Circle of Shells

Born in 1962 in Singapore, multi-disciplinary artist Goh Ee Choo is a graduate of Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and London’s Slade School of Fine Arts. Goh won First Prize (Representational Painting category) in the 1985 UOB Painting of the Year Competition, and came to prominence in 1988 with the seminal collaborative exhibition ‘Trimurti’.Around 1983 Goh became deeply interested in philosophy and religion, in particular Taoism and Buddhism. This development would eventually direct Goh in the late 1990s to the systematic adoption of Buddhist temple conventions in his shrine installations, assuming a sense of literalness where the shrines mediated themselves directly to their audience. However, in his ‘Circle of Shells’ Goh has not progressed that far into literal representation. Viewed from ‘heaven’, the aerial perspective of shells arranged in a circle symbolise a cosmic harmony and balance, while the empty pictorial space connotes ‘Tao’ – ‘the great void’.