Museum Musings: Ian De Souza’s Clear Light at the Private Museum
The Private Museum (TPM) Singapore presents Australian artist Ian de Souza’s homecoming debut, Clear Light, this October. While spotlighting an artist returning to his land and heritage, Clear Light also embodies a man coming home to his self. Considering that all visual experiences start with light, Clear Light offers an experience of a new beginning marked by clarity – in Ian’s own words: “Just let it be and feel it.”
Born in 1939 in then-Malaya, de Souza grew up in a period of turbulence, where he spent his childhood in Singapore under colonial British rule and the Japanese occupation before moving to New South Wales, Australia. He briefly studied to be a Redemptorist missionary priest and went on to study art at Perth Technical College. Through the 1960s and 70s, he toured the world widely as a musician, performed alongside pop music icons such as the Bee Gees, before transitioning into a full-time artist in 1980.
Experienced across all mediums, with mastery over water-based colours and inks,Ian‘s most recent works involve a process of bleeding inks through layers of rice paper, and were inspired by his recent travels to India, China and South East Asia. In these works, Ian is seeking fundamental and ethereal images of the human form through the discovery of ‘accidental’ strokes. His many years of classical training as an artist, focusing on the human form, enable him to achieve this. Yet in many ways, these works mark a departure from his previous works, in that they derive from the classical techniques of Chinese calligraphy and painting, yet remain thoroughly contemporary.
Clear Light then is a response to de Souza’s lifelong pursuit of passion, knowledge and technical mastery, and the realization that comes from years of thoughtful introspection. In this homecoming exhibition, visitors will get to experience his latest series of works – abstract ink paintings – which embody the artist’s contemplation on his Eastern heritage, spirituality and harmony.
Clear Light runs from 10th October to 8th December 2019 at the Private Museum. Admission is free. For more information, visit their website here