WHEN an object is viewed from different positions, it reveals aspects about it which are relative to the position of the viewers. This is called the parallax. Astronomers used the parallax with geometry to derive the distance of stars by observing their movements and recording their angles in relation to measurable points of observation. Philosophers have used the analogy of the parallax to describe the nature of truth – that an observable fact may be affected from where one sees it. In Parallax, Fred Tan presents a collection of 33 paintings showing the evolution of his abstract expressionist style since his earlier exhibitions with Galerie Francesca, Not A Sage, Not A Saint (2018) and Begin (2019).

    In both earlier solo exhibitions, Tan has relied on working with the wet paint and the randomly textured canvas to achieve fluid transitions of color and paint through his “painting by not painting” approach inspired by Taoist philosophy. In contrast to these, the works in Parallax rely on the gesture being expressed in highly texturized forms applied forcefully with trowels and palette knives resulting to highly charged works of high contrast colors. In contrast to the placid nature of his earlier works which were more reminiscent of abstracted traditional Chinese landscapes, his works for Parallax are explosive and more attuned to the works of the Chinese modernist Zhao Wou-ki or the highly textured abstract works of Gerhard Richter.

    While Parallax is his third solo exhibition as Fred Tan, all of which have been with Galerie Francesca, the artist has exhibited solo shows under the names Toro and Luis Balmes in venues such as the Ayala Museum, the Yuchengco Museum, Galerie Stephanie, and V-Meme Gallery. He has also joined group shows in Art in the Park, Rockwell Powerplant North Court, and in galleries in Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

    Parallax will be on exhibit at The Art Center SM Megamall Bldg A from Feb 3-14, 2020.