‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for scout) is the first interstellar object to be discovered in 2017. First thought to be an alien-made object, multiple theories of its composition and origin exist, from dark interstellar dust clouds where no star light penetrates, to a fragment of an exoplanet ejected from another star system.

The Hawaiians were seafaring people who mastered navigation through astronomy and told stories about the stars above. Many astronomical objects are named from various mythical sources, such as the Greek and Roman deities of planets, and the figures of Inuit and celtic origins for smaller and far-flung objects. Jay extends this to ‘Oumuamua, as the many mysteries in its far-flung origins and billion year journey brings us insight about our relationship with the natural world.

Striking a balance between control and chance, Jay’s paintings undergo colour and surface changes over the duration of the creative process, reflecting physical properties of fluid dynamics and geological features of active planetary surfaces.

Applications of resinous paint unsettles underlying layers, causing fractures and eruptions on the surface, like hydrothermal vents and volcanic eruptions. These geological features indicate underwater oceans, increasingly commonly found on moons and exoplanets. As a major indicator of habitability, these features raise the existential question of life outside of earth.

Jay embraces the earthly nature of household enamel paints and plays with the oxidation caused by the interaction of resins and pigments. By seeking out complementary combinations of colour, he pre-empts and orchestrates these shifts in tone and hue. Layers of Gloss paints and Resin diffuse into each other, creating colour combinations that are unattainable through traditional mixing techniques.

Mixing resin and enamel paints in precise combinations, Jay conducts a chemical orchestra made of the fractal, organic nature of synthetic chemical reactions in solvent-based paints. This technique Jay employs is specific to the climate of his studio in Singapore, where tropical temperatures and high humidity catalyses the interactions between paint, solvents and resin. Dust particles introduce nucleation sites where fractal blooms occur.

These works revolve around conditions of chance, counterbalance, contingency, and control culminating in his creative process, which doubles up as a deeper manifestation of spiritual inquiry in his identity. They continue to live on and evolve away from the artist's hands, reflecting the faith he places on each and every one of these pieces.

From navigating the expression of freedom in the anxieties of the infinite possibilities, inquiring properties of the material world, to realising how acts of observations define reality, these examples of what one experiences in life are actionised into the simple expression of objects we call art. Jay Ho has found faith for him to be embedded in this process of art making.

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