Tectonic Traces
By Choy Chun Wei

‘Life is beautifully questioned in a sense, but I also question how it’s arranged.’

To arrange and rearrange, to construct and deconstruct, to connect and break, to cut and paste – the importance of Choy Chun Wei’s pieces stretch within his actions, privileging dynamic large-scaled collages. This series marks a progression from his previous work, notably through the process of assembling more reliefs and creating greater overlaps. Pushing boundaries with through the use of tectonic materials, the works exhibited in Tectonic Traces accentuate the complexities and contradictions inherent in life’s fragments.

‘Graphic design produces many effects around us these days.’

The artist’s current practice took its roots from graphic design, which soon evolved into dimensional works, portraying references to architecture. Juxtapositions of omnipresent geometrical forms such as rectangles and circles – the latter being a recent addition to his works, particularly notable in the piece “City of Buttons” (2017) – are symbolic receptions of today’s living spaces, electronics and other accessories that surround us day-to-day.

‘I’m constructing my own organic in the society.’

Sensible to the tensions among the solid and the organic, each piece constantly illuminates two opposing characteristics: between supermarket product codes and fluid doodles of anonymous portraits, between straight lines and handwritten jottings of people met during his sojourn in Hong Kong. Thus, the word ‘corporate’ frequently appearing in the titles of his works, seems to deliver two interpretations: on one hand ‘designed corporation’ – symbol of consumerist environment, on the other hand ‘togetherness’ – a human quality essential to society.

These strains and junctures are emphasized in “Rambling” (2017), as evident through the technique of newspaper collage. Extracts of actual headlines are cut and arrayed on canvas following nothing but the artist’s intuition, forming new meanings in the process. Overlaying these linear arrangements of words, the artist applied paint and sand in a vigorous manner – giving birth to robust and burnt effects – so as to break the messages.

The indicated piece illustrates our frustration with the information world, which in fact is not physically existent – the same way as the rectangular forms that can be spotted in most of his collages mimic the multiplying screens of our electronic devices.

In this rapidly changing world, the artist tags along, while continually seeking peace and settlement through the process of making art.

Chun Wei also touches on the celebrity phenomena and how it has commodified human beings. As humans climb ladders to success in great speed, their humanity slowly becomes abstracted. This notion is explored in “Future Stars” (2017), where images of famous footballers echo the artist’s original sentiment and further shed light on how a sport, as symbolic and communal as football is, has also become abstracted and commodified.

Dealing with information and facts, at the same time interrogating the state of mind of human beings, Choy Chun Wei envisages how our identity is transforming into numbers and codes. Through twelve pieces displayed during his third solo exhibition at Wei-Ling Contemporary and Wei-Ling Gallery, following ‘Kaleidoscopic Landscapes’ (2007) and ‘Here and Now’ in (2011), he seems to question: Is our identity no longer defined by anything but our surroundings?

Tectonic Traces will be showing from 19th October to 30th November 2018 at Wei-Ling Contemporary.

Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at Lot No RT-1 6th Floor The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 7pm.

Please call +603 2282 8323 / +603 2260 1106 or email: noel.weilinggallery@gmail.com for more information.