S.E.A. Focus returns for its 5th edition from
Friday 6 Jan - Sunday 15 Jan 2023

Landscapes & Paradise XIV (Poolscapes no. 7)

Hilmi Johandi

Medium: Oil on linen
Size of work: 170 x 200 cm

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Hilmi Johandi often finds inspiration from found, archival materials of Singapore, extracting familiar motifs from them and reconstructing different the elements into a scene in his paintings. Recently, in particular, the artist has been looking at postcards and posters from the 1980’s to 1990’s – he is interested in how these images portrayed Singapore as a tropical paradise and an ideal tourist destination during that time. Hilmi has also been expanding on his exploration of stagecraft (the technical aspect of theatrical production) in which he finds similarities with the process of collage and image-making. Employing motifs from the archival images, Hilmi composites his paintings as though he is putting together a stage set. On closer observation, one will notice that the human figures and plants depicted appear to be stage props, and the landscapes and architecture may be simply backdrops or façades. Furthermore, Hilmi plays with differing scales and segregations in space, and the various planes suggest a distortion in space and time, bringing about unexpected and fresh perspectives of these familiar symbols, and leading one to question if the scene portrayed could be an imaginary one, or part of a staged narrative.

About the Artist

Hilmi Johandi (b. 1987, Singapore) currently works and lives in Singapore. In 2018, he received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore. His solo exhibitions include “Landscapes and Paradise” Poolscapes”, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan (2021), “Painting Archives”, Rumah Lukis, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2019), “Stagecraft: Landscapes and Paradise”, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2019), “An Exposition”, President’s Young Talents 2018 Exhibition, Singapore Art Museum, 8Q @SAM, Singapore (2018). He also participated in group exhibitions such as “"Progressive Disintegrations”, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, Singapore (2020), “Art Way ASEAN Way”, Art Mill Songkhla Art Center, Thailand (2017), “Flux – City of Change”, Strata Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2013).