Jaen Ching Ng, legal counselor by training, artist in spirit

Jaen Ching Ng. Legal counsel by profession, painter in spirit.

 

Jaen, who works as a legal counsel, read law in the UK, but her “first love” was art. In her artist statement, she describes her paintings as being “driven by my fascination with the anatomy of the human body.” She explores that very subject with a palette knife on all her paintings in the body of work being exhibited. “I cannot express myself, my emotions, my state of mind, any better than through the most powerful language we know – the body,” she said.

S: From as far as you can remember, what was your first drawing/painting about?

I reckon drawing and painting are innate to all of us. Before we could speak, images, shapes and colours were like the sole language we know! It started with simple scribble to sketching random designs then dabbling with colours when I was a child. Be it a pencil, colour pencils, magic colours or a pen, if paper was in sight too, you can be rest assured I will be creating something! As for learning, mostly is through trial and error and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But it did get to a stage where I felt that some reference would be good and that was when I took to books (my mother was a huge fan of Reader’s Digest!). As I recall, my very first few were flowers. I was drawn by the sheer variety of it and you can almost create a certain form and no one would question its actual existence!

S:  Why didn’t you pursue an education in the arts?

I certainty thought about it and was very passionate about studying arts. But a very wise man advised me that I should seriously consider what is best for me, taking into consideration my surroundings including things that are not within my control, like the economy. He advised that I should pick a career that can withstand recessions, that is always needed no matter the state of the economy. He proceeded to provide 2 examples – a lawyer or an accountant. Law school it was!   This man, this very wise man is non-other than my father.

S: Under a legal profession, you do get to meet a lot of people, hear their stories and must have some interest in reading. Tell us more about your style of painting in Body & Soul and where you got your inspiration from. Do books or people inspire you?

Body & Soul is all about freedom and imagination; merging reality and a touch of fantasy. Anything and everything around me inspires me. It could be as simple as noticing a unique feature on a stranger’s face to going blind and listen to my inner voice and let my imagination take over. Our subconscious is capable of absorbing so much from our surroundings without us knowing and it’s amazing to see how it can find its way into our conscious mind when we allow our conscious mind to wander and our hand to create.

S: We’re lucky to have seen some of your earlier works and they vary in style and concept. Could you tell us more about Mother & Child?

MOTHER & CHILD

This piece was inspired by a casual conversation between my friends and I wherein the topic was about their children. Although I am not a mother myself, I could sense how proud they were of their children and how much joy their children have brought them. My inspiration then was to try and capture this emotion and paint it in a child-like manner. This piece was created prior to my discovery of palette knife painting.

S: Coming back to the exhibition at SPRMRKT, what is it about the human figure that intrigues you? Are these faces and figures of anyone in particular?

The endless stories that it can tell and the emotion that it can portray without having to say a word. I may be smiling but my eyes could be conveying a different message. I may be crying but it could be tears of joy. The lack of certainty where a smile doesn’t always represent happiness and tears doesn’t always signify sadness creates a grey area where interpretation is key and this space – this very space – is what intrigues me the most and drives me to capture it on canvas. The faces and figures that I have painted are all from imagination – materialisation from chance events and things that I have picked up along the way.

Artwork featured above are only two of the six works on exhibition. Please visit us on 2 McCallum Street, Singapore 069043 to see the complete show and commissioned piece. Call us at +65 6221 2105 for opening hours.

S: Do you paint from photos? If no, why not?

No I don’t. I’m not a fan of replication. The idea of painting in accordance to something does not appeal to me at all. The thought of knowing the end before I begin will strangle every bit of passion I have to paint. If the photo is of something interesting, I may choose to use that as a base but the end result will definitely not be a replication.

S: And what is it about women and their bodies in relationship to food did you have in mind when creating the commissioned project for SPRMRKT?

There is no lack of evidence (in social media especially) on how obsessive women (and some men) have become with their appearances. Although this is predominantly driven by weight loss agenda, we should also give attention to those who are fighting against it and reminding us – it is perfectly beautiful to be who you are. I wanted to capture both end of this spectrum in the commissioned project and this was how I came up with the painting.

WOMAN. BODY. FOOD. 56" x 24". A triptych of acrylic on canvas. S$1,000

WOMAN. BODY. FOOD. 56″ x 24″. A triptych of acrylic on canvas. S$1,000

S: Food has always been a significant part of our lives, especially here in Singapore. Whether it’s dinner at home, a weekend BBQ or a celebratory feast, we’re always talking about the latest food trends, hip cafes and celebrity restaurants. Does food or dining out mean different things to you as a lawyer and as an artist?

Not at all. My career is what I do whilst art is what I love. The latter is definitely the dominant me and it shines through in all the things that I do. A pop of creative touch can go a long way in making a good event great! Not to mention memorable!

