Props and Poses
16th Dec 2022 - 2nd Jan 2023
Props and Poses lends an observational criticism to the ‘fake it till you make it’ phenomenon and the middle-class obsession with materialistic pursuits and social ranks. Fuming deliberately modelled his woodcut compositions after certain types of images and photographic arrangements that pervade social media trends. The compositions evoke a photo-studio shoot setting where objects are arranged with figures in a particular fashion to create a seemingly spontaneous and objectively positive image. Upon closer inspection, however, these figures and objects are simply incompatible and awkward. The objects may seem unnaturally placed to optimize frontal viewing, neglecting functionality in the process and resulting in a warp of perspective and proportion. The subject matter becomes incredibly awkward and artificially decorative, as opposed to an artist’s process of framing and composing an image. There exists an ironic subtlety in Fuming’s handling of the objects and their significance within the setting of his composition, opening up for audience a contextual ambiguity to ruminate upon.
Venturing beyond the conventional practice of carving lines, ridges and reliefs to create an original composition in negative, Fuming treats the woodblock with carving tools and paints as a painter would a canvas, unveiling a monochrome relief composition on its surface through strategically chiseled shapes, lines and textures. Rather than being prints off the woodcut, each composition is presented as-is on the wood plank – at one with the artist’s material and carving process, and organically characterized by rough edges, imperfections, grains and frays. The image on the wood plank, though spartan, emanates stillness with a tremble of movement. This is because the composition is completed through tension and contrast from the seemingly brutish determination of the artist to create the desired image against the woodgrain, allowing the struggles of the artist’s knife to show