The Young Sculptor in My Eyes – Anton POON
It was a pleasure to be an external reviewer and assess the quality of Anton (Sing Wai) Poon’s research and reputation in the field. After reviewing Anton’s supplementary material, and viewing some of his pieces at the Australia National University, it is apparent that he has garnered positive results in the area of creative process and research. His work is relevant in the field of public sculpture. Anton’s public pieces are excellent examples of original works that echo the community’s cultural and historical environment while encouraging public interaction and reflection.
As a sculptor myself, I find many of Anton’s permanent works such as his Modular
Identity Series not only visually stunning but technically incredible. Moreover, his piece Not Quite There is ambitious in scale and execution. Not Quite There is a significant work, and unique in size and combined material processes. Anton’s craft and skills as a fabricator are impressive. I am surprised by the processes he uses and the sophisticated combination of materials like bronze and Corten steel. Many of his Modular Identity pieces seem to have a commanding physical presence, but with further investigation, they begin to evoke a disjointed feeling and the existential dilemma of “not belonging” or “not fitting in.” Not Quite There is a beautiful piece that evokes similar concepts but they are embodied in a metaphor of a bridge that has been torqued or bent under the stress of being between two places and cultures for too long.
Anton’s work is not all about amazing craft and technique. His pieces are original,
creative, and intellectually engaging. Many of the Modular Identity pieces are innovative community projects that develop a dialogue in a public space. The visual sophistication of Anton’s work demonstrates his deep intellectual understanding of art and criticism both historical and contemporary. The complexity and multiplicity of his work engage a variety of audiences. His work is visually enjoyable to the casual art viewer and academically engaging to those in the field. Anton’s works are challenging within the contemporary dialogue, and it is clear that he is a significant young artist whose art will only improve with the support of his research and time.
I have closely reviewed Anton’s CV and other support materials and was very impressed with his commitment to his artwork and his ability to connect that to his personal experiences. Anton’s outstanding exhibition and public sculpture record confirm that he is held in high regard in the academic community and as a practicing artist. This record is impressive for a young artist and will continue to be more noteworthy with time. Through his creative projects, Anton explores a broad body of knowledge while presenting and exhibiting his work in diverse venues. In conclusion, Anton’s record is evidently consistent, sustained and has garnered results that justify an expectation of continued relevance in the field of sculpture.