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Andrew Ooi
Artist

Toronto
November 30, 2016

Andrew Ooi’s practice centres around Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. His sculptures and paintings have been recognized in both the design and art world – from Toronto to Jyväskylä, Finland – and are included in the publications Illuminate Contemporary Craft Lighting (Bloomsbury Publishing) and 1,000 Product Designs: Form, Function, and Technology from Around the World (Rockport Publishers). His work is currently on view in Meta-Chroma at L.A. Pai Gallery in Ottawa and as part of the group exhibition Intention at Indigo Art in Buffalo.

1. Rembrandt's painting techniques

Information on Rembrandt’s various painting techniques is encyclopedic, so that saves me the trouble of describing them here. However, the standouts that I keep mentally going over in thinking about the Old Master are 1) his innovative execution of shadow, light, and line to suggest that which we sense is done in great detail (e.g. a metal adornment or part of a portrait), but, upon close inspection, is not, and 2) his ability to create that known-for glow on canvas through built up layers of finish. Rembrandt is an artist who not only knows his subject, but also the nature of each brush stroke, the properties of painting, and the way in which the eye perceives the whole. Incredible.

2. Gampi paper

Gampi is derived from a shrub that grows wild in Japan, which makes the paper formed from it limited and pricey. The fibre harvested from the inner bark is what gives the paper its unique sheen and sizing qualities so applied wet mediums don’t bleed through. The strength, durability, and pliancy of the paper are results of the hand-made process Japanese papermakers have practiced for generations with great care to the environment and ecological resources. If you want to retain a fold, have acrylics sit on the surface, make gouache contrast sharply, and support Japanese community and craft, this is your paper. It is worth every cent.

3. Frank Stella sculptures

Do you know Frank Stella is still alive? For some reason, I thought when Sol Le Witt died, he took everyone and everything about American Sixties Painting with him. He was that great. Well, Stella is ten times that: art not un-formed, but in-formed. His massive metal sculptures made in the last five years are so explicitly about principles of art that feel made-up on the spot and not of history that I can only hope to endure as he does and live in the process of figuring it out. (Know of a forwarding address for Stella? Make sure I’m sitting down.)

4. Colour wheel

Simple, basic things are usually the best and the colour wheel is no exception. A mountain of monographs – Van Gogh, Matisse, and Dufy – cannot clarify so much as the little, round, window-cut tool I refer to daily in working out the colours and combinations I include in my artwork. Once the logic of primary, complimentary, and analogous relationships was revealed to me, I knew that the outlook I had in making my art would forever change. Colour isn’t a surface any longer. It is a support. This is big!

5. sistema KLIP IT containers

Although sistema KLIP IT™ containers are phthalate and BPA-free, I have yet to use any of them for food storage. This has nothing to do with my eating habits and everything to do with my love of seeing my art supplies and materials well kept and perfectly stacked on top of each other at my desk. The most versatile sizes are the rectangular ones, just over the depth of a toaster oven tray (I have forgiven many faults over a good grilled-cheese sandwich), which are perfect in resting markers flat or storing pre-cut papers ready for transport for all the times waiting (delayed subways, drawn out appointments) is inevitable. The Cadillac of containers are those with four “klips” that interlock the lid to the base from all sides. I’m not the only one who thinks so: the shelves are often empty where these particular KLIP IT™ Rectangular items are stocked.

 

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