Rudiments by Lee Mok Yee & Mark Tan
Lee Mok Yee and Mark Tan have always been fascinated by urban construction and structures, which are recurrent themes and sources of inspiration in both their practices. Rudiments, the first collaborative exhibition between the pair (who share a studio space) presents works old and new that are inspired by the currents of construction in Kuala Lumpur. In a serendipitous turn, the exhibition takes place at Temu House, an up-and-coming arts and event space founded by architects.
Stylistically, the works in Rudiments explore the rhythms and movements of urban life through each artist’s material of choice. Mark Tan, trained as a printmaker, makes prints and print-like paintings, while Mok Yee elaborates on his experiments with cork sheets that were first articulated in his solo exhibition A Rhetorical Garden at Richard Koh Fine Art in 2020. For both artists, the formal properties of their chosen material take precedence over the creation of any recognisable image; for this same reason, both artists enjoy working in monochrome, with Mark’s works having the minimalist cleanliness of black and white while Mok Yee’s cork sheets are left in their raw sienna tones.
The process of making the works mimics the process of urban construction, pared down to the most basic Lego-esque elements of stacking and layering. Within these repetitive acts of (re-)arrangement emerges a steady, musical rhythm in their works that synchronises with the bustling tenor of the city.