Alvin Ong

(Born) 1988 in Singapore
(Based) Singapore and London, UK


Biography ( )

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Ong engages the world from various vantage points, the experience of navigating life between Singapore and London deeply informs his practice. His technique is characterised by rapid, large and impulsive brushstrokes in a palette of yellow ochre, cerulean, cobalt tones, prussian blues and alizarin crimson.

The artist’s primary interest lies in conveying the wide spectrum of thoughts, dreams and emotions endured by the human body. Elongated expressive figures inhabit his compositions, connected across time and space by sweeping dynamic layers of paint. He explores the ambivalent ‘inside out’ and ‘upside out’ sentiment, of being at once here and nowhere, a sentiment amplified by the recent pandemic which propagated the stigmatization of contact and created new concepts of distance.

Ong combines his distinct visual language with art history references from Old Masters to contemporary art. He subsumes the language of others from Tintoretto’s and El Greco’s expressive use of light, Cubists’ manipulation of perspectives, to his contemporaries such as Nicole Eisenman and Salman Toor who explore the ambiguous complexities around identity and sexuality.

— Kami Gahiga



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by Virgile Janssen