Ruben Pang Residency


Three months have passed since the Singapore artist Ruben Pang arrived in Jaffa to join our newly launched Residency Program, his accomplishments have been plentiful. 

Portrait of Ruben Pang, TD Residency Program, 2015.

Ruben Pang’s radiating energy has taken over the Jaffa house by storm. With eleven completed paintings, some of monumental scale, one observes a new audacity and diversity in Ruben’s works.Taking the Residency Program as a chance to call his practice into question, Ruben explains, “I began the Residency immediately trying to move away from what I was familiar with”. Painting on aluminium composite panels, using oils and alkyds, Ruben’s strokes have undergone important stylistic changes, reflecting his Israeli experience. “Over time, I had built a fragile but complicated emotional castle to protect my feelings. Being in Israel somehow changed that, and I did feel from day one that this was a place of unstoppable change. It surfaced everything that wanted to stay hidden and brought it point blank”.

Left: Ruben Pang, 'Jacob and the Angel', 2015. Acrylic and retouching varnish on aluminum composite panel,189x139 cm.
Right: Ruben Pang, 'Heatwave', 2015. Oil, alkyd, acrylic and retouching varnish on aluminium composite panel, 220x150 cm.  

Travelling across the country, breathing an air of spirituality and mysticism while getting acquainted with Israel's diverse society, smells and colours, Ruben re-imagined traditional scenes from the Old and New Testament, and explored abstraction. In the process, he conferred a personal touch derived from his Buddhist and Christian upbringing. Despite considering himself a non-religious person and at the same time being a fervent exorcist believer, Ruben explored sacred subjects loading his aluminium panels with a powerful and universal concept of faith, bursting with an intense and potent visual energy.

Among Ruben’s most vibrant works created during the Residency Program, is the 'Graduation Night', a 4.5 meter triptych interpreting Leonardo da Vinci’s 'Last Supper' and 'Heatwave', inspired by Peter Paul Ruben's 'Fall of the Damned', which marks an exploration of a new artistic direction.

Ruben’s works were presented in TRANSFIGURATION (July 2-12, 2015), an exhibition at the Jaffa Residency, where hundreds of people have come to contemplate the artist’s massive paintings.

Ruben Pang, 'Graduation Night', 2015. Oil, alkyd and retouching varnish on aluminium composite panel, 150x450 cm. Property of the Tiroche DeLeon Collection.

Asking Ruben about the Residency experience, he says: "It has been a great pleasure and honor to be given the chance to be the first artist in residence with START and the Tiroche Deleon Collection. The time spent here has deeply affected me personally and creatively and I will always look back at these precious three months in Israel with so much fondness."

Related press

Ruben’s Tiroche DeLeon Residency has sparked the curiosity of both Israeli and international media, providing extensive coverage for both the artist and the collection:

We are convinced that we could have not chosen a better talent to inaugurate our Residency Program and we are pleased that the Tiroche DeLeon Collection has provided further support to one of South Asia’s most promising young artists. We look forward to building on this experience and continuing to contribute to the personal and artistic development of many more artists across Asia, Latin America, Africa and other developing economies.

For more information about Ruben's paintings, view this presentation.