Tiled Flora

Tiled Hydrangeas, All Rights Reserved.
Where do the tiles start and the petals end?


 

Tiled Eustomas, All Rights Reserved.
Building a little Floral Painting into this piece.

Tiled Roses, All Rights Reserved.
think KopiTiam. However it is likely that only upscale kopitiams will have decorative ceramic tiles on their walls.

 
My interest in the Peranakan tiles of old shophouses in Singapore have been piqued for quite a few years now. These tiles usually have floral motifs that work well with the geometrical symmetry of tile decorations.

I have always wondered at the back of my mind about using the features of these floral tiles as part of my artwork. Rather than a straightforward cataloging of the tiles, I asked myself what would it look like if the boundaries between the floral themed tiles and actual flowers are blurred?

This series “Tiled Flora” is the result of that question.

Along the way, while making the various pieces in this series, it occurred to me that the most interesting parts of the pieces is the margins at which the floral patterns of the ties meet the real flora.

The boundary where the regular repeating tiles merge with the free form of real flora is an unexpected finding which is fascinating to me. It seems that my eye is compelled to seek out the areas where the real petals meet the tiling patterns. But if the pieces were only of either tiles or natural flowers then the appeal will be reduced.

Perhaps this is representative of life in general. Pure conformity is boring while absolute freedom is chaos; Balance between extremes is harmonious and is desirable.

Tiled Orchids, All Rights Reserved.
Orchids are synonymous with Singapore, and the colours of this piece seems nostalgic.

Tiled Ixora Diptych, All Rights Reserved.
Ixora are flowers from my childhood. I remember children will pluck the flowers and suck the nectar for a couple seconds of happiness. Individually, Ixora flowers are kind of bland, but as a whole these plants are irresistible, to humans and insects.

Tiled Flora Tryptich 1, All Rights Reserved.
I have wanted to make diptychs and triptychs comprising of pieces which can stand alone for some time… and this series lets me fulfil that wish!