“Cekek darah” is one of the most evocative phrases in the Malay language. The words translate into “strangle blood” and refer to being so agitated or angry that you’d literally choke on blood. Shayne Phua’s latest work in Yeo Workshop’s exhibition “Ornamental” features a Merlion who does exactly that — but in addition, also spews out the blood while sitting in padmasana (i.e. the lotus position), inside a giant, stinking Rafflesia flower.
Opposite her sculpture you’ll find another deadly- sweet neon pink confection – Lizzie Wee’s “Honey Trap.” Coming out of her research into female archetypes in Southeast Asian media, this work sees the artist using her own body together with phrases from vintage Playboys, to address the idea of female desirability.
These are just two works in a very strong selection. There are others : Quynh Dong’s video work which looks like a Vietnamese lacquer painting come to life, Santi Wangchuan’s massive all -consuming wall hanging and Stephanie Burt’s mixed media sculpture which reimagines the tragic plight of girls in 1950s DC comics.