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Jimmy Ong

Still Life

signed 'J. Ong' lower left, dated and stamped
with the artist's stamp '1986' lower right

oil on canvas

62 x 32 cm. (24 3/8 x 12 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1986.

S$6,500 - 8,000

Catalogue Essay

Jimmy Ong (b. 1964, Singapore) is one of Singapore’s preeminent contemporary artists, noted for his large-scale, figurative charcoal works on paper. Still Life was made in 1986 at Centre for Creative Studies in Detroit, United States, where the Ong was a student at the time. He was inspired by Pierre Bonnard’s works at the Detroit Institute of Art.

Ong’s early , pioneering work focused on sexual identity and gender roles, and the ways in
which multiple identities and perspectives, whether sexual, ethnic, national, or even
generational, can coexist within the individual. In recent years, he has investigated issues
relating to marital roles, as well as gender archetypes as conveyed through mythology and spiritual traditions. His seminal exhibition, Sitayana, exhibited at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in 2010 and subsequently acquired by the National Gallery Singapore, marked the first major public exhibition with this new focus through its feminist re-imagining of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, a work which continues to play a vibrant role throughout Southeast Asia. Ong used the Ramayana as a point of departure in creating new narratives, which were informed by his sensitivity to the way gender roles play out in contemporary relationships. Recent exhibitions include an important collection of 100 newly acquired works from the 1980s at the National University of Singapore Museum (2013–2014); an exhibition at the Private Museum, Singapore (2011); and an acclaimed solo show of new works, entitled SGD, at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute following his residency there (2010).

Courtesy of Vivian Chandran


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