PRIMO MARELLA GALLERY

Zwitterion

24 November 2016 - 27 January 2017

Zwitterion

Primo Marella Gallery is pleased to present Zwitterion, the first massive Ruben Pang’ solo show in Europe.

Born in 1990 in Singapore, Pang has rapidly accrued international attention thanks to a unique thrilling visual language, filtered through his personal interpretation and engagement with experiences of Modern and Contemporary art, notably in Italy and Israel.

Guided by an intense curiosity and almost fanatical beliefs in painting, the artist takes each exploration beyond his comfort zone as a necessary personal challenge, and demonstrates a similar attitude in international residencies. Each trip is taken as a possibility to absorb a piece of our contradictory reality, and processing it through introspection.

Looking back to 2012, when “Deep S.E.A. – Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia” show was conceived, and Ruben Pang was just the promising youngest talent among twelve elder profiles, today Primo Marella Gallery is sincerely proud to share with you the fulfilment of a goal set four years ago when we first began working together.

Zwitterion comprises a series of spontaneous paintings and ceramic sculptures. The point of departure was Seneca's composition on Providence, part of his series of moral essays which encourage taking the path of resistance and having faith that above suffering and difficulty is an overarching guidance. His allegories of coming of age are often paired with images of surgery, mutilation and other visceral manipulation of flesh and emotion.

Ruben Pang wanted to explore this transcendence of the body and consciousness through an imaginary realm he has created and chemically called Zwitterion: zwitterion is a compound with no overall electrical charge, but which contains separate parts that are positively and negatively charged.

According to his words “the scenes in which the characters within Zwitterion live are compositions of non-linear narratives: these paintings are my way to easing myself into new ways of breaking away from dualities and self imposed rules and strict technical control, while trying to maintain a degree of finesse. I hope the negotiation between these polarized notions creates a narrative that could allow audiences to experience what I experience while painting: the tightrope sensation and an introspective yet infectious anxiety”.

Pang is hereby focusing on fleeting internal conflicts of the human existence, the ones that fall through the cracks: our ambivalence in raising children (Cradle Me Bravely), power play within family relationships leading to sexual tension (Eromenos--Role Reversal), the desire to transform ourselves, to fantasize about who we could become, cannibalizing our heroes or destroying our own image through anorexia or delusion (Gorging is Never Gentle, Hyacinth Girl). These are themes that are particularly difficult to address within a frame, or a linear narrative, because they reside so often in the subconscious, behind facial expressions, and we have to read between the lines of what is usually said in a conversation. “I'm trying to take these little stories and put them together as characters on a stage or film set, because primarily they inspire compositions for paintings”, Pang explains. 

The way that Seneca treats the notion of perseverance, transposing it into a visual narrative of surgery, was the initial starting point: “I'm interested in some way of corrupting this moralistic writing, because it leads to conflict, and I think this conflict could bring about more interesting questions, or at least is a way to get a glimpse of my own mind. To take Seneca's exaggeration and persuasive writing and instead of trying to transpose it into painting to further his philosophy or moral agenda, just turn it up to eleven and see what kind of story unfolds.
The painting process is always a journey. It needs to be a miracle, to me at least”.
Mother Superior

Ruben Pang

Mother Superior
2015
Oil and alkyd on canvas
46 x 77 cm

Mother Superior
2015 - Oil and alkyd on canvas - 46 x 77 cm

Cradle Me Bravely

Ruben Pang

Cradle Me Bravely
2016
Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on aluminum composite panel
166 x 122 cm

Cradle Me Bravely
2016 - Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on aluminum composite panel - 166 x 122 cm

Eromenos -- Role Reversal

Ruben Pang

Eromenos -- Role Reversal
2016
Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on aluminium composite panel
166 x 122 cm

Eromenos -- Role Reversal
2016 - Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on aluminium composite panel - 166 x 122 cm

Gorging will never be gentle

Ruben Pang

Gorging will never be gentle
2016
Oil, alyd, charcoal and retouching varnish on canvas
50 x 60 cm

Gorging will never be gentle
2016 - Oil, alyd, charcoal and retouching varnish on canvas - 50 x 60 cm

No Vacancy

Ruben Pang

No Vacancy
2016
Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on composite panel
220 x 150 cm

No Vacancy
2016 - Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on composite panel - 220 x 150 cm

Hyacinth Girl-Skinned

Ruben Pang

Hyacinth Girl-Skinned
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum panel
267 x 150 cm

Hyacinth Girl-Skinned
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum panel - 267 x 150 cm

Light and Divine Winds

Ruben Pang

Light and Divine Winds
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum panel
267 x 150 cm

Light and Divine Winds
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum panel - 267 x 150 cm

Our Greatest Weapon is a Mongoloid Cobra

Ruben Pang

Our Greatest Weapon is a Mongoloid Cobra
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum
267 x 150 cm

Our Greatest Weapon is a Mongoloid Cobra
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum - 267 x 150 cm

The Insecurity Guard

Ruben Pang

The Insecurity Guard
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
166 x 12 cm

The Insecurity Guard
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 166 x 12 cm

Pink Eye Athletics

Ruben Pang

Pink Eye Athletics
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
166 x 122 cm

Pink Eye Athletics
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 166 x 122 cm

Nematomorpha

Ruben Pang

Nematomorpha's story
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

Nematomorpha's story
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

Valium Sky

Ruben Pang

Valium Sky
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

Valium Sky
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

The Light of Adoration is Torture

Ruben Pang

The Light of Adoration is Torture
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

The Light of Adoration is Torture
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

Storm Drain Nymph Offerings

Ruben Pang

Storm Drain Nymph Offerings
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

Storm Drain Nymph Offerings
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

Guardians of the Inner Salts

Ruben Pang

Guardians of the Inner Salts
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

Guardians of the Inner Salts
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

I am a Mild Taskmaster and a Hard Egg Beater

Ruben Pang

I am a Mild Taskmaster and a Hard Egg Beater
2016
Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel
60 x 75 cm

I am a Mild Taskmaster and a Hard Egg Beater
2016 - Oil, alkyd and dammar varnish on aluminum composite panel - 60 x 75 cm

The Field Rewards the Unyielding

Ruben Pang

The Field Rewards the Unyielding
2016
Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on canvas
40 x 50 cm

The Field Rewards the Unyielding
2016 - Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on canvas - 40 x 50 cm

Vines Before the Guillotine

Ruben Pang

Vines Before the Guillotine
2016
Ceramic
42 x 34 x 40 cm

Vines Before the Guillotine
2016 - Ceramic - 42 x 34 x 40 cm

Poker Face

Ruben Pang

Poker Face
2016
Ceramic
43 x 28 x 31 cm

Poker Face
2016 - Ceramic - 43 x 28 x 31 cm

Armor for Great Beliefs and Cycnicism

Ruben Pang

Armor for Great Beliefs and Cycnicism
2016
Ceramic
46 x 31 x 40 cm

Armor for Great Beliefs and Cycnicism
2016 - Ceramic - 46 x 31 x 40 cm

All Love is Conditional

Ruben Pang

All Love is Conditional
2016
Ceramic
45 x 28 x 40 cm

All Love is Conditional
2016 - Ceramic - 45 x 28 x 40 cm