Cyd Chua’s Debut Exhibit Shatters Familiar Inhibitions

Arts & Culture

July 5, 2017 | BY Paolo Vergara

Female forms and monochromes dominate the canvas at this emerging painter’s latest collection

Panoramic view of the exhibit 2.JPG

Pineapple Lab recently held Shattering Inhibitions: The Women I Let Out, an exhibit exploring femininity, women, and themes of freedom and resistance by Cyd Chua, who does most of her painting at night, brush on one hand, wineglass on the other.

Cyd Chua.jpgCyd Chua

Female forms are the subject of every piece where their heads appear blown-off violently or thrown back, rolling in laughter – the brushstrokes create this ambiguous effect. Through the use of striking blacks, mediating greys, and haunting whites, the female forms in this collection of acrylic on canvas paintings achieve an ethereal quality that lingers on in the mind’s eye. 

Collections on the left wing of the exhibit.JPGCollections on the left wing of the exhibit

The collection is notable for its sharp, defined lines interspersed with deliberate drips of paint across the canvas, making for creative tension between the abstract and the impressionist.

Detail, Caged for Bondage, 56x44in.JPGDetail | Caged for Bondage, 56x44in

The monochromatic palette also creates the impression of marble-textured bodies fully alive through their postures – as if taken from still-life. Verses composed by the painter herself also accompany some works, hanging next to the selected pieces. 

Detail, Invictus, 22x28in.JPGDetail | Invictus, 22x28in

Chua’s experiences of childhood in predominantly-Muslim Saudi Arabia, where the conservative Shaira law holds national sway, informed this current set of works. Moving back to the Philippines and attending an all-girls highschool in the midst of puberty further strengthened the impressions on the contexts of womanhood which would one day express themselves through The Women I Let Out series.

Detail, Scorched, 56x44in.JPGDetail | Scorched, 56x44in

Detail, Silk Road 55x55in.JPGDetail | Silk Road 55x55in

Canvas sizes range from 22x28 inch portraits to 56x44 and 55x55 inch sprawls.

Detail, Stellar 55x55in.JPGDetail | Stellar 55x55in

The intended centerpiece of the exhibit, Stellar, is the artist’s final ode to the thematic painting series. This is just one of two paintings using a fourth colour: a striking blue akin to the hottest fire. The explosion of blue (naturally from the female figure’s head) forms a subtle silhoutte of an eagle’s wings outstretched. At the lower left of the canvas, a raven, Chua’s cameo in the piece, watches on in awe.


For a complete catalogue of available works for sale, contact Pineapple Lab at (02) 834 5763 or; the artist will also be in Pineapple Lab at July 7, from 11am-6pm for an open forum.

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