Acrylic on canvas
63 x 78¼ in
160 x 200 cm
There has been a long history of purely white paintings
in modern art. The Russian artist Kasimir Malevich painted
the first ‘white on white’ painting in 1918 - in fact it was a
tilted greyish square on a whitish background.
The American artist Robert Rauschenberg tried to paint a
series of white paintings that would be the same in 1951.
But he found he couldn’t. No matter how hard he tried,
they all looked a bit different.
In the 1970s, the American painter Robert Ryman actually
managed to paint white paintings that looked totally empty.
Hock Aun Teh’s white paintings are very different. They are
not really paintings of white, but paintings of light - light in
both meanings of the word, luminous and weightless. They
look at first as if they have little in them, but the more you
look at them, the more they come alive with movement.
The space in them is not empty, but vital. They are hushed
breaths of morning mist, to be contemplated in utter quiet.
Julian Spalding - Paris November 2018