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EXHIBITIONS: Island Vernacular


Island Vernacular

Milenko Prvacki and Ian Woo

Islands tend to have complicated language situations. Typically there will be an identifiably indigenous language and a handful of other tongues that have arrived either through trade or conquest, and that variously intermingle, impose, or demark. These multiple languages fray at the edges through generations, and if we sidestep arguments over the pureness of a language stream, the resultant mix is a richly nuanced indexical store of historical, cultural and psychical transition. The discipline of Painting is also something of an island, and whilst it is necessary to be cautious in comparing visual and verbal (audiences assume they are capable of appreciating a complex painting in a way they would not assume should someone address them in a language they had not learnt), the metaphor of layered cultures and interspersed meanings holds true.

This exhibition of two painters from the many-islanded, island nation of Singapore, Milenko Prvacki and Ian Woo, seeks to examine the use of multiple language streams within contemporary painting. These two artists have broad international outlooks, and yet make use of the hothouse cultural mix of Singapore to fuse painterly languages in a manner that yearns for meaning rather than reveling in postmodern playfulness. Their refusal to admit that meaning is no longer reliable leads each to an interrogation of Western and Eastern painterly traditions, not with the intention of discovering a promised land at the intersection, but to find a personal language fit for purpose in a global age.

The exhibition will juxtapose recent works by these two painters to demonstration of the continuing vitality of painting as a medium of enquiry, and the relevance of Singapore as context for such enquiry. Inevitably Prvacki and Woo find themselves moving in the same Singaporean cultural crowd, and both have strong associations with LaSalle University, bringing their international experience to an educational arena. The exhibition will consequently seek to strengthen connections between Plymouth University and LaSalle University, to further intellectual debates around this theme.

A full colour catalogue will be published by Peninsula Arts, with essays by curator Christopher Cook. During the exhibition a symposium on the theme of “Island Vernacular” will consider issues of painting and globalization.

Date: Friday 1 February –
Saturday 23 February

(Please note that the start date of this exhibition has been changed)
Admission: FREE

Gallery & Box Office
Venue: Peninsula Arts Gallery
Opening Hours: Monday–Friday 10.00–17:00
Saturday 11.00–16.00
Box Office T: 01752 58 50 50

Island Vernacular 1

Island Vernacular 1