In conjunction with Singapore’s inaugural Men’s Fashion Week 2011, Ode To Art hosted a booth at the ‘Fashion Metropolis’ in the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. A strip of faux carpet grass lined the walkway leading to the gallery, flanked by several Xie Ai Ge and Wu Liang Yan sculpture masterpieces. The main gallery itself featured works by prolific sculptors David Begbie, Rainer Lagemann and Cai Zhi Song and artist Dou Rong Jun. As it was MFW, the male pieces showcased by Ode To Art were distinctively and provocatively homme, masculine in all forms. Dou Rong Jun, one of the featured artists, graced the closing night with a live painting demonstration.
Dou Rong Jun, born in 1971, is a Nanjing native. He graduated from the Nanjing Art Institute with a B.A. degree. Widely recognized for his series of monochrome male portraits which convey a deep sense of angst and anguish, the self-professed pessimist aims to underscore the power of the human spirit whose soul seeks to search for something deeper amisdt the darkness.
The raw emotion of Dou’s work is artfully expressed in every sinew of the sculpted male body. His acrylic work takes on the fluidity of dreamy water colours while his more recent work using oil introduces a textural dimension to the human landscape he paints. Through his work, Dou chooses to use the language of painting to capture the subject’s details and the subtle, delicate stories between people. A key feature of Dou’s work is the portrayal of his subject’s hands as being disproportionately large. He explained that he wanted to draw focus to his subject’s hands because of the instrumental role hands play in all of man’s activities.
Dou’s muse for the night was none other than Singapore’s very own Cleo Bachelor of the Year 2011 contestant and Singapore Calendar Guy 2010 winner, Jason Chee, whose ripped physique was an immediate crowd pleaser. With sensitivity in every brush stroke, Master Dou skillfully portrayed the subject in an emotive state, arresting the attention and stirring up feelings of the audience through his piece which he titled, Sadness and Hope. The ostensibly shy but very approachable and down to earth artist also spent some time answering questions from the floor after and mingled with fans, gladly obliging requests for photographs and autographs.
It was a wonderful opportunity and honour to have observed the master at work and even for a fleeting moment, to have been able to observe vicariously, his inner world through every brush stroke.
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