Pigments and acrylic on canvas
160.0 x 140.0 (cm)
63.0 x 55.1 (inch)The inspiration behind his stone paintings stem from his walks in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore some years back. He was inspired by the hulking forms in nature, though inanimate, they appeared full of life and personality. To achieve three dimensionality and character for the stones, Tay manipulates colour and shades to achieve subtle gradations and ink-like translucency using acrylic paint, a technique forged and refined by the artist since his encounter in the nature reserve.
Traditionally, Chinese literati loved stones and often viewed them as having a natural beauty associated with the ideal union of heaven and man (Tian ren he yi). Tay Bak Chiang sees stones and rocks from a modern viewpoint. The texture of the hard stones can be as fragile as “cicada wings”; or it can be as strong as the back of the tiger, inspired by Yu Kuang-Chung’s (Yu Guangzhong) translation of Siegfried Sasson’s poetic line, “In me the tiger sniffs the rose”.