a relative cage, 2021
by Nicholas Ong
Oil, acrylic and aerosol on canvas and LED lights
130 (H) x 90 (D) cm
‘a relative cage’ is an exploration into the tensions between formal elements and the relative perception of colour. Working in a circular format for the first time, Ong segments the painted surface with uniformed strips of LED lights, which allude to the levels and hierarchy of simulated video games players experience.
The lateral placement of the lights encases the round infinite form of the canvas and builds a cage-like imagery. Ong likens the piece to his growing sensibilities from engaging in videogames and the simulated visuals that one receives from them which also begs the question of “how real is real?”. The contrasting rigidity of the lights with the organic forms of the painted surface speaks to the subtext of life and the evolution of reality and our surroundings.