Credits ArtWOrK / sKetCHes Matthew Bax www.matthewbax.

com design Cameron Lofthouse & Monica Placella PHOtOgrAPHy Artwork: Soobin & Him Portrait: John Laurie Printed By Pixel Tech, Singapore

MAttHeW BAX is teXt CHeAting?

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The Age [Australia]. “Matthew Bax – Interview”. “This Little Piggy Went To Market . “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. Fiona. “Matthew Bax . 19 February 2005 Kafcalodues. 01 May 2006 “Tiles . 01 April 2010 Cheong. April 2010 Lum. Juice [Singapore]. [Singapore]. The Straits Times Life! [Singapore]. March-June 2007 Grigg. 938LIVE Radio. Pamela. 2010 Jufri. “Matthew Bax – Radio Interview”. Mik. Wine & Dine [Singapore]. 22 February 2009 De Rozario. “Matthew Bax – My Weekend”. PBS Radio. “Matthew Bax – Profile”. Celine. Khalil. 01 April 2010 Robert. Lush [Singapore]. Living Room. Elle [Germany]. 22 March 2010 Jufri. “Is Text Cheating?”. Szene [Germany]. The Age [Australia]. Timeout [Singapore]. 15 November 2008 Pearce. “Is Text Cheating?”. Quintessentially [Singapore]. Min. Ferina “My life is an open book – Review”. TimeOut [Singapore]. The Straits Times [Singapore]. Phil. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. 01 April 2010 Tan. Zaki. “A Bilateral Affair”. Autumn 2007 Palmer. “Is Text Cheating?”. “Bax to the wall”. 01 April 2010 Ye. Mik. Melbourne Magazine [Australia]. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. Megan. “Matthew Bax – Radio Interview” The Arts Show. “Bax to Future Arts”.CNNGo. 05 April 2010 Yeo. The Straits Times [Singapore]. [Singapore]. “The man with two aprons”. Triple RRR Radio [Australia]. “Waiting for Something to Happen”. 8 March 2006 Hegart. The Age [Australia]. “Scene stealer – required reading”. 23 February 2005 The Arts Show. [Singapore]. 10 April 2009 Low. 26 February 2005 “If You Do one Thing Today”. Joseph. [Singapore]. 19 February 2006 Gruber. Magdalene. 14 February 2005 “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. pass it on [Australia]. Lauren. Art. The Age [Australia]. Stanley & Ho. 06 April 2010 Asril. 01 April 2010 Jones. 01 April 2001 “Wall Studies”. Lorraine. [Australia]. I-S Magazine. [Singapore]. PBS Radio [Australia]. Designaré.Review”. Sheridan. Leena. 04. Grant “Artful Dodgers”. Lisa. Szene [Germany]. Lisa Marie. 24 April 2009 Natasya Abdul Aziz.Lifestyle”. “Starters” Inside Out [Australia]. 01 February 2007 “On the Tiles”.Review”. “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. Metro. 19 February 2006 Warren. “Matthew Bax – Radio Interview”. “Matthew Bax . ABC Radio. Christa.Published in Singapore by FOST Private Limited. “Is Text Cheating?”. 01 April 2010 Yeo. 20 February 2005 “Rolletreppe – Review”. Judy. Expat Living [Singapore].Review” The Sunday Age [Australia]. Arts Beat [Singapore]. Fiona. Around the Galleries. Singapore www.matthewbax. 01 April 2001 “Galerien in Aufbruck”. Prestige [Singapore]. Alex. “Is Text Cheating?”. Megan. The Business Times [Singapore]. Tania. 01 March 2006 Grigg. All rights reserved. The Straits Times. Australian Art Review [Australia].fostgallery. The Arts Show. The Age [Australia].com © Matthew Bax 2010 www.Profile Interview”. 12 March 2006 Backhouse. Fiona. PBS Radio [Australia]. “Texture and bronze”. 06 March 2005 Bellamy.Review”. 01 April 2010 Chen. 11 February 2005 Backhouse. Kate.Review”. “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. 22 February 2007 Bezar. Fiona. The Sunday Age. Geoffrey “Working with Art”. Christa. 17 April 2009 Eu. Port Phillip Leader [Australia]. 05 April 2010 Tan. Singapore Tatler. Jacqueline. 04 March 2007 Gruber. I-S Magazine. “Matthew Bax – Profile Interview”. 06 April 2010 Leong. “Tiles . 01 February 2001 Previous: Question in Abstraction (detail) 2010 Mixed media on wood 102 x 76 cm 31 . Dumbo feather. 10 March 2006 “Tiles . Edge [Singapore]. 16 February 2005 Gruber. “Waiting For Something To Happen – Radio Interview”. “Tiles – Radio Interview” The Arts Show. GQ Magazine [Australia]. [Australia]. Published 01 April. Joy FM Radio. Art Almanac [Australia]. Larry. The Review. 05 April. “1x1x1 – Review”. “Matthew Bax – Interview”. 2010 ISBN 978-981-08-5586-4 seLeCted Press Loh. www. “Tiles . 01 April 2010 Ng. 23 April 2009 Reyes.

