From Bukit Larangan to Borobudur: Recent Drawings by Jimmy Ong 2000-2015


Format: Hard Cover; 100 pages
Published: 2016, Singapore, First Edition
Price: SG$95 / SG$110 (Signed)

From Bukit Larangan to Borobudur: Recent Drawings by Jimmy Ong 2000-2015 is the first detailed study of Jimmy Ong's art by renowned art historian T. K. Sabapathy. It springs from lengthy, intense conversations between the artist and the writer, excerpts of which are included.

The title for the publication is derived from Jimmy Ong's drawings. Bukit Larangan (the earlier, historical name for present-day Fort Canning in Singapore) and Borobudur are wellsprings for the narrative and symbolic content for a number of pictures. They also constitute poles for signifying locations for Jimmy Ong's life, beginning in Singapore and now residing in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Borobudur and Bukit Larangan are thematic drives for examining his recent pictures. Images of 14 drawings from the period will be reproduced on double-spread pages, in addition to 21 illustrations.

Jimmy Ong's creative practice is defined by the human figure and by drawing. These are constants. The pictures shown here have expanded and complicated the twin foundations of his art. Changes or transformations have been spurred by binding interests in narrative; this is new. Whereas figures in earlier works are autonomously dominant, now they dramatise events and encounters between individuals derived from history and mythology; these representations require elaborate depictions of landscape. When we examine these aspects, Jimmy Ong's pictures may be connected with the historical art traditions in Southeast Asia in which narrative is predominant. In looking at these aspects too, Jimmy Ong's works may be related to modern and contemporary representations of narrative in Southeast Asia which have yet to be explored. Intimations of these connections are proposed here.