Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 4 December


Laotian artist Marisa Darasavath is said to have always painted only the female figure and not other figure forms. Well, perhaps almost always, because we may occasionally see the depiction of a young male child attached to his mother in her large-scale paintings. Darasavath’s use of vibrant colours to lay the fine lines, tiny dots and curvy shapes onto her canvas is fascinating.

lines, dots, shapes

lines, dots, shapes

While the sheer size of her paintings does not intimidate, there is a sense of calmness when being surrounded by them. The curvy and fluid-looking female figures are a clear representation of femininity. Amid the tenderness of the female figures, their lively activities in the paintings as a mother or a home maker or a supplement-income earner of the family celebrate the many roles women play in patriarchal Laotian society.

Untitled (detail), 2013

by Marisa Darasavath

Oil on canvas, a series of paintings

Singapore Art Museum, level 2, Special Exhibition Gallery

Collection of the artist

Singapore Biennale 2013 Commission