Singapore-based artist Jane Lee is recognised for her creating highly tactile, illusory works that challenge and expand audiences’ perceptions of reality. In a divergence from her existing oeuvre, Lee began collaborating with YAL in 2019 to create wall-based sculptural works from modelling clay, cement, and later, stainless steel. Challenging the boundaries between painting and sculpture, Lee’s works created at YAL assume the physicality of sculpture while maintaining the illusory depth of the painted image.
In her Masters series, Lee references iconic ‘masters’ in western art history, from Johannes Vermeer to Piet Mondrian, that had subconsciously influenced her while she trained as a painter. Yet, as she emphasises their colours and textures and transforms these paintings into highly tactile, three-dimensional pieces, she removes the hallowed, aloof air often surrounding the actual ‘masterpieces’ in prestigious museums, and instead encourages viewers to engage with them in a relaxed way, as if they were ingrained in the everyday.
In her new piece 流中流 Flow and Flow, Claude Monet’s iconic water lilies are printed on crumpled stainless steel, evoking the idea of the painting through a sculptural form. The work builds on the artist’s ongoing quest to distill the essence of painting, and blur the lines between the two and three-dimensional. It is part of a larger series of works that reference ubiquitous paintings in art history, and radically invert their materials, proportions, and dimensions—challenging the boundaries between the various realms of art.