Power Struggle

Singapore's most sought-after young artist Ruben Pang reflects on success, ego and his latest solo show.

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Ruben Pang’s artistic vision has gained him fans and widespread recognition. You may have to strain to hear Ruben Pang’s colourful commentary on the prison that is modern society, but beneath that soft voice and delicate frame is an artist whose philosophy and work bristle with defiance. His paintings, often surreal and done on aluminium, are rarely planned and are, to him, a journey through the human condition. Anyone can come up with flowery narratives but the 26-year-old’s skill speaks for itself.

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Is Ruben Pang A Magical Jellyfish? / Interview with Amnesia

Artist Ruben Pang (b. 1990) is deceptively hypnotic; his near monotone voice, a kind of cosmopolitan aloofness, mixes with an occasional mischievous laugh. Hiding underneath, or above, he is a medium himself. His secret is thus: his love for art, which is categorically transcendental, or to put it aphoristically, both intensely and deeply spiritual. In Pang, perhaps the quiddity of his father, a store display designer and Taoist exorcist mixes with that of his Catholic mother, a professor of fashion design; Pang is, as he puts it, “informed by my ancestors, and my parents are, of course, the central part of that lineage.” Never approaching, but always open, the Tao-like Pang moves effortlessly through the harsh art world like a jellyfish in the sea; two years before his thirtieth birthday, he’s approached an almost isomorphic vibration with every artistic project he pursues, yet the “amnesia of art, the amnesia of painting,” helpfully inoculates him against a distended (super) ego.

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E.03: Ruben Pang - If You’re Not Dead, You’re Contemporary

Z: How would you describe what you do to someone you’re meeting for the first time?

R: Sometimes it happens in the uber or the cab. I tell them I’m a painter and they ask how much I charge per hour. Some of them offer me jobs. I don’t think I make a distinction, initially. I define my work to myself as it should not be laborious. But now, I tell people I’m a painter and go on to say that I’m the artist kind.

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Decoding Singaporean Artist Ruben Pang’s Paintings

On a somber, rainy Tuesday afternoon, I found myself amongst a cluster of austere industrial buildings at the western tip of the city in search of Singapore artist Ruben Pang’s studio. Located in a maze of heavy lifting machinery and mechanic workshops, Pang’s creative space, and occasional home for the night, sits inconspicuously behind a grey door — one that’s no different from the other doors of the rest of the units in the building. 

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On Sept. 5, on the invitation of Professor Chen Yanyun and Visual Arts Society (VAS), Mr. Pang came to Yale-NUS College for a sharing session. Salient themes in the session included the guiding philosophy behind Mr. Pang’s paintings, his creative process and explorations of self-awareness.

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“The floors soak up tears, turpentine and paint… And I've punched a hole in a door”

Being a full-time artist is difficult. It requires many things: time, money, and most importantly—space. In this series, we take a hard look at one of the hardest things full-time artists have to obtain: a studio. On #TalkingStudios, we explore different studio spaces in Singapore and ask the creatives working in them: what was the experience of getting a studio like for them? What were some of their challenges? And what advice can they give? 

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Ruben Pang interview with THEARTISTANDHISMODEL

Ruben Pang is a full time practising artist and graduate from the Lasalle College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Art (2010). Pang explores an intuitive method of painting. His paintings are projections of his psyche, reflecting on notions of prospect, arrival, and transformation. With no preconceived notion of how the painting should look like at its inception, Pang’s process of creation evolves with each mark added or subtracted from the painting surface.

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“Ataraxy”: Singaporean painter Ruben Pang and the art of introspection – in pictures

Entitled “Ataraxy”, Ruben Pang’s fifth solo exhibition, runs until 8 February 2015 at Chan Hampe Galleries in Singapore. The young artist returns to his hometown after a busy stint abroad; his recent international shows include “Aestheric Portraiture” (2013), a solo exhibition at Primae Noctis Art Gallery in Lugano, Switzerland, and “DEEP S.E.A.” (2013), a group exhibition held at Primo Marella Gallery in Milan.

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2013 April Ruben Bizarre Beyond Belief Interview

Now talk about a visual explosion. Ruben’s work is striking and eerie at the same time. Beautiful layers and layers of soft colours, juxtaposed 80 bIZARREbEYONDbELIEF perfectly on dark backgrounds. Ruben Pang’s work not only inspires but dazzles the viewer.

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Art as a “universal language”: an interview with Ruben Pang By Jaffa Team

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Ruben Pang is a young artist who is fast making a name for himself in the international art scene. With several sell-out exhibitions under his belt, and a prestigious residency programme with the Tiroche de Leon collection in Israel, Pang is known for his vibrant and dynamic compositions, treading the line between figuration and abstraction.

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Contemporary art has a long tradition of engagement with societal developments and events. Expressing alternative positions and raising awareness about topical issues, artists are able to utilise their unique position as a voice for change through their work. Tapping into discussions concerning class, gender, race, politics and the environment, the concept of the artist as activist is a powerful one. In reaction to the social realities of migration – namely the 2015 European migrant crisis – global humanitarian concerns are an increasingly recurring thematic within the vocabulary of the current contemporary avant-garde.

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Growing pains in Singapore’s art scene

Art appreciation is on the rise, but commercial success has been slow. Is Singapore’s contemporary art scene losing ground to its art rivals in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia?

Chan + Hori Contemporary founder Angie Chan remains undeterred and is committed to help make Gillman the go-to arts destination in Singapore. 

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Right Here

A look at the DISINI Festival at Gillman Barrack


DISINI, the region's first large-scale and ground-up visual arts festival, featuring outdoor artworks, a specially commissioned artist-designed

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