Ian Woo is an artist working in the language of abstraction. Influenced by forms of modernism, perceptual abstraction and the sound structures of music improvisation, his work is characterised by a sense of gravitational and representational change. He often uses the term ‘picture making’ when describing his position and approach, maintaining the discipline and evolvement of painting as a vehicle for pictorial reflectivity.
Woo studied painting at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury (UK) in 1994. He received a Masters in European Fine Art at the Winchester School of Art (UK) in 1995 and a research practice DFA with RMIT University (Australia) in 2006.
In 1999, Woo was the recipient of the UOB Painting of the Year award in the Abstract category. He was also the Juror’s Choice for two consecutive years in South East Asia’s Philip Morris Award in 1999 and 2000. His Doctorate research was based on the ability of abstract painting to express notions of a continuous presence.
Woo’s first solo exhibition “Mental Images” was held at the LASALLE Gallery in Singapore in 2000. Solo exhibitions include “Emotional Things’ at Esplanade Tunnel Singapore 2018, “Falling Off Plastic Chairs” at Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore (2015), “The Difference Between Your Mountain and My Couch” at 8/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Japan (2014) and “Ian Woo: A Review 1995 – 2011” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2011). Selected recent group exhibitions include “Siapa Nama Kamu” at National Gallery Singapore (2015), “After Utopia”, at Singapore Art Museum (2015), “The Origin of Beauty: Dramatic Nostalgia at Busan Museum of Art, Korea (2014) and “Market Forces – Erasure: From Conceptualism To Abstraction” at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2014).
Since 2016, Woo has been part of ‘Impermanent Durations- On Painting and Time’ a traveling, experimental and collaborative site specific project with the artists Beth Harlnad (UK) David Thomas (AU) and Laura Lisbon (USA).
His works are in the collection of major institutions such as ABN AMRO, Singapore Art Museum, The Istana Singapore, The National Gallery Singapore, Suzhou Center, UBS, and the Mint Museum of Craft & Design, USA.
Woo’s paintings were recently featured in the publication “Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes”, a publication by Phaidon 2013.
Ian Woo is represented by FOST Gallery Singapore.