Rhythm comes from the pairings of hard and soft, light and heavy, balance and imbalance, the punctuation and combination of different tones. – Haruki Murakami, Absolutely on Music
rodolphe janssen is pleased to present Polyphony, an Alvin Ong solo exhibition curated by Kami Gahiga. The artist’s style combines multiple overlaid visual vocabularies which endow his paintings a rhythmic quality. Colour, shape, texture, and form but also instruments, notation, and scale, are considered as sites of enquiry. Taking the polyphonic and contrapuntal expressive qualities of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” (published posthumously in 1751) as point of departure, Polyphony showcases fifteen paintings developed throughout the second half of 2022 in London and Ong’s art residency at Eton College. The exhibition addresses the diversity of layers, references, and influences that inform Ong’s paintings – including classical music, traditional Malay folktales, and technology blended with art history ranging from Old Masters to contemporary art. Through the diversity of its themes and intersecting driving forces, Polyphony unveils authentic humanistic traits : carnal whims, voyeurism, alienation, and the human desire for connection. Alvin Ong’s paintings possess a universality and distinct worldview that ignite one’s inner world and deepest impulses.