Foon Foono, a visual artist based in Singapore. His specialty is in digital fine art, which draws focus on human factors with different characters. Foon Foono’s artworks had been featured in local and international art and design website and publication. His participated in art events, solo exhibition in oversea and local. RAP spoke to Foon and check his website out here.
Question (Q): Since I encountered your works at the Substation in 2010, I wonder! Why rabbit-clown
Foon Foono (Foon): I’m always fascinated by clowns and circus. A clown has a mission to entertain his audience despite what he truly feels. Similarly, in our life sometimes we often do the same as that of clown – a mission to “entertain our audience”. This gesture doesn’t mean we lack personal identity but it will make us learn how to embrace every different fact happening in our journey of life. On the INSIDE, we are always the same person, but the OUTSIDE we can modify the way people perceive us.
This is how the initial concept start on the character. I wanted to portray this notion but because a mask would hide the emotions of my subject, I went with a clown’s nose instead. While the clown nose was deeply symbolic, the rabbit ears came about purely as an aesthetic choice. I believe humans possess animalistic qualities. In order to manifest this idea in my art, I began experimenting with different body parts from various animals and finally settled on the ears of a rabbit as I found them to be the most visually appealing.
Q: In addition to that, your works seem to revolve around individuality but at the same time each works seem to connected through the similar experience that is going through the protagonists. Tell us more about your works.
Foon: The collection revolves around two individuals and the portraits are freeze-frames in time that capture whatever (situation/joy/hardship) they might be going through — as interpreted by me. We always expect our life to go perfectly the way we want it to be, but the reality sometimes does not give us what we expect. Sometimes, things grow inside us without our understanding how or why; all the simplicity that makes up everyday life, but which gives pleasure to our existence. The two characters show us strengths and weaknesses of our lives to us. I believe when a person is alone, that’s the moment you show who you really are – no pretending, no hiding – and the character shares the freeze moment of the particular messages.
Q: There are some too who have the element of pain. Are there any other personal qualities that you are interested in, portrayed on your works?
Foon: Some of the characters portray the subjects as wounded (physically or emotionally). My art is not about pain but rather the journey of our life; to embrace a scar which reminds us that we have an intense life. I just use different angles to share the messages of love, gratitude and existence .
Q: We heard a lot about your works, how about you? Tell us more about yourself.
Foon: I love Art and Design. Art can make a person better and design aids a better lifestyle. I’m still in the process of achieving both.
Q: Any future plans to showcase your works again?
Foon: Yes. If all goes as planned, I intend to hold exhibitions again overseas and locally in early 2012.
Q: You have exhibited in Singapore and USA. How do you see the difference in public’s perception towards your works?
Foon: I like to think my work is quite well-received in the States because I have been collaborating with my US agent and holding yearly exhibitions since 2007. The second solo exhibition held here was in last October. I think digital fine art is still a new era in local audiences, and countries like USA and European ones are more open to new media art piece. From the past few showcases held locally and overseas, I feel the local audience deem digital art is a design work rather than a piece of fine art.
Q: Your works too have gone beyond 2D and ventured into sculptural installation and light boxes. Any plans to continue this exploration?
Foon: Both forms offer different sensations for the audience. The 2D works require some pondering before you are able to get the message I’m trying to convey. On the other hand, the 3D installation engages you in a more direct manner and is also more fun because it also engages your sense of sight — other than cognition — with its lit surfaces and the way the boxes are stacked.
I enjoy doing both. I liken art drawing as a main course and Installation art is the dessert to complete a lovely meal.
Q: Thank you for your time, but before we exit, any last words for your audiences?
Foon: People now seem to prefer direct visualization instead of metaphorical artwork, probably because of the lack of reading time. From an artist perception, the audience need to have an objective expectation and subjective thought on each artwork.