In partnership with Jan Larsen Art & JLA Studios, the 𝗡𝗘𝗪 𝗬𝗘𝗔𝗥 | 𝗡𝗘𝗪 𝗡𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗟 exhibition at Robertson House and PARKROYAL on Beach Road will be taking place from 12 Feb – 7 Mar 2021. The exhibition will unveil a new set of Jan Larsen’s Synchrony Series paintings; exhibiting alongside him will be Extra•Ordinary People’s Art Therapy client, Genine Tham!
Genine Tham, a beneficiary under our Art Therapy Programme, creates glimpses of her inner world through her artwork, motivated solely by self-discovery, inquisitiveness, and play.
When Genine first started her Art Therapy sessions at Extra•Ordinary People, she was just drawing markings resembled “H” and “9” using a red marker. She further progressed to explore making different marks with red marker pens in different ways. She wrote her name and experimented with different strokes, line length, movement, grip and shapes. It was about the 8th session that her strokes became bolder.
Principal Art Psychotherapist Lama suggested we can move to massive size canvases with bold thick paint. It was then, she told me “Your daughter will have her own exhibition” Her comments came to me as a surprise and inspiration for new hope. I was skeptical at the start, yet was confident that if I provided the space for her to be herself, this may take her in a different direction. “Possibilities open up to us in life only if we are able to see them”, these were the words of encouragement by Lama that allowed me to see beyond the horizon…
NEW YEAR | NEW NORMAL Exhibition - Featured Works by Genine Tham
This was Genine’s first canvas painting with her hands. She explored the new sensation of working on the canvas cloth which is much graniner and softer compared to the usual plywood.
Genine was highly communicative, naming colors and being specific where to place them. She firmly said no to colors suggested and made her choice during the process.
Choice is an empowering piece that landmarks the artist’s voice. While being provided with colors, she exclaimed, “I want to choose!” for the very first time.
This moment is embedded in the movement and energy of this painting. The artist started painting this piece with the tip of her toes, gradually moving on to the balls of her feet, then to her heels, and finally, using both feet.
She was very focused and attentive during the complete process; it was truly a unique exploration! She was very aware of her choices and clear about the methods that she used to paint. If you look closely, you will see many hand and feet prints throughout the board. Can you spot them?
Deliberation was a very intentional painting by the artist. She started by using a roller and slowly moves on using her hands to paint the background colours. After which she switched to paint some ice cream sticks and laid them on top of the background. She deliberately removed the ice cream sticks and continued painting the rest with her feets and even crawled on it. It was an unforgettable session to see her in a flow to complete the painting so enthusiastically. Her creative process has wonderfully evolved.
Ocean Deep is an Extra•Ordinary painting that was created in approaching the wooden board in different orientations. It was first leaned against a wall, and then moved to the floor. This allowed for her body to move freely in space, there were instances where the artist stamped layers of colors with her hands, feet, and knees. She expanded her range of movements and used her entire body to work in different angels. The choice of colors was hers and she used her fingers to tap tiny “fishes” into being in the vast green background. The final images resulted in schools of fishes swimming upstream throughout the board. A magical sight indeed!
She initated to paint with both feet. She started using ice cream sticks and explored different types of patterns with it. She also used the canvas keys to stamp different combination of colors. At the end of the process, she verbally said the painting finished and covered up the sides of the canvas. Thereafter, she looked at her work with a sense of ownership and accomplishment.
The ancient Chinese associated the colour with harvests, happiness, wealth and celebrations. No wonder tangerines and oranges are the primary food symbols of the Chinese New Year. Genine entered in with a cheerful mood. She chose red, orange and yellow as though she knew they were the colours of the season. Her process was very confident.
Once the majority of the canvas was covered, She began removing the pieces while leaving behind traces of exciting textures. She further went on to add dribbles of red and yellow as highlights after uncovering all the pieces.
The first piece painted by the artist on a hard-wooden board.
The painting was made on an easel. The artist enjoyed the capacity of this new surface to carry layers of paint, she worked slowly and noticed all the textures on the surface of the board.
She was playful, humming, swaying, smiling as she walked from side-to-side. The first two layers were painted with hands and the white flowers bloomed by blotching a paintbrush. As one pays attention to the details of this beautiful final image, there is a sense of “serenity” and calmness to the soul.
This piece presents the first element, Gold.
Although the golden color was chosen as an after-thought by the artist, it brought this piece together and became the highlight of the work. She used the tips of her index fingers to create points of details and gradually transitioned to her palms resulting in a dynamic flow in the painting. She was fully aware and engaged during the whole process, and was very clear whether to use a brush for blue color and gold color with her fingers. She remained happy and smiling during painting.
The Mystical Forest
It is eye-opening to see how Genine intergrated her favourite hobby into this painting. She used blank puzzle pieces along with the ice cream sticks during her art making process.
She began by manipulating the canvas keys to make marks. This was followed by layering the ice cream and puzzle pieces mindfully and verbalizing change in colour in periods.. Soon after she removed all the pieces and moved to stamping yellow with the puzzle. Can you find the pathway into this mystical forest?
Spring is a season of warmth, recovery, and rejuvenation.
The traits perfectly describe the mood of the artist while she created this piece. Although she was very playful, she had a strong intent of creating something new and beautiful.
In this mood, Spring came into being from her choice of colors, her finger and feet tapping movements, playful spray of colors, and use of squeegee board in unique ways to create this lively masterpiece.
Space is the final element of the series. It symbolizes the freedom and the magnitude of works created by the artist. The process of its birth was a celebration fueled by music, rhythm and fun!
As space continues to expand, so does the artist’s capabilities with newer opportunities in the horizon.
This was the last piece Genine painted for year 2020!
There were so much to reflect upon for the entire year. The Pandemic may have sparked an unprecedented crisis among us, nevertheless, we have emerged stronger.
Just like her painting, the process is getting bolder, more independent, conscious, and deliberate. The many colors portrayed all kinds of challenges intertwined in our lives, but with each distinctive colors, has created an Extra•ordinary piece of work.