About the artworkI always find it incredible every time I read about the life story of Samson. One of the stories was about him using a donkeyʼs jawbone to kill a thousand Philistines! How did he do that? Killing twenty men would have left one breathless! How did he manage to kill one thousand soldiers? But that is a fact! The scene must have been very tragically brutal!The intention of this drawing is to portray the “tragic brutality” of that bloody battle! In the process of drawing, I constantly thought of ways to make the Philistine soldiers look like they were continuously rushing towards Samson. I also used some stage lighting effects to bring attention to a long-haired, donkey-jawbone-wielding Samson.
WONG SHIH YAW (b.1967) is an established artist in Singapore who has held many solo and group exhibitions over three decades. He was active in the seminal Singapore collective Artists Village in its earlier years and his works are widely collected by the National Gallery Singapore, The Singapore Art Museum, United Overseas Bank, Art Patron Mr. Koh Seow Chuan and other private collectors in Singapore and overseas. His recent large-scale solo exhibitions were held at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts â€œALLEGORIES â€“ THE WORKS OF WONG SHIH YAWâ€ in 2015, and at ArtSpace@Helutrans â€œBETWEEN THE PARALLELSâ€ in 2019.
Shih Yawâ€™s artworks generally share about his reflections on manâ€™s constant search for life's answers, spanning from an early highly self-expressionistic style, to being inspired by his personal faith journey. His painting styles are versatile, and include narrative, personification, symbolism, conceptual, expressionistic etc.
Besides painting, Shih Yaw does candid sketching of people (engrossed in their activities), woodcut/lino printmaking and illustrations, art-teaching and executes large commissioned painting/mural projects.