Adelaide 1990 . The question posed in the title would not have made much sense even a short a time as a decade ago. This is the second series of works Bax has created since relocating to Singapore 18 months ago. Marquardt Ausstellungen. Cornelia von Wagenheim.1994: Completes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Flinders University 1989 . expressions made up of punctuation marks and indecipherable unless read sideways. LASALLE College of the Arts. Uber Gallery. München. Melbourne. Germany Sec. Melbourne. the tongue-in-cheek title is a decidedly contemporary reference to modern day communication. Singapore Pameran Poskad. München. Treasury. Australia 1x1x1. Australia Tiles. Uber Gallery. LASALLE College of the Arts. Gasworks. Singapore My Life is an Open Book. The Gallery. South-East of South Australia 1988: Winner St. the same cannot be said for emotional ones. Australia Un-Titled. Praise. crooked lines and words askew – that is Life. Germany Recent Paintings. establishes Richmond studio 2007: Painting in München & Melbourne 2008: Painting in Istanbul & New York 2008: Establishes Singapore Studio 2009: Commences Masters of Fine Arts. München. accolades are heaped onto tots with good penmanship. Peter’s College Art Prize 1990: Winner St. Singapore North–South. Singapore Past Perfect. Germany España. Australia Melbourne Art Fair. Singapore. Singapore Is Text Cheating?. FOST Gallery. And so it begins: to be successful you have to stay within the ‘lines’. LASALLE College of the Arts.1994: Gallery Assistant . Australia 1977: Moved to Naracoorte. follow the path that has been set. Stephanie Fong Director FOST Gallery. questions and challenges the status quo. where one is taught to trace the shape of a letter over the dotted guide and then to practice by repeating the letter on the empty line.MAttHeW BAX 1974: Born in Adelaide. Melbourne. Singapore Object. Space. founded critically acclaimed bars in Melbourne and Singapore and is a successful artist in three continents. Peter’s College Art Prize 1990: Winner South Australian State Art Prize 1990: Selected SSABSA Exhibition 1990: Selected SSABSA Permanent Collection 1989 . a tax accountant in a previous incarnation. Frankfurt. Uber Gallery.1994: Casual Employment Christie’s. FOST Gallery. Australia Weis. München. Melbourne. House. Singapore Southside Arts Project. Gasworks. However approach Bax’s works from a purely aesthetic point of view and you experience the joy of spontaneous brushwork and freedom of random splatters reminiscent of action paintings. Marquardt Ausstellungen. stars. Marquardt Ausstellungen. Singapore This Little Piggy Went to Market. ICA Gallery. Blurred boundaries. Uber Gallery. With text messaging. Praxis Space. Germany Rolltreppe. Adelaide 1991 . if not even better. And while the imagery of lined exercise books and index cards is somewhat old school. Read the text and you experience the wit of the artist. God forbid the tail of your ‘q’ strays willy nilly two lines below. Marquardt Ausstellungen. Text in art no doubt blurs the line between graphic design and fine art. Germany Mut Zur Farbe: Gelb. Melbourne. Australia Madrid Wall Studies. Marquardt Ausstellungen. Germany Subway. NEU Ausstellungsraum.1992: Painting in Melbourne 1998: Moves to Germany. München Germany 30 03 . München. who simultaneously probes. Marquardt Ausstellungen. München Germany Mut Zur Farbe: Blau. That Matthew Bax. Melbourne. FOST Gallery. Marquardt Ausstellungen. instead feelings can be instantaneously conveyed (or masked) with seemingly harmless emoticons. Melbourne. FOST Gallery. Dickerson Gallery. is paid testament that straying is a good thing.Greenaway Art Gallery. 101c. flirting need no longer be conducted face to face. His first titled My Life is an Open Book was also bibliophilic in theme. Germany is teXt CHeAting? One of the first introductions to structured education a child encounters is writing exercises. München Germany Mut Zur Farbe: Rot. Dickerson Gallery. Australia Melbourne Art Fair. Melbourne. establishes Munich studio 2001: Returns to Melbourne. Australia Waiting for Something to Happen. Melbourne. Hamburg. Dickerson Gallery. And even if physical boundaries may never be crossed. Singapore sOLO eXHiBitiOns 2010: 2010: 2009: 2007: 2006: 2005: 2003: 2003: 2002: 2001: 2001: 2000: 1999: Hell Hyper Inflation. Singapore grOUP eXHiBitiOns 2010: 2010: 2010: 2009: 2009: 2008: 2007: 2006: 2005: 2004: 2003: 2001: 1999: 1999: 1999: Don’t Forget to Die!. Marquardt Ausstellungen. Melbourne. LASALLE College of the Arts. Keyakismos. Australia Paintings. Australia Discovery.

