n. 330 – twenty constructs on a plane (contaminate/debris/fluid/irregular)

Grace Tan

Medium: Calcium carbonate of different forms (calcite, aragonite, dolomite, marble, travertine, chalk, limestone, eggshell, gofun (oyster shell) and coral, lime white, pit lime, oxidized iron filings, graphite, nikawa (cow hide glue), bamboo pulps paper, cotton pulp watercolour paper, and cotton lint
Size of work: H65 x W65 x D20 cm (artwork)
Size of frame: Approx. H160 x W95 x D30 cm (with one display shelf)

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n. 330 – twenty constructs on a plane [contaminate/debris/fluid/irregular] is a collection of 20 material and formal studies in natural fibres and mineral pigments. The specific use of natural materials in n. 330 such as marble, limestone, and eggshell white underscores the entropic quality of nature. The work is a tension between form and formless, order and chaos, and containment and infinity. Being formless does not mean being without form. Instead, it points to the “formless” nature of the materials and the art making process – the becoming of the work; where the unknown, disorder and impurity are intrinsic aspects of the process. This process of formation resonates with the notion of sedimentation that suggests an accrual and aggregation of things and meaning formed over a period of time. The concept of sedimentation takes reference from natural geological processes and can be considered as “a form of growth that is accumulative within certain limits but retain a degree of unpredictability”. On the other hand, it suggests an accrual and aggregation of things and meaning, formed over a period of time to form intuitive individual strata. For n. 330, the circle is more than just a geometric shape. It functions as a medium of formation for the sedimentation of materials. It orders the formless materials into specific forms. The circle is in constant flux – expanding outwards and contracting inwards by means of material addition or removal. Various methods are rendered intuitively without clear differentiation in the formation of the circular elements – pouring, tearing, grinding, sanding, casting, and scraping. The development of the 20 constructs is associated to the 4 conditions of the formless – irregular, fluid, contamination and debris.

About the Artist

Grace Tan (b. 1979, Malaysia) began her practice in 2003 under the kwodrent series. Influenced by geometry, her works are distinguished by an intrinsic tactile nuance that heightens the matter and form. Tan’s new body of works presents various systems of arrangement, exploring the intrinsic relationship between the displayed objects and the display structures.

She has also represented Singapore at Singapore Biennale 2013, Fukutake House/Setouchi Triennale 2013 (in collaboration with The Substation), Aichi World Expo 2005, Venice Architecture Biennale 2008, London Design Week 2006 and State of Design Melbourne 2008-2010. In 2012, Tan was awarded the distinguished President’s Design Award for Building as a Body and in 2013, she was conferred the Young Artist Award and nominated for the President’s Young Talents Award.

Tan has been commissioned by the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore Art Museum, and The Esplanade for site-specific installations. She is also known for her large-scale public art works in Singapore. They include Woven Field at the Little India MRT Station, PLANES and CURRENTS at Marina One, SYMMETRY at DUO, n. 333 – State of Equilibrium at Raffles City, and PACT, The Clan Hotel.