Phuan Thai Meng
Phuan Thai Meng, Malaysia b.1974 | The Luring of [ ] . 流水不腐, 户枢不蠹 2012 | Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, mounted on plywood | Six panels | Purchased 2012. Queensland Art Gallery | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | ©: The artist
b.1974, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
Lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Location: GOMA 3.3 and 3.4
Phuan Thai Meng’s superbly crafted photo-realistic paintings depict the in-between spaces of the urban environment, creating an unsettling representation of contemporary life. He explores its complexity through incisive portrayals of disquieting sites and objects, in a process described by fellow artist Yee I-Lann as 'honing in on the ordinary as an attentive observer to the awkward relationship between these spaces and their inhabitants'. Urban development and structural decay, polish and neglect, come together in the vast panoramic painting Phuan has created for APT7, which shows a mess of freeway overpasses and slip roads in Kuala Lumpur. The surface of the canvas is cut and dangles limply at points corresponding to mildewy concrete pylons and revealing a plywood substrate below, drawing an analogy between the role of illusion in painting and the fallibility of civic ambitions.