Christine Mak was hoisted into public view in 1986 through the Shell Art Discovery Exhibition. Since then, the artist has been moving from strength to strength.
Born in 1957, Mak began taking art lessons in her early teens. Her first lessons, at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), were in Western painting. It was only after graduation that she began to imbibe the skills of Chinese painting under the tutelage of artists both in Singapore and abroad.
The introduction to the traditions and techniques of Chinese art was crucial to her development as an artist, for later in life it was in this area specifically that she made her mark as a painter.
Her training in Chinese art was an amalgam of the abstract, black ink techniques of the Shanghai School and the far more realistic, chromatic dispositions of the Lingnan artists.
'The Best of East and West'
Contemporary Chinese brush paintings, western style abstracts, collages, naïve paintings and child art – these are just some of the styles of Christine Mak's artworks carried by Eagle's Eye Art Gallery. The subject matter of these paintings varies from formal still-life studies to complex abstracts and arresting figurative works.
Through primary training in western art forms, Christine learned Chinese brush painting a few years back had has taken to it quite seriously. In most of her works, she uses a new medium of painting. Her brush paintings are executed in acrylic over the rice paper that is pasted to the board. The delightful texture and feel of the paper are great, but it is fragile when used with acrylic. When supported by the board it offers excellent media for the artist. Her typical subjects of still-lives, flower studies, traditional Chinese themes and abstracts are shown off brilliantly over this unique surface.
Christine's works have a childlike innocence. It appears that Christine has suspended her intellectual mind and artistic skills and goes back in time, to fathom deeper into her childhood dreams.
However one wonders how much more significant the impact would have been, had she narrowed her choice down to fewer themes that are close to her heart and explored them in depth. Neither is it imperative not it practical that an artist makes a statement on everything. In the arduous and exhausting medium of painting, it is better to be more selective. And for the viewer, it is more satisfying to view engaging variations on a few themes rather than intimidating diversity.
‘East and West’, an exclusive collection of Chinese brush paintings and mixed media works by Christine Mak open for viewing at Eagle’s Eye Art Gallery.
"Art is an expression of the many true creative impulses which spring from the innermost depths of an individual.
The desire to create is thus a timeless urge which can manifest itself at any time, in any culture and in any part of the world."
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