Crossings: A solo exhibition by Wei Leng Tay

  • VISUAL ARTS
  • FREE
  • EXHIBITION
Free Admission
  • Starts on 9 Mar 2018
  • Ends on 30 Mar 2019
NUS Museum

Ongoing iteration: 
The final iteration of Crossings by Wei Leng Tay returns audiences’ focus to ‘you think it over slowly, slowly choose…’. First appearing at the launch of this four-part show as tissue prints of 650 re-photographs of 13 existing family photographs of the artist’s grandaunt, this work considers the entangled circumstances that affect familial and state- driven relationships as well as hierarchies through the dispossession of the artist’s grandaunt who crossed into Singapore in 1955. She remained stateless till her death in Singapore in 2004. The tissue prints have remained through the exhibition's iterative sequences in the trough of sherds that cuts through the Archaeology Library, softly diminishing over time. For this last iteration, the spectral nature of the subject is further manifested as video and texts emerge in place of the tissue prints. These new works overlay internalised values with social constructs imposed through relationships implicit in the self, family and the state.

Iteration 3: 7 August – 6 October
As the third iteration of Crossings, The Other Shore is based on interactions with young mainland Chinese migrants in Hong Kong and conversations about their family relationships and histories, education, aspirations, and their perceptions as their lived experiences evolve. A dissonance is created between image and voice, with photographic lightboxes of people interviewed and unlinked voice installations, reflecting upon psychological and emotional experiences in a contested territory.

Through audio and images, the work questions how national and family histories and narratives converge, and how our self-identities are shaped and negotiated by contemporary social, economic and political circumstances.

Iteration 2: 3 May - 21 July
The second iteration presents the work The first chapter it starts with the horses (2017-2018). This work asks how the human voice, through repetitive utterances, can invoke an intimacy in items and objects subjected to the mechanisms of trade. In addition, working through the proposition of the voice as image, The first chapter it starts with the horses continues the exhibition’s interrogation of the image and voice as document to elaborate ideas of agency, relationships and nation implicit to moving between places of home. During the opening, recitations based on interviews conducted by Tay during her research process will take place, bridging the formal considerations of the first iteration with subsequent parts of the exhibition.

The recitations at the opening were performed in collaboration with Debbie Cai, Loo Zhi-En, Sohaib Nashit and Pey Chuan Tan.

Iteration 1: 8 Mar - 29 Apr
Crossings, an exhibition of photography, installation and video, takes as a departure point ideas of diaspora and identity that emerged in Wei Leng Tay's previous exhibition Discordant Symmetries (2010) in NUS Baba House. This is a four-part exhibition of Tay’s research from 2014-2018 that spans stories of lived and inherited migration of individuals from different generations and backgrounds in Pakistan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Through a process that begins with interviews and continues with a formal interrogation of the image and voice as document, ideas of agency, relationships and nation implicit to moving between places of home are elaborated. The first iteration comprises a photographic work "you think it over slowly, slowly choose ...“