S: What are your plans after this exhibition? Can we expect to see more work soon?

I will continue to paint and there’s no doubt about that. I certainly hope I will be able to hold more exhibitions in the near future and continue to share my work.

Thank you Jaen!

This exhibition features six contemporary artworks by legal counsel, Jaen Ching Ng. Jaen’s influences range from everyday life encounters to dreams and imagination. Her bold use of colour, expressive painterly strokes with heavy shadows bring to mind a lively artistic spirit waiting to emerge.

The Heart Feels What The Eyes Can't See

THE HEART FEELS WHAT THE EYES CAN’T SEE. 36″ x 40″, acrylic painting on canvas, S$950

 

Artist Statement

Rarity in ornamentation appeals to me. Anything and everything around me inspires me. What then translates onto the canvas is a mix of reality and a touch of fantasy. 

The fact that I am self-taught, I believe, has contributed significantly to my style of work. There is no muse, no boundaries, no rules. There can be shadow without light, there can be light without shadow. 

Freedom of expression is the key to my work and not being guided by reasoned deliberation which, in my mind, will strangle any imagination and creativity of one’s soul. 

This exhibition is driven by my fascination with the anatomy of the human body and to challenge myself to paint my emotion through it. I cannot express myself, my emotion, my state of mind any better than through the most powerful language we know – the body.

- Jaen Ching Ng

Body & Soul will open with a private reception on 31 July at 6pm. Dishes from SPRMRKT’s new Happy Hour Bar Menu will be served and a wine tasting session will be conducted by former Les Amis sommelier Zachary Tay.

Artworks are for sale and a portion of the proceeds will go to a non-profit organisation or charity.

OPENING RECEPTION
31st July, 6pm – 8pm

EXHIBITION PERIOD
1st Aug to 30th Sep 2014

TIME
Mon & Tue: 8am to 9pm
Wed to Fri: 8am to 11pm
Sat & Sun: 9am to 6pm

VENUE
SPRMRKT
2 McCallum Street
Singapore 069043

Signing In

On top of all the food & drink, we had an amazing time catching up with the artist and getting to know you. Throw in the wonderful playlist by the fabulous crew from Poptrash, this was an event that’s going down memory lane for a very long time :) Catch the action right here!

 

 

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The exhibitee, Sharma, with one of her series “Childhood Dreams”.

 

IMG_1588lores IMG_1564lores IMG_1597lores IMG_1602lores IMG_1580lores IMG_1617loresWe got to meet the talented founders of Makers of Singapore! “An initiative that explores the avenue of craft locally, as well as to dig deeper into the stories of these Makers (people who produce their products in Singapore) and understand why they decided to stay in Singapore.” – Makers of Singapore

 

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Tyler from The Secret Mermaid introducing his cocktails.

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With the lovely DJ Christina of Poptrash. Her debut set!

 

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Founder, Ashe, of Poptrash grooving it for a pretty amazing turn out.

 

 

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Guests trying out Popaganda’s fresh fruit popsicles :)

 

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Trying out the Cheng Thng Jelly Shots !

 

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Appreciating art throughout the event!

 

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DJ Christina played a handsome range of music which got us moving from the front of the house to the back!

 

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Relatives of the artist.

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Capturing the colour, the art works and the life!

 

 

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Artist, Sharma, with some of her relatives.

 

 

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Thank you everyone for coming down and supporting the exhibitee, us and making the event worth more than a thousand words! And a big thank you to our collaborators and sponsors for making the event a success. The atmosphere would not have been the same without you guys on board x

 

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Head Chef Joseph Yeo and Pastry Chef Furrene Hoh went out of their usual repertoire to create a special menu comprising of local hawker food remixed into handheld nibbles. And they were an instant hit with our guests! (we hope you guys weren’t lying! :))

Biryani Arancini

Biryani Arancini – little fried “risotto” balls using an indian staple.

 

Dry Laksa

Dry Laksa – coconut and spicy noodles with fried bean curd ski, parsley and calamansi

Dry laksa is a much better alternative for catering at parties as these little cups of coconut and spicy noodles hold throughout the night without you having to worry how to keep the gravy warm or if the noodles are soaking them up.

Cheng Thng Jelly Shots

Cheng Thng Jelly Shots

Pastry Chef Furrene spent a whole month researching how to make the perfect cheng thng for these little but robust shots filled with at least 5 different ingredients. Diced to perfection with the right amount of layers and proportions, these vodka-based jelly shots were very well-received by our customers. Cheers!

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Pastry Chef Furrene with our customers in front of Sharma’s series “Childhood Dreams”.

 

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank some of our sponsors for food & drink. Popaganda showered us with 4 different flavours of fresh fruit popsicles and most of them disappeared in an hour!

