Making his Malaysian debut at Valentine Willie Fine Art this March is London-based artist Raymond Yap (b.1966). Malaysian-born Yap first went to study art in the UK in the mid-90s, first completing BA in Fine Art with honors from the Wimbledon School of Art and eventually gaining a place at the prestigious Royal Academy Schools. Since graduating, Raymond's painting has been exhibited extensively in the UK, and has gained him various awards and scholarships: the Fenton Art Trust Prize in 2000 and the Selina Cheneviere Fellowship in 2001. The artist is also the recipient of the 2006 Whisper Residency at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester.
On exhibit will be a new series of iconic paintings of various sizes, with the largest measuring 4 x 3 ft. Big or small, what binds these works together and charge them with a cool contemporary attitude are their clever and vibrant colour combinations and contrasts. So seductive are the colours and intricate textures of Raymond's painting that it is hard to imagine that they are produced using only ordinary glossy household paint on MDF board, manipulated by an unique process over extended periods of time. Apart from this ingenious and original technique, another surprise these works offer is the presence of passport emblems and stamps on the picture surface. While their introduction may simply allude to the artist's sense of national identity, personal travels and experience, once abstracted and merged with potent colours of the paintings, they become subtle reflections of space, time, and power, thus marking globalize society's insatiable desire to cross, rather than to control, boundaries.