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Venus Rising with the Moon
S1999-0010-001-0
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Venus Rising with the Moon belongs to the later category in Ong’s practice. The drawing may well be interpreted as an allegory of narcissistic self-absorption as the female figure turns her gaze onto herself and appears to admire her reflection. But it is equally plausible that her inward gaze proceeds from a longing for self-knowledge and self-affirmation. Her robust form defies contemporary notions of beauty, and while this may add to the narrative issues of the impact of social conventions on women’s sense of identity, it is also true that Ong’s figures are generally robustly built in the manner of Rembrandt’s style to which Ong acknowledges influence.

History of the Object
While New York has been his home since the mid-1990s, Jimmy Ong continues to make regular presentations of his work in Singapore. A scholarship from the Detroit Art Center for Creative Studies first took him to the United States in 1985. He furthered his training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1992. While his practice extends to painting in oil, drawing in the medium of charcoal has been for Ong the favoured mode of art making. In this regard, he has sustained a practice in still life and figure drawings over two decades. For Ong, still life drawing offers meditative and skill-honing opportunities, and possibilities for expressions of poetic sensibilities. Conversely, he regards his figure drawings as visual prose to which he appends allegorical narratives and reflections on personal memory, the human condition and interpersonal relationships.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Charcoal on paper 
Measurements
Width 150 cm Length 150 cm  
Creator name
Jimmy Ong 
Creator date
1964, Singapore – 
Where it was made
Singapore 
Geography
Singapore 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1998 
Function
An artwork 
Acquisition
Purchased from private collector 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Museum
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Credit line
 

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