Andrew Ooi creates art examining the convention of painting and sculpture; the appraisal of contemporary craft, art, and design; and the existence of art as part of its environment than its representation. To fulfill his objective, Ooi utilizes architecture and space as both materials and form. Paintings have physical depth; sculptures, low-relief or varied. The subject is abstract, or absent altogether. Consequently, the object remains: without a traditional picture plane but with many perspectives; consisting of negative space, equally constructed, actively positive. The art lives in perpetual effect (not affect, though it certainly started this way), and is integrated (not installed) in everyday reality.
Ooi’s artworks are a combination of primitive design and novel application of Japanese joinery and origami techniques. Limiting his color palette, Ooi paints studied shapes and patterns onto individual strips of environmentally-conscious handmade gampi-fiber papers he previously cut to size. He then folds the hundreds to thousands of painted strips into each other to create artworks with multiple planes – including a front and a back, inside and outside – similar to various prehistoric textiles, vessels, and adornments. Ooi’s intentional use of paper in constructing the artifacts by hand is a contemporary evolution of the stone, sticks, and finger-painting-in-the-sand methods of long ago.
Ooi (b.1979) is a Canadian visual artist transposing painting with sculpture to discover novel approaches toward perspective, art, craft, and his favorite medium, paper. Self-taught in Japanese joinery and origami, he began his career in the interior design community where his light works quickly received international attention. From his successive publication in 1,000 Product Designs: Form, Function, and Technology from Around the World (Rockport Publishers) and Illuminate: Contemporary Craft Lighting (Bloomsbury Publishing), Ooi was inspired to pursue the pure arts in a direction never before realized. This led Ooi to invent his pieced-paintings technique, singular to him. Today, Ooi’s work enjoys recognition in various press (Pittsburgh City Paper, 2016), grants (Ontario Arts Council), exhibitions (Anatomy of Resilience, Karsh-Masson Gallery, 2017), fairs (Aqua Art Miami) and collections (Global Affairs Canada). Genercha is his second solo exhibit for BoxHeart Gallery, Pittsburgh PA.
View images from Ooi's 2019 BoxHeart Exhibition, Genarcha.