A montage is a series of moving or still images edited together to create a continuous sequence. Montages enable the communication of heavy information to an audience over a brief span of time by juxtaposing different shots, compressing time through editing, or intertwining multiple storylines of a narrative.

For John Marie Andrada’s first solo exhibition Breadth of Air, we can think of a montage as effective chapters offering a condensed breadth of the artist’s practice and history. In addition, the works seek to give shape for our breaths of air in various phases of questioning, longing, and solace.

A prevalent choice of colour in the exhibition is blue, stretched and swirled in possibilities of density and form. In Andrada’s reconciliation with grief, blue skies and moving waters become conduits of infinity: How long more does life go on, at the absence of a loved one? Yet, the montage of skies also harbours the comfort of endlessness: Life goes on, regardless of the presence of a loved one. As fond memories ascend in our thoughts, we knead them to the best of our ability to remember.

A quintessential cliffhanger is an example of a plot device in fiction. It features a main character in a precarious dilemma, confronted with a bombshell revelation during a significant juncture of its story. Usually, a cliffhanger hopes to persuade an audience to return to see how the characters resolve said dilemma. At the drop of a hat, any situation poses potential for risk, foreshadowing, or proclamation. We are immersed in societal cliffhangers, under rehearsed and overly scripted.

In Esmond Loh’s (b.1995) debut solo exhibition with Haridas Contemporary, Cliffhanger provides various alternate commentaries on a hyper-connected society at the brink of existential cliffhangers. Featuring fourteen paintings depicting scenes of climate dystopia, urban isolation, and the precious intimacy of mourning, Loh’s work concocts entities beyond human figures. Ranging from animals, trees, buildings, abstract forms, and enigmatic objects, an orchestrated interaction is fostered between his characters to heighten seemingly ordinary scenarios, teetering into surreptitious endings.

Since returning to painting towards the end of the Covid pandemic after more than ten years of absence, Jeremy Sharma has re-discovered a newfound urgency and intimacy in its representational form. Sharma’s debut solo exhibition at Haridas contemporary features fifteen new paintings.

His recent body of works addresses painting’s porosity to apprehend images from various sources (where digitality and screen captures have become ubiquitous), albeit belatedly, in a serial linen and stretcher format that delivers its subject from a mediated world. In selecting an image, he looks for effects, qualities and values that elicit interest to make a painting. He then acts upon them by extracting, cropping, reducing, magnifying or flattening the image for printing, to paint from.

His subject then becomes one of seeing: a painting’s object and intermediality; its internal logic; its pictorial construction; its emphasis on surface and touch; and its semblance of life. However, painting here is also interested in what is not seen but thought and felt: its peripheries; its silence; and its capacity—to desire, resist, linger upon, probe and take hold of.