An artwork of GMCA
Written by : Zena Khan
Rainy Day is a 2012 oil on canvas painting by Tan Chin Kuan. Adding to the weight of his title and content, Chin Kuan has employed a palette of soothing pastels in dark hues to paint an emotionally direct work that express his current emotional state in a newly developed atmospheric technique which impresses an all encompassing sense of thunderous rainfall on the viewer.
The audience’s first clue that they are looking at a painting that discusses the artist’s own emotions is the dead horse that lies across the bottom third of the canvas. Chin Kuan was born in the Chinese year of the horse and often utilizes it as a symbol when referring to himself and his reaction to his surroundings or events in his artwork. In Rainy Day, Chin Kuan’s dead horse describes his sense of being lost as an artist when he first moved to Seremban. He felt his artistic vision was sliding downhill, reflected by the death of the horse. Standing centrally in the canvas, just in front of the horse is a self-portrait of Chin Kuan. Despite the heavy rain and animal carcass behind him, and the slightly bowed head stance, the viewer is given the impression of the strength of the central figure and his desire to move forward and rise again artistically.
Rainy Day is an emotional piece for Chin Kuan. The beginning of his new series of works, Chin Kuan has used it as an opportunity to create a personal narrative that more essentially acts as an introduction for the body of work he is currently producing. The focus here is to develop and perfect his medium, particularly the atmosphere of heavy rain permeating the entire canvas, in order to subsequently be capable of efficiently expressing the socio-political commentary his art is famous for.
Chin Kuan strives to create art that shocks his audience and speaks directly to every individual on any level. With Rainy Day, he has again succeeded in painting a picture that forces the viewer to pause and analyze the scene before them, trying to understand Chin Kuan’s thought process and inner emotions. Chin Kuan asks the viewer to soak in the atmosphere of heavy rain and the icons that represent both his inner self as well as his physical reality to see the boiling point he has reached as an artist before rising again to continue with the creation of his seminal work that strives to act as a commentary on the state of society today.
Artwork Caption :
Artist : Tan Chin Kuan
Title : Rainy Day
Size : 189cm x 132cm
Medium : Oil on Canvas
Year : 2012