Cheen Fuen Seow
Fear: towards war, urbanism and media
A motif of layering of geometric forms and lines runs throughout my diverse practice; a series of simple modular structures assembled from common build materials. This recurring geometric schema could be read as a gesture of self-expression. Combining a logical, systematic approach with imaginative abandon, my work forges a personal sense of order and meaning out of rigidly controlled social and political structures and the turbulent disorder of the contemporary cityscape.
Building structures requires continuity: the necessity of building on former achievements, but using different methods of construction and materials. This vision has led me to explore the materiality of concrete and its surface aesthetic. This series of column-like concrete casts is based on the architectural floor plan. Wanting to bridge traditional mould-making techniques and new digital technologies, I use alternative ways of working with concrete to manipulate and texturise this familiar material. The final marble-like pieces allow one to see this familiar urban build material in a new “hybrid” status.
As an installation in the gallery, the concrete cast pieces lend a surreal effect to both interior and exterior space, evoking feelings of alienation and acting as a spatial barrier. This tactile experience heightens viewers’ awareness of the sensory realm of architecture, beyond the gallery walls.
School of Humanities
MA Printmaking, 2014
I am a London-based artist (b.1971), working across a range of media and techniques, including prints, photography, sculpture and installation. Originally born in Malaysia, my hybrid Malaysian-British identity is often turned to architectural and urban themes in my work.
My work is concerned with themes of urbanism, social control and political struggle. Collectively, this work demonstrates the human attempt to impose order on natural forces, depicting the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the rational and the instinctual. Through various disciplines including printmaking and installation, I create pieces that investigate alternative ways of reading photographic images. My work often reflects on the conditions of image making, exploiting tensions between handmade production and technological manufacture.
In my latest sculpture based-project, I focus on how the values of society are articulated in architecture and public space. Architectural floor plans are used for investigating the mechanisms of urban planning strategy and ideological control that reflect the neoliberal societies.
- FdA Fine Art Skills & Practices, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK, 2011; MSc Engineering and Business Management, University of Warwick, UK,1996; BSc Material Engineering, Tunku Abdul Rahman University, Malaysia, 1995
- Thought Machines, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria, 2013; Analogue/Digital: 100 Years of Printmaking Central Saint Martins, Lethaby Gallery, London, 2012