c/discoveries: When You Were Mine: Afiqa A'mran
Cuturi Gallery is proud to present When You Were Mine -a debut solo exhibition by Afiqa A’mran (b. 1995) under the gallery’s special program, c/discoveries. Channeling grief into works of art has been an age-old theme and, Afiqa presents that she is no stranger to the reckonings of love and loss. In her oil paintings, the emerging artist divulges intimate moments of her past relationship. When You Were Mine is a response of catharsis that comes with the departure of a partner.
Afiqa’s selection of new works conjures curves and ambiguous figures that the artist characterises as a form of queer feminity. Starting with preliminary sketches in her notebook before transferring them onto the canvas, the artist uses a careful method for each line placement and blob of colour. This approach stems from wanting to strike a balance between the subject matter and visual qualities of her works. Afiqa believes that “one line too many might make the work too overbearing.” Executing her paintings in a thinly veiled manner, the series begins with a portrait of the artist held together by controlled lines and dainty complementary colours.
When You Were Mine III (2021) introduces us to the initial stages of the relationship where we see the characters delicately intertwined and composed. What looks like a promising start is soon upended as we soon realise a shift in the dynamics of the partnership.
There is inevitable loneliness that comes out of unreciprocated love. Afiqa navigates her way to consolation in her body of works and translates this alienating feeling through her contorted figurations. A melancholic aura pervades her canvases as the gradient tones in her canvas begin to intensify. The lines used in her portraits start to untangle and carry us along the spiraling journey of the impending downfall to come. Reaching a crescendo of colours and emotions, When You Were Mine V (2021) alludes to the end of the relationship where we witness a hand leaving the canvas.
With a desire to break out of the traditional conventions of painting, Afiqa distinguishes her style by employing an interplay of abstractive and figurative forms to portray the characters in her works. This is conveyed in the foreground ofmost of her paintings such as When You Were Mine VI (2021) where boxes emerge that suggest parts of a face. Afiqa stimulates us with her painted figurations as we catch a glimpse of the exterior desolation that is felt. In this shared space of witnessing the trade between love and loss, Afiqa’s body of works reveals the complexities of the human spirit.
When You Were Mine will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 6 to 21 November 2021.
Afiqa A’mran is part of Cuturi Gallery’s c/discoveries programme, an initiative dedicated to supporting young and emerging artists. This show also marks the last c/discoveries show of the year.
A Singaporean artist, Afiqa A’mran graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Digital Media Design and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts at Lasalle College of the Arts.
Text by Allysa De Silva.