It is. Anxious that what follows must fulfil that incipient vision of what-it-should-be. the idea of what is to be communicated is held in place by threads of possibility. at best. the idea becomes increasingly and seemingly tangible. speak. to paint. perhaps....John Sallis. It is not so much a search for that perfect sense. Or as what John Sallis had remarked in The Verge of Philosophy: “In order to begin. the kernel of what is to follow must already be contained in that first note . “And yet – if bordering on the unimaginable – beginnings are made. rejections and erasures3. That confidence arises from a need to be certain – of belief. the unsayable. perhaps.. It must be – as it cannot be just not.. traces. Dreadful that it nearly always isn’t so. in BetWeen tHings And as sense is being made. And yet. being exclusive.. it is an attempt to say. or representation. Such confidence.. then it has to be something else. again. tangible interpretations and not the idea2. and discerns the true. Beginnings are also transitory states1. of naming – as boundaries shift and ambiguities mount. in the sense that what gets first airing must often be re-examined and re-appraised in light of what follows. of materiality. as one begins. first mark.” In encountering a blank canvas. also a habit of thought which seeks the tangible. momentarily before becoming entrenched as a habit of thought – for the sake of knowing – or believing. If ceci n’est pas une pipe.And As it gOes .. In so many other words. or non-sense. first line . this perennial confusion of what-it-is-not for what-it-is which results in a misplaced confidence in identifying or representing ideas. these cumulative forms are. But never to the point of being an actual thing.” . . but one of mapping the (un-sensible) idea by delineating its multitude of shadows.. echoes which must necessarily exists in between (tangible) things. It is only by a constant turning and re-turning of frames of reference that ideas become sensible. It is. or a silent audience. of composition. 04 . It is a habit which builds a sense of exclusion – albeit. It gradually takes on a tangible form – of language. on the other hand. a clean sheaf of paper. these (tangible) forms must also emanate from the same source which gave rise to that (intangible) idea. one must somehow know what. would necessarily belie the primacy of revisions. a fresh screen. And yet. to write. one cannot. the unspeakable. grasps the recognisable. by default. And yet.. first intonation . of passage. to make sense of the un-sensible. WitHOUt sAying Beginnings are often fraught with anxiety and dread. to draw. but akin to a shape-shifting entity which traces out the boundaries and limits of what it is – and delimiting what it is not. yet know... The Verge of Philosophy .

