Visual Arts Centre


Colors of Comple-X-city by Danya Yu

26 October to 30 October 2017


Colors of Comple-X-city – colors of the “third culture kid” is Danya Yu’s debut solo exhibition that is both retrospective and prospective. Besides presenting a new collection of her signature style on rain and lights, she also showcases some rare paintings concerning dynamic relationships among spaces, objects and people.

About the exhibition:

Growing up as a third cultural kid, “transition” and “transcendence” are always emphasized in the artist’s paintings. Be it a moment of travel, lit-up sky-scrappers, disappearing watermark on the curbs, or temporarily occupied cafe seats. Even in the paintings of quiet settings, lights and shadows are evidently dramatized, evoking an unsettled sense of foreboding or mystery.

In this series which the artist explored extensively on rain and city lights, the concrete structures of buildings are masked by warm glows, running reflections and the glares from the car lights. The portrayed space is thus fantasized, morphing into something almost intangible; a parallel to her loss of root culture and in turn, reaching for solace and re-identification in a temporary residence.

“Back alley” is a body of work that the artist have been expanding since 2014. The phrase, “back alley” was originated from “slums”. The narrow lanes of Singapore are far from its original meaning. It is where tropical vines crawled up onto the aged back doors, housewives and maids gather to chit-chat, restaurant staffs and office workers have a smoke break, the elderly play chess and cats play hide and seek. In a metropolis, front streets are like infinite masquerades charming the world with its artificial glamour, speed and complexity. Back allies, on the other hand, are true essence of the city. At those forgotten corners, one is able to rest their body and soul. Back allies in the artist’s paintings are magical and surreal, taking viewers to the back of each unique door, where dreams and desires thrive.    

Few new paintings concerning the relationships among space, objects and people will be present in this show, a latest development from a series of abstract paintings the artist did a few years back. Architectural spaces, once the manifestation of power that define activities and structures of a society, are changing their functionality in the phase of digitization and globalization. Dynamic and multiperspective compositions of the artist’s paintings emphasize on destabilization, a metaphoric correspondence to the collective expedition, to the glob and the virtual reality, and their struggled adaptation to mobility and dynamism of places, ideas, values and lifestyles.

Exhibition View


Danya Yu is an accountant-turned-artist who graduated from The University of Melbourne, Australia and subsequently, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Loughborough University, UK. She is specialized in Western Painting and Drawing. Since young, she has been residing in different countries. As a result of her international experiences, the local subject matters in her artwork always has a touch of exotic flair. For the past few years, she has been teaching while practicing art in Singapore Art Scene. She has participated a number exhibitions, such as “Affordable Art Fair, Singapore,” 2011, “ Inside and Outside” at Substation Gallery, 2010 and “Seeing is Believing” Charity Auction, 2010, organized by Standard Charted Bank. She is also the Second Prize winner of ACR Painting Competition, 2011, and Finalist for Clifton Art Prize, 2012. Currently, She is the resident artist @ Culture Square gallery and contracted artist with BreadTalk Pte Lte. and Nafa International Pte. Ltd.

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