Kayleigh Goh – S.E.A. Focus

Kayleigh Goh

Malaysia / Gajah Gallery

Kayleigh Goh is a Singapore-based, Malaysian artist who is viewed as one of the most reflective and innovative young artists in the region. Inspired by the psychological and poetic implications of place, her works explore how different spaces can evoke distinct emotions. Working predominately with the mediums of cement and wood, Kayleigh creates metaphysical spaces that offer us a temporary escape from the bustle of everyday life. She uses these materials to rebuild imagined safe spaces that offer an escape from the abundance of noise pervading our everyday, external lives.

Kayleigh explores the materiality of architectural structures by juxtaposing everyday materials of cement and wood in her canvases. Cement is a material which usually holds negative connotations, such as coldness and a lack of emotion, yet here offset with the warmth of the wood to create a dissonant, yet comfortable sense of harmony. In her work, Kayleigh protests against these notions, instead embracing these quiet, familiar spaces as places of ‘solitude’ – the modern city as a space for healing, a home, and a place to rest.

Kayleigh held her first solo show with Gajah in September 2018, and was recently selected as 1 of 5 artists commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore to create a large site-specific work as part of the national public arts project Placing Home: Woodlands. Since then, her works have been exhibited across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, France and the United States.


About Kayleigh Goh’s works

Kayleigh Goh’s signature cement on wood paintings contain quiet, imagined spaces for audiences to escape amidst chaotic urban life. Through the combination of exposed wood and cement, Goh strives for balance – the warmth of the wood and the coldness of the concrete work together to achieve a dissonant, yet comfortable sense of harmony.

Goh views cement as a homely material. To her, the concrete jungle has become so infused in our lives that its negative reputation no longer holds relevance. The hard lines present in her work similarly challenge the general impression that geometric designs hold no emotion. The 90-degree angles in urban design, the flat color of our walls, and the abundance of cement have all become elements of familiarity to the city-goer. Her works thus protest against long-held notions and instead, embraces the city as her space for healing.

In these pieces, for the first time, Goh incorporates serene mountainous landscapes within her architectural spaces – capturing the healing, comforting qualities of the distant outdoors against these cold, grey structures.