while leaving them marginally legible. With shadows. even when we think of painting as somehow “historical”. 2.. inscribed yet unnameable. Yet the vigorous attempts at whiting out the text. verging on the playful. – in order to make sense.. It is not an abdication of saying what it is but rather an acknowledgement of what it is not yet could be. These marks. accidental. serve as a reminder of the tension between the tenuousness and tenacity of our meaningmaking rituals or habits. one sees but incompletely. The displacement and uncertain relationship between memory. It was plainly evident that Bax had tremendous store of commitment to the painted medium. And as things go. Y 2010 Mixed media on wood 30 x 60 cm Right: Is It? (detail) 2009 Mixed media on wood 152 x 122 cm 28 05 . much like jotting down lists and thoughts onto pages or cards. point to the implausibility of certitude. It is an attempt to make sense of the world around. often tinged with the personal hope that such acts of observation and recoding could somehow suffice in drawing out the essence and mystery of living. As indelible not-things. Bax’s current series extends some of his earlier concerns found in My Life is an Open Book. or otherwise.. yet again. When later introduced to Bax and speaking with him about his ideas in his work. emerging. It came across as a deep-seated search for a sense of rootedness in our fragmentary world. Bax exemplifies this approach in his visual thoughts. which are often times remembered in terms of emotional states rather than cognitive understanding. what we know or see or hear is then constantly revised. or painted. I was more than intrigued. With the trace. With the echo. which is driven by his continual dialogue with the need to understanding life and its myriad transformations.. is yet not. The not-yet-could-be thing becomes like a stain4 : suggestive yet inconclusive. These are anxious modes of discernment which. not so much as question the very basis of knowing but. not for want of a definite meaning. visible yet tentative. Lawrence Chin 1. one discerns but is never certain. I was hesitant but relented as I thought I had to give form to what I had experienced in coming into contact with Bax – his work and his ideas. emotion and thought become yet another indication of why we can never be sure of what we think we know. but in concert with the acceptance that we can only know imperfectly. 3. bring to mind the obvious reference to formative early childhood years. When I was first introduced to Matthew Bax’s work. I was intrigued. The tentativeness of inscribing one’s thoughts is carried over into the deliberate use of chalk marks in a number of Bax’s new works. 4. When I was first approached to write for this exhibition. they can only be said – drawn. one hears but cannot be sure of its trajectory or source. or .. As an amorphous entity. It is perhaps as stains that we can better understand thoughts or ideas – as permeating. fading.

Right: Statement of Character 2010 Mixed media on wood 102 x 76 cm Time to Spare? 2010 Mixed media on wood 30 x 60 cm 06 27 .

Statement in Progress 2010 Mixed media on wood 30 x 60 cm 26 .

Statement in Abstraction 2010 Mixed media on wood 30 x 60 cm Left: Statement in Medium (detail) 2010 Mixed media on wood 102 x 76 cm 25 .

. (detail) 2009 Mixed media on wood 122 x 153 cm 09 .F is for.... 2010 Mixed media on wood 122 x 153 cm Left: E is for.

(detail) 2009 Mixed media on wood 122 x 153 cm 10 23 .Ex Libris I 2010 Mixed media on wood 21 x 14 x 5 cm each (diptych) T 2010 Mixed media on wood 30 x 30 cm Left: T is for...

(detail) 2009 Mixed media on wood 122 x 153 cm 11 .Ex Libris II 2010 Mixed media on wood 21 x 14 x 5 cm each (diptych) Overleaf: H is for...


Q is for. 2010 Mixed media on wood 76 x 102 cm Right: Statement in Time II 2010 Mixed media on wood 102 x 76 cm 20 ...


. 2010 Mixed media on wood 76 x 102 cm Right: Statement in Time I 2010 Mixed media on wood 153 x 122 cm M is for. 2010 Mixed media on wood 76 x 102 cm Left: I is for.. (detail) 2009 Mixed media on wood 122 x 153 cm 18 15 ....P is for..

N is for. 2010 Mixed media on wood 76 x 102 cm 16 17 ..... 2010 Mixed media on wood 76 x 102 cm O is for.