch the passage of different people and things in the environment that he lives in? Aside from the unfavourable effects of the pandemic, it allows him to take things more slowly and filter out everything that is going on around him. Consequently, he thinks about the problem and, possibly, the solution in his ever-fading memories.

Memories have always been the driving force behind the way he approaches his artistic pursuits. For Zan, a family unit represents the symbol of the fragility that can be found in human relationships. It appears to be intrinsically tied to life and death at this point in time. The exhibition is less about a character in his works and more of a reflection on one’s life journey. His way of thinking is also affected by the different situations he is exposed to. The fact that the paintings does not resemble real life is a sign of how close he is to his environment.


Image and information from Art Porters Gallery, September 2022



September 8 (Thursday) 11:00 am - October 23 (Sunday) 6:00 pm