Eric Chan

Art13 London - London First

1 - 3 March 2013

Singapore-based artist Eric Chan often ventures into the surreal and macabre with his work, balancing dark and dreamlike imagery with a touch of slightly twisted pleasure. This installation continues in that vein with a slightly more playful bent, both the primary subject and title a nod to the cunning and surreal cinematic exploits of the great Alfred Hitchcock. 

Amused by the multiplicity of meanings inherent in the iconic image of the black bird raven and the act of defecation, here Chan toys with the more divergent of these paradigms. On one hand, the decidedly Eastern perspective of the "good luck" bestowed upon the unsuspecting victim of a defecating bird, the act often serving as strong reason for the recipient of such good fortune to try their luck elsewhere that day — the lottery, for example. Whereas in the West the unhappy victim would most certainly consider such an experience most unfortunate or even a bad omen. 

While much could be said regarding the sources and implications of different cultures attributing dramatically different associations with similar icons, not to mention the baggage attached to any discourse involving "East v. West", this work will seek merely to capture the anomaly created by such a spectacle. 

The allusion to abstract drip painting is unmistakable. Chan's intent here is not an unflattering critique of the genre, but a wry acknowledgment of the truth of abstract expressionism as organic expression and yet another significant contributor to contemporary art and its discourse.


  • Eric Chan