Vivi Ooi is a Tasmanian artist who is known for her sublime treatment of the human body, usually with ink on paper.
The foundation for the remarkable scrolls she paints is the art convention of life drawing. Done usually in informal groups, life drawing’s intent can be to inform the artist about anatomy, to develop fluency and grace or to relax the artist. It is usually congenial and often artists themselves model. Made with humble materials, the charcoal sketches typical of drawing from life are often on newsprint and are discarded afterwards.
In her previous show, Light and Shadow, Vivi formalised her life sketches into grand hanging scrolls on linen that were both monumental and intimate, combining the traditional linear ink painting of Chinese art with an Western interest in volume. This exhibition returns to the informal depiction of the human body but the works are painterly and dramatic with a powerful Mannerist sidelight. The figures sink into their surroundings, becoming part of the Earth. The Ataraxis works are playful, showing a Breugelesque overview of figures on a paper landscape.
Stillness exhibition is elegant and contemporary but the art drawing practice that it uses goes back to the Renaissance and the technique of ink painting recalls the Sung Dynasty.