BIOGRAPHY


Biography

 

Ian Woo (Kenji Takahashi #2)WS

Photography by Kenji Takahashi

 

Ian Woo is an artist working in the language of abstraction. Influenced by forms of modernism, perceptual abstraction and the sound structures of music improvisation, his work is characterised by a sense of gravitational and representational change. He often uses the term ‘picture making’ when describing his position and approach, maintaining the discipline and evolvement of painting as a vehicle for pictorial reflectivity.

Woo began his studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore) in 1991. He received a Masters in European Fine Art at the Winchester School of Art (UK) in 1995 and a research practice DFA with RMIT University (Australia) in 2006.

In 1999, Woo was the recipient of the UOB Painting of the Year award in the Abstract category. He was also the Juror’s Choice for two consecutive years in South East Asia’s Philip Morris Award in 1999 and 2000. His Doctorate research was based on the ability of abstract painting to express notions of a continuous presence.

Woo’s first solo exhibition “Mental Images” was held at the LASALLE Gallery in Singapore in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include “Falling Off Plastic Chairs” at Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore (2015), “The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch” at 8/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Japan (2014) and “Ian Woo: A Review 1995 – 2011” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2011). Selected recent group exhibitions include  “Siapa Nama Kamu” at National Gallery Singapore (2015), “After Utopia”, at Singapore Art Museum (2015), “The Origin of Beauty: Dramatic Nostalgia at Busan Museum of Art, Korea (2014) and “Market Forces – Erasure: From Conceptualism To Abstraction” at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2014).

His works are in the collection of major institutions such as ABN AMRO, Singapore Art Museum, The Istana Singapore, The National Gallery Singapore, UBS, and the Mint Museum of Craft & Design, USA.

Woo’s paintings were recently featured in the publication “Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes”, a publication by Phaidon 2013.


Curriculum Vitae

 

Education

2006
Doctor of Fine Art, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

1995
Masters of Art in European Fine Art, Painting, Winchester School of Art, Winchester, UK and Barcelona, Spain

1994
Bachelors of Fine Art, Honours, Painting, Kent Institute of Art and Design, Canterbury, UK

1991
Diploma in Fine Art, Painting, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

 

Individual Exhibitions

2015

“Falling Off Plastic Chairs”, Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore, Singapore

2014

“The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch”, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 8/Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2013

“Ian Woo: How I Forgot to be Happy”, Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore, Singapore

2011
“Ian Woo: A Review, 1995 – 2011”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore

2009
“Flux Technicolour”, Watergate Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
“Flux Technicolour”, HT Contemporary Space, Singapore

2008
“The Thing It Saw”, Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

2006
“Everything That Went Before This”, The Substation Gallery, Singapore

2003
“The Error Hope Drawings”, Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

2001
“Cluster”, Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

2000
“Mental Images: Paintings and Drawings”, LASALLE Gallery, Singapore

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016

“Walking Dreaming Painting”, Osage, Hong Kong
“Impermanent Durations: On Painting and Time”, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Bundoora, Australia
“Impermanent Durations: On Painting and Time”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore
“Sun Ship”, An Exhibition in Support of Arts, Letters and Numbers, Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, USA
“The Great Lubricator”, The Société Générale Banking Gallery, Singapore

2015

“Siapa Nama Kamu”, National Gallery Singapore
“Drawing from Our Past, Framing Our Future” UOB Art Collection, Galleries 1 and 2, Lim Hak Tai Gallery, Singapore
“After Utopia”, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2014

“The Origin of Beauty: Dramatic Nostalgia, Busan Museum of Art, Korea
“Forever II”, Galerie DNA, Berlin, Germany
“A Drawing Show”, Yeo Workshop, Singapore
“Erasure- From Conceptualism to Abstraction”, Osage, Hong Kong
“Medium at Large”, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
“Thinking of Landscape, Paintings from the Yeap Lam Yang Collection”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore
“Do You Believe in Angels?”, Mo_Space, Philippines

2013

“Made in Singapore, Three Quarters of a Century”, Galleries 1 and 2, Lim Hak Tai Gallery, Singapore
“Painting in Singapore”, Equator Art Projects, Singapore
“Theory and Practice of the Small Painting”, Equator Art Projects, Singapore
“Side-glance”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore
“Collection”, Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore, Singapore
“Island Vernacular”, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth University, UK

2012
“Marcel Duchamp in Southeast Asia”, Equator Art Projects, Singapore
“Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore
“Panorama: Recent Art From Contemporary Asia”, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2011
“NINE”, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore
“Remaking Art In The Everyday”, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore
“Sovereign Asian Art Prize Exhibition”, The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong

