Untitled  2018
paper cut collage
14 x 13.5 cm

Over the past few years and in parallel with ‘major’ oil paintings I have continued to make works on paper that include liquid polymer/watercolours, paper-cut collages and also, small cardboard/paper sculptures that are eventually fabricated in steel. I have amassed around fifty or sixty pieces of these small works and some have been included in solo and group exhibitions.

Apart from their diminutive scale, what connects these works is context, one that originates from the Head as a subject. However, there is a parallel motivation, which is, to retrieve the image while simultaneously engaging geometric simplification.

In retrospect it’s obvious, I have always privileged the linear and this is clearly evident. When employing abstraction with its promise of new possibilities, the ‘rules for making’ are really matter-of-fact: shapes are delineated by line and these lines are drawn with the aid of templates and drafting tools. The rationale that drives this methodology is not to forfeit the figure but invite abstraction to play a greater role in figuration. Informed by flatness, the intent, whether pictorial or sculptural is one of economy and immediacy. Although the work may reference reality, it also engages the imaginary, nevertheless, it is essentially artificial. Also, it’s important to make clear that it is not my intention to express thoughts about what my work depicts, but incite thought by means of what and how it depicts.

— Euan Heng

Courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries

Artist bio