ART Habens Art Review // Special Issue ART Habens Art Review - Special Issue #89 - Page 28

ART Habens Tatawa (Wei Tan) Singapore, Taiwan, London and New York. Among these cultural clashes and identity crises I have grown to value the importance of honouring a personal, multifaceted truth. So to answer your second question, the way I relate to the aesthetic problem is the same way I relate to my identity crisis – to be truthful to what you think is beautiful at the moment and to allow that to change as often as it likes. In other words the aesthetic problem to me is always about temporary, personal likes or dislikes rather than permanent, universal right or wrong. My only concern is to find out what I like today. My process is largely improvisational. The only fixed element is the canvas. I usually have the canvas on the floor. I choose the first material that catches my eye – acrylic, ink, gesso or pastels – and create gestures. I often describe my process as making soup – I throw raw ingredients into a pot and stir them up. First there is a period of mindless doodling, where I simply purge ideas onto the canvas with no regard of composition. As layers accumulate I start to stir the soup and mould the clay. Special Issue Ball Game with Dog When the canvas becomes too busy I sometimes wipe a layer of gesso or paint over all of it. I finish a painting when I arrive at a satisfying layer – usually something that surprises me, something that I did not expect to come from me. Some paintings may emerge within an 23 4 05