Tucked away within Ubi’s Oxley BizHub is a gallery cum storage that houses an expansive collection of works by the late Indonesian artist Low Hai Hong.
Through ARTualize Gallery, Low’s daughter, Sok Leng, keeps his legacy alive while caring for the hundreds of works that remain archived within its walls.
Mr Low’s love of life and beauty are evident in his works. Most pieces bear focus on a single subject. But, upon closer inspection, there are hints that reveal the true essence of its history embedded within the subjects.
One of the more common subject matters displayed within the gallery is flowers. In one painting, the flower may seem the most mundane of subjects emerging from a vase positioned on a table, yet the background of a deep prussian blue holding inklings of more flowers frames the main subject whilst generating depth within the composition. Perhaps it is a market or a flower garden? Maybe a greenhouse? Low leaves that up to our imagination and interpretation – ever hinting but never confirming.
“He never uses black in his art. It’s not necessary” Low’s iconic style remains recognisable by the lack of blacks to deliver contrasts between colours. The dry painting technique that he practices sufficiently brings out the beauty as the translucent films of colours layer upon each other in an almost iridescent way.
Oil on paper, another of his wont, is Low’s challenge to himself. Paper is thin and unforgiving; unlike canvas, an artist is unable to simply can just scrape the layers off or paint over it. “It forces him to capture the first impression and accept it,” explains Sok Leng.
While Low was still painting, Sok Leng was the one supporting and managing his works and liaising with buyers. After Low had passed on, Sok Leng was in a dilemma over how to best store his many pieces of works. The situation began to get dire when his personal art storage saw a termite infestation that could have destroyed most of his works.
“At that time, I was like, why did this happen so soon. We planned to mourn for a year at least before dealing with the works left behind. But now I know that this must have been a sign from my dad that we have to get to work now.”
Mr Low’s works are now on display at Artualize gallery. A small room is dedicated to the restoration and storage of the pieces that are currently not on display. In the room, some of Sok Leng’s favourite pieces are hung and kept. All the furniture and works on display are brought over from Mr Low’s home in an effort to perpetuate his artistic streak.
To preserve some of the damaged works, Sok Leng carefully and lovingly cuts the canvas or papers up and pieces them together into an abstract field of colours.
With such a comprehensive collection of works, Sok Leng has devised an initiative that creates a space for artists to generate revenue from their works without selling. At just 1% of the cost price, clients and customers can bring these artworks home for a week. This means that patrons will never get bored with the art hanging in their home ever again, since switching them up every few weeks or months to keep things fresh and unique is now a viable option at such an attractive rate.
For visitors looking to book gallery viewings at Artualize Gallery, Sok Leng can be reached through WhatsApp on 8133 8791. Rental enquiries may also be made through the same channel.