Ideal Lady Series (A Beauty Centre)

Yeo Chee Kiong

Ideal Lady Series (A Beauty Centre)

“…beauty had almost entirely disappeared from artistic reality in the twentieth century, as if attractiveness was a stigma, with its crass commercial implications”. (Danto, 2003)

Despite controversies such as this in the art world in the last millennium, artists’ relationship with the concept of Beauty remains to be a complex one. Not only the art world have not sever ties with it, the world continues its obsession with it in many aspects, be it in a material or spiritual sense. It is perhaps the single most important concept exploited by the commercial industry.

As a sculptor, I have a strong love for the physicality of things. I developed a series of female figure, ‘Ideal Lady’, with an intention to provoke thoughts surrounding the idea of “beauty”. They were created as part of a greater construction, the A Beauty Centre, where notions of beauty was explored. A Beauty Centre is a pseudo saloon with an online counterpart that operates within a gallery space. It seeks to investigate the notions of beauty in various dimension. A “beauty saloon” within a visual art space makes suggestion of the “beauty business” in the artworld. I am also keen to explore how “beauty” through “materiality” of objects would transform one’s perceptual experiences.

The ‘Ideal Lady Series’, in particular, is a hunt for perfection. This series of work is characterized by myriad and fleeting bubbles. The high reflection of the sleek stainless steel aims to conjure a fantasized sense of sophistication on the surface of the form, while underneath the pink fresh one could perceive real obesity. Through the stainless steel’s hard, transformative characteristic and the image of the soft and voluminous female body, I look for a sense of hyber-artificiality.

In the western world, the concept of “beauty” is often linked to “love” and “desire”. Whereas in Chinese philosophy it is a more absolute concept linked to “truth” and “goodness”. In an attempt to transform the obese figure to a transcendental, beautiful body, I wish to explore human being’s primal desire within the absurd world of delusion. It is an articulation about contemporary “human nature”. ————–

Personal Structures for GAA Foundation

Organized by: GAA Foundation
Hosted by: European Cultural Centre Prepared by: Yeo Chee Kiong
Date: 13th Feb 2017 The Organizers
The GAA-Foundation is a Dutch controlled Non-Profit Foundation which was founded in 2002 in New York, USA, by Rene Rietmeyer. Since 2009 the Foundation is based in the Netherlands with a branch in Venice, Italy. The GAA-Foundation has worldwide organized 42 exhibitions and 9 symposia. More extended information at:

Foundation Headquarter:
GAA Foundation, Zamenhofstraat 48, 2312 NW Leiden, Netherlands. Tel. +31 61 8160 662

Supports of GAA Foundation:
The exhibition will be visited by over 300.000 visitors with free entry for all. GAA Foundation will financially support the participation of the artist and co-finance all services provide for the exhibition and the proper functioning of all utilities, general cleaning, qualified personnel for installing, handl ing, maintenance and dismantling the exhibition, food, drinks and organization for the two large VIP preview events, all obligatory exhibition permits, sufficient quantity and quality lights, etc), all publicit y, press, banners, totem, flyers, etc., mailing of an international mailing list for invitations and pr. (ov er 38.000 addresses), collecting and providing data of people who are interested in contact with the artist or gallery representation, handling all communication with the V enice Biennale office, producing and providing a hardcover catalogue approx. 400 page. In addition the GAA-Foundation will assist with customs formalities, shipping and finding accommodation in Venice.

Project Brief:
Curated by Sarah Gold, “PERSONAL STRUCTURES” is organized in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale and runs from 13 May until 26 November 2017.

Artwork Brief:
‘Ballet’ (Ideal Lady Series) has been selected to be part of the show theme, Personal Structure. ‘Ideal Lady Series’ is a series of figurative sculptures that has been created since year 2010. Instead of creating ‘perfect human figure’ such as ‘David’ of Michelangelo, ‘Ideal Lady Series’ was set to perfect the imperfect form/idea through the sculptor’s hand, to create a ‘beautiful’ piece of work even though dealing with ‘non-beautiful/disturbing’ form, and to achieve a transcendental status that allows the co-existence of both contradictory visual impression that echoes each others. It marks my return to the very basis of figurative sculpture making; go beyond the metaphorical testimonies of what beauty is, and go down to earth on how we construct/establish the idea of beauty through classical visual element; In search of an ambiguous status in contemporary context, which is both perfection and imperfection. The Ideal Series has been presented internationally such as Aarhus, Denmark (Sculpture by The Sea 2013) and Dun Huang / Lang Zhou / China (The Silk Road 2016) and locally as part of the twenty monumental sculptures along the promenade of the Orchard Road (A Retrospective Journey 1994 – 2014, Opera Gallery 2014).