EVO 7, 2004 by Ivan Lam

Graduating from Maine College of Art in 1998, Ivan Lam has won several art awards. These include Group Exhibit, Sovereign Art Prize (Top 10 Finalists), Hong Kong (2006); Group Exhibit (Grand Prize Winner), Philip Morris 2003, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2003);Group Exhibit (Honourable Mention), Phillip Morris 2001, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2001); One person Exhibit, Bright Sight Night Lights, Galeriwan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1999); Merit Scholarship Exhibit, 1st Place, MECA, Portland, ME, USA (1996). Collections which have acquired his works include Artoll, Germany, Catlin Re Collection, Switzerland, Crank Design Consultant, Maine, Galeri Petronas, Malaysia, HSBC, Malaysia, Louis Vuitton, Merrill Lynch, Maine, National Art Gallery, Malaysia, The Aliya & Farouk Khan Collection. He has been invited to exhibit at the Karachi Biennale, Art Basel and Venice Biennale.

‘EVO 7’ marks an important point in Ivan’s career, as he moved from working in silkscreen printing to a painterly style. In preparing to make this shift in genre, Ivan dove into extensive research on the visually diverse painting techniques of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Georges Seurat. Recognising himself as an Asian artist in the midst of the emergence of the Asian art ecologies, wondered what his own painting style would look like? He decided to explore this question through producing a personal painting: that of a Japanese supercar he had always admired.

Ivan’s notion of desire extends conceptually past materialism (the acquisition of a car) into conceptualism (becoming a superior painter). He produced the EVO 7 in a perfect technical rendering so as to fully understand the technicality behind painting, at 75% of the scale of the actual car. ‘EVO 7’ could technically be taken to a car manufacturer, scaled up 25%, and then manufactured. In this way Ivan has taken the concept of realism and applied it in a graphic, hyper-contemporary format. Today ‘EVO 7’ is considered a landmark in Ivan’s journey as a painter, which has since informed his entire multidisciplinary oeuvre since, as his practice of painting large canvases became the foundation for the installation works, including ‘One Inch’ which he was invited to debut at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.