Just 4 of the many wonderful flavours from Popaganda

Just 4 of the many wonderful flavours from Popaganda

Popaganda's Mango Coconut

Popaganda’s Mango Coconut

J&D Burleigh supplied us with a well curated wine list consisting of: Chateau Simian, Chateauneuf du Pape 2009 & Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Fourneaux 2010

Chateauneuf du Pape 2009

Chateauneuf du Pape 2009 – one of the most famous wine labels from the south of Rhone, France

Sharma with guests

Sharma with guests

And these beautiful wines would not have been consumed without the kind sponsorship of catering equipment company, Steward’s Solution. A one-stop solution provider to all your catering needs.

Simple but elegant wine glasses by Steward's Solution to match the event

Simple but elegant wine glasses by Steward’s Solution to match the event.

 

Finally, these guys were the big surprise and we loved every bit of their charm from their quick set up yet effective pop up bar to their cocktails in plastic bags. Find out more about Liberty Spirits Asia at their day to night concept space The Secret Mermaid located in the basement of the newly renovated Ocean Financial Centre.

The sweethearts from The Secret Mermaid

The lovely people from The Secret Mermaid

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Moonshine – just one of the many American Craft Spirits they had on show.

Just some background on this unusual spirit for the curious:
1. Dark Corner Distillery out of South Carolina
2. No real definition of moonshine, but essentially it’s un-aged whiskey
3. Mash is corn, red wheat and barley
4. Gold Medal at the 2014 Beverage Testing Institute Spirits Competition, Double Gold Medal at the 2013 New York World Spirits Competition

Sharma & Guest sipping through one of Liberty Asia Spirit's fun local cocktails. Milo Peng with some vodka anyone? :)

Sharma & guest sipping through one of The Secret Mermaid’s local & innovative cocktails. “Milo Peng” with some vodka anyone? :)

 

Please go on to our “Events & Photos with Guests & Friends” page where you can capture more of the life and spirit from the launch!

John Berger, English art critic, once said, “Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one.” In accordance, Arundhati Roy wrote, “There can never be a single story. There are only ways of seeing. So when I tell a story, I tell it not as an ideologue who wants to pit one absolutist ideology against another, but as a story-teller who wants to share her way of seeing.”

This exhibition features three collections by Shaumyika Sharma. Three themes with three different artistic modes of production, Sharma’s influences range from modern and contemporary art to architecture and design. Sharma’s mother was also a great influence during her developing years and she gives much tribute to her for teaching Sharma about art.

At the front of the space, our viewer is presented with The Seasons – a mixed media series of four collages exploring the theme of change. Towards the middle wall, a twin set series of past and present explores the notion of memories and is depicted through a series of photos taken when she was a young girl, entitled Childhood Dreams. The third series, facing the back of the space, two strikingly blue images made up of smaller individual ones explores quite a popular theme in Singapore – food and our interactions with it.

SEASONS IV

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SEASONS IV: Summer
From a new series launching this April!

Artist’s statement: Architecture can seem permanent and static, yet the seasons impact it visually, transforming its appearance over time, and technically, affecting materials and inhabitation. The seasons represent change and are a reminder that architecture can’t be conceived of as purely static.

Seasons IV is a mixed media series of four collages depicting the changes Sharma’s felt during her time spent in New York. The idea sprung from a series of drawings she had from childhood and was later influenced by Cy Twombly’s The Four Seasons, where Sharma was inspired to create new work to express the language between space and time in her professional and city life.

Here’s a quick glimpse into some of her childhood drawings which we absolutely adore:

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And in case some of you were wondering about Cy Twombly’s The Four Seasons, here’s what they look like:

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Executed with an eye for composition and detail, Sharma will be using watercolours, acrylics with paintbrushes and found objects such as magazines and discarded materials such as corrugated card and foil from her studio to compose a new and lively series that is reminiscent of her previous work, influences and in a lot of ways, cubist art.

CHILDHOOD DREAMS

Artist’s statement: In the timeline of a design project, photos are more or less the first and last step. As a child I took these black and white photos at a school and developed the film in a dark room, soon after which I decided to study architecture. Revisiting the site last year, I captured the same locations in full colour with a digital camera. Recalling pre-digital photographic processes, both sets of photos are presented as enlarged negatives.

This series came about when Sharma presented her portfolio, which included photos from when she was a child. Why she had them in there, she wasn’t quite sure but they were first seen at the Highline Open Studios, a bi-annual event in New York City allowing artists of the West Chelsea district to open their studios to the public. It sparked a conversation between us about memories and what it would feel like to go back to the exact spot and take the same picture.

Going back there was a revelation as I remembered being really happy, feeling like I was somewhere where I could be free to explore ideas, creativity, without feeling embarrassed about being studious.”

