17 June 2022 – Vanessa Liem’s solo show For The Time Being at Cuturi Gallery

Plural Art Mag, June 17, 2022


We got to check out the preview of Vanessa Liem’s solo show For The Time Being at Cuturi Gallery. The exhibition is a culmination of Liem’s eight-month artist residency at the gallery. You’ll notice that all the oil paintings feature striking alien-like figures, which are based on the artist’s face.



Liem in her studio space during her artist residency at Cuturi Gallery. Image courtesy of Cuturi Gallery.


Liem favours a moody dream-like palette of rich cerulean and magenta, and it’s easy to get lost in her soft, skilfully blended brushstrokes. Gazing at her paintings feels like being transported to another dimension. 


There is a noticeable darkness to her works, as wistful-looking, isolated figures emerge from shadowy, surreal landscapes and dimly lit rooms. These reference the artist’s mental state and experiences with “anxiety, mania, vulnerability, and numbness.” 


Check out the highlights below:



Pleasure Puppets (2021) is a striking example of Liem’s technical skill. Here, two blue figures rest in the foreground, with one tugging at another’s eyes. Lush, tropical leaves linger behind them as detailed beads of moisture catch the light and trickle down the figures’ faces. What’s impressive is how this work simply feels laden with moisture and reminds you of a late-night walk in humid Singapore. Image courtesy of Cuturi Gallery.



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