A green painted-board has lighting sockets in an apparently random arrangement, some fitted with a light bulb, some not, rolled rubber matting and plastic bowls which look like they have been used to mix cement or paint on a building site are layered together like archaeological strata in contrast to the used blue washing up bowl with uncooked rice waiting for whatever is going to happen next, an elegant minimalist kitchen unit has perfectly-placed large aluminium jugs whose necks have an eastern shape like a pair of elegant swans standing guard in contrast to the kitchen unit top sitting on the floor, which might provide water for cats or dogs but looks useless for humans, and, on the wall, a rough black died jute sheet hangs tied to two expensive turned-steel pegs.
There is no press release for the exhibition – quite purposely – the viewer has to engage with the objects, the inter-relationship between them and the space they create.
The artist Phillip Lai was born in Malaysia in 1969 and now lives in London. His work has layers of complexity – how are people processed to think about art: How do people think about everyday domestic objects in a gallery setting? What are the meanings behind the individual works and the interconnections between them? How do everyday objects in new arrangements take on different meanings? How does the viewer think about the unexpected encounter? Is there any reason why a blue washing up bowl and uncooked rice can’t be the raw material of art as much as oil paints bought in an art shop?
Ending this week, Phillip’s exhibition at Stuart Shave’s Modern Art leaves the viewer in anticipation for his next one.