2009
“Found & Lost”, Osage Gallery, Singapore
“Space for Perspective”, Chang Art Gallery, Beijing, China
“From Left To Right And Right To East”, T1 Project Space, University of Huddersfield, The Huddersfield Art Gallery, UK

2008
“Showcase Singapore”, City Hall, Singapore
“Always Here But Not Always Present: Art In A Senseless World”, Singapore Management University, Singapore

2007
“Extraordinary Tales of Skylarking”, Jendela, Esplanade, Singapore
“Black is not the darkest colour”, La Libreria, Singapore

2006
“Zhong Biao, Ian Woo”, ARCO’06, Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I, Madrid, Spain

2005
“The Art of Collaboration: Masterpieces of Modern Tapestry from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop”, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore

 

Selected Exhibition Catalogues

‘PAINTING from ACT and FACT’ Text by David Thomas, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2015

“The Task of Painting” Text by Beth Harland, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2014

“An Essay on Draw-Ing” Text by Louis Ho, Yeo Workshop, 2014

“Painting in Singapore” Interview by Tony Godfrey. Equator Art Projects, 2013

“How I Forgot to be Happy” Text by Adele Tan. Interview by Ahmad Mashadi. Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore 2013

“Island Vernacular” Text by Christopher Cook. Peninsula Arts Gallery, University of Plymouth Press 2012

“Ian Woo: A Review, 1995-2011” Text by Charles Merewether. Interview with the artist by Guo-Liang Tan. Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore 2012

“Flux Technicolour” Text by Howard Rutkowski. Interview with the artist by Mary Dinaburg. Fortune Cookie Projects 2009

“From Left To Right, Right To East” Text by Steve Swindells. University of Huddersfield 2009

“The Thing It Saw” Text by Lawrence Chin and Lim Kok Boon. Interview with the artist by Lawrence Chin. Plastique Kinetic Worms 2008

“Everything That Went Before This” Interview with the artist by Beth Harland. The Substation Gallery 2006

“The Error Hope Drawings” Text by Kelvin Tan. Plastique Kinetic Worms 2003

“Cluster” Text by Gunalan Nadarajan. Plastique Kinetic Worms 2001

“Mental Images: Paintings and Drawings” Text by Gunalan Nadarajan and Rhett D’Costa. Interview with the artist by Huangfu Binghui. LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts 2000

 

Selected Bibliography

Sherman Sam, “Reviews- Ian Woo”, Art Forum, Summer 2015 : p 377

Kevin Chua, “Painting in Singapore” in Journal of Contemporary Painting, Volume 1, Number 1. Intellect 2015 : p 181-184

Beverly Yong, “Thinking of Landscape: An Expedition”, Charles Merewether, “Sensorial Immersion in Landscape”. In Thinking of Landscape: Paintings from the Yeap Lam Yang Collection. Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore 2014 : p 8-17, p88-93

Eugene Tan, “Singapore”. In Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes. Phaidon 2013 : p 290-291

Ian Woo, “Closer to the Surface: Questions about the function of painting and that which implodes (A conversation between Ian Woo and Ian Woo)”. In GLOSSARY Volume 1. Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore 2011: p 37-41

Guo-Liang Tan, “Loose Ends”. In Aversions. Edited by Guo-Liang Tan. Texts by Guo-Liang Tan, Eugene Tan and Susie Lingham. Osage Publications 2009: p 124-125

Gunalan Nadarajan, “Ian Woo”. In Contemporary Art in Singapore.  Texts by Gunalan Nadarajan, Russell Storer and Eugene Tan. Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts 2007: p 162-165

Gunalan Nadarajan, “Approximating Vision: The Paintings of Ian Woo”. In Zhong Biao, Ian Woo. Text by Eugene Tan, Gunalan Nadarajan and Pi Li. ARCO Madrid / Soobin Art International 2006: p 34-35

 

Awards

2010
Finalist, Sovereign Asian Art Prize

2000
Juror’s Choice, Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards

1999
Juror’s Choice, Philip Morris Group of Companies Singapore Art Awards
Category Winner of the Abstract Medium, The 18th UOB Painting of the Year
Recipient of the JCCI Singapore Art Award 1999, presented by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

Collections

ABN AMRO Singapore

Istana Singapore

National Library Board, Singapore

National University Singapore

Prudential Portfolio Managers Asia, Singapore

Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Management University

Swissôtel The Stamford, Singapore

The Mint Museum of Craft and Design, North Carolina, USA

The National Art Gallery, Singapore

UBS Singapore

United Overseas Bank Singapore