MEET: Abstract Artist Max Kong

Max Kong

For Max Kong, painting is not just a one-way process. “It is a dialogue between the art and the artist,” he deliberates. “And I enjoy the process of painting more than the result, so I like taking risks sometimes and letting my own work surprise me.”

While the 40-year-old started his career more than a decade ago using oil and acrylic paint on canvas, he is now more well-known for his use of unconventional materials such as resin and cement. Over the years, the lines that define his works have blurred as he flits between two-dimensional paintings and sculptural wall art.

Works by Max Kong
[Clockwise: Big Small Rain, Storm In The Night, Blue Moon]

Recently, Max has started working with meranti, a type of wood often used to construct cabinets. “It’s always hidden under a veneer. But it is beautiful, and I wanted to bring out its natural aesthetics,” he explains of his newer works, which feature outlines of the sun, moon and eclipse on wooden strips.

These wall-mounted sculptures react beautifully with light, causing the carved silhouettes to appear different depending on the angle of vision.

Currently living and working at a studio in Portsdown that’s cradled by lush foliage, nature has inevitably become a recurring theme in his pieces. “Singapore is a very bright city. And I love it when it rains at night, because you get a lot of beautiful reflections,” the artist shares.

That was the inspiration behind Big Small Rain, which is made up of a pair of spherical wooden panels featuring cement raindrops, and covered with reflective epoxy resin.

While nature continues to be his main source of inspiration, Max reveals that he might be leaning towards creating more three-dimensional objects, rather than conventional paintings, in the future.

Max Kong's works can be found at Ode To Art, #01-36E/F, Raffles City Shopping Centre.