CHILDHOOD DREAMS: Then & Now I

The black and white images were originally processed as slides and are the photos she took when she was still a young girl. They are processed as a negative image today to inform our viewer that “we never remember things exactly as they were…” And perhaps that is why the images that she took today when she revisited the same spot last December have the same subject matter but are not duplicates/replicas of the images taken over 20 years ago. Our memories are never 100% accurate, the wider the gap between past and present.

BLUE TOPOI

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BLUE TOPOI: Laksa

Artist’s statement: Cyanotype, the photographic process used to make blueprints, intrigues me as a way of studying light and shadow. In this series, the raw ingredients from two dishes-laksa and biryani-are composed to form imagined landscapes, using skills similar to those used in model-making. The pieces are intended to explore the disconnect between agricultural processes and city-dwellers in relation to food.

Much has been written about food in Singapore. No other subject is better suited to smartphone camera shots than food. Whether these shots are for the purpose of keeping a personal record of great places one has patronised, or for the instagramification of social life, more people are snapping photos of their favourite dishes than ever before.

Blue Topoi explores food culture in Singapore and consists of discrete and disparate images of: Laksa and Biryani, two of the most commonly found dishes at public housing food shops and hawker centres, places indigenous to Singapore’s food and urban landscape. In this series, Sharma deliberately considered every ingredient that makes up the essence of each dish’s recipe and gives us a new perspective of how food can look when framed. By rearranging each ingredient to create a surrealistic landscape, Sharma’s images look entirely different from a typical laksa or biryani. Each image can be taken apart and appreciated on its own but the images are more inviting together.

BLUE TOPOI: Laksa
An excerpt from the collection of 8 images.

Using one of the earliest forms of photography, Cyanotype, otherwise known to some as a Photogram, the medium seems to counter the speed at which photos of food are being taken and posted onto social media platforms, quite simply for the instant gratification of getting “liked”. Little goes into truly appreciating the skills and processes that go into making that dish.

By looking at this series, we’re lead to think about what an ingredient actually looks like, the ingredients that go into each recipe, the colours and the flavours of that dish, which have been stripped down to their basic shapes and form.

We were recently engaged to host a private event for a company where the front of the shop was used as a space for their presentation and the rear of the shop was used to display a buffet spread of our food. The event catered to about 40 people with a casual and friendly atmosphere.

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One of the table arrangements we’ve had and it worked out perfectly for us to keep an eye on any need for replenishment and customers could easily move around.

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We shifted the round marble table away to make way for guests to mingle around freely in a more casual atmosphere.

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Now for the yummy bits – our menu looked something like this :)

COLD &

WARM STARTERS

 Mixed Mushroom Crostini

Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream & Chives Crostini

Small Jacket Potato Skewers

SOUP

Fresh Corn Soup in a Cup

MAINS

Mini Chicken Burger

Beef Lasagne Squares

DESSERT

Madeleines

Brownie Bites

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We hope we got a tasty thumbs up! A combination of great team work from the kitchen to service could only make this set up as good as it tastes.

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Easy to consume and full of flavour, these canapes are just some examples of the flavours we have created. Do drop us a line for other flavours you might be interested in at your next event.

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Our famous beef lasagne gets a bite-sized treatment :)

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And we absolutely adore these baby potato skewers with smoked duck. Other toppings like grilled chicken or smashed avocado can also be ordered.

We were really excited to launch Anchalee’s aka “Kai” debut exhibition in Singapore, where you can find more photos of her artworks here and the kitchen crew at SPRMRKT came up with an equally amazing canapes spread that catered to over 50 guests throughout the evening.

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Quinoa & Tomato Salad

Spoonfuls of this healthy grain makes for a delicious substitute to your usual carbohydrate of rice, potato or pasta. We loved how the orange-reddishness of the tomatoes popped on the black spoons.

2013 Food 3

Grilled Pork Belly with Polenta & Mustard

These pork belly babies went off the tables each time they were replaced with a fresh plate!

2013 Food 5

Chocolate Brownie Bites

A bite-sized version of one of our daily dessert from past menus. Now we can only imagine them to become available in little brown bags or plastic tubs…

2013 Food 4

Raspberry Financier

A recipe by head of pastry, Furrene Hoh, these were specially created for the event.

2013 Food 7Some of our favourites from the event! Tuna mayo on fresh cucumber bites – grilled pork belly with polenta & mustard – quinoa & tomato salad – raspberry financier. If you’re thinking about hosting a party and would like any of these at your event, feel free to drop us a line!

But before you go, have a look at some of the photos from the event. Enjoy!

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One of Singapore’s top bartenders, Tron Young, mixes up some fun cocktails for the evening.
A vanilla lemon drop shot anyone? :)

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The lovely artist Kai (in black) speaking to some of her guests.

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Preparing a delicious moscow mint mule!

2013 Event 2

The day’s set up

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