Gajah Gallery proudly presents The Scent That Lingers. For her second solo show, Kayleigh Goh creates small-scale sculptural works—a fresh departure from her signature large-scale paintings—to capture a soft, gentle, and comforting presence, similar to the quiet power of a pleasant scent. She is moved by how certain scents can trigger memories; how one brief whiff can instantly flood us with a sense of melancholia provoked by an elusive hint of our past.
Translating this distinct olfactory experience into a visual and tactile one, she captures the unique way in which the sense of smell can calm our pervading anxieties. Just as particular scents—the perfume of our grandmothers, the coffee from our childhood homes, the pages of old books—can temporarily transport us to the tender, intimate moments in our lives amidst whatever stress of our present, so do the meditative, three-dimensional spaces she creates, marked by delicate, significant details: pencil grid lines; the nostalgic color of pale old rose; the dramatic layering of real and illusory shadows.
Yet she is profoundly aware that these evocative sensory experiences are innately ephemeral. Thus, they can only be fully absorbed, lived in, when we become quiet and present to the wonder of our everyday. She hopes for audiences to closely observe these small moments, because while every little thing is vulnerable to being lost, we will never know when traces of it will emerge in our future. When we pay attention to the fleeting magic of our present—the hug of a friend, the kindness of a stranger—we give them the power to linger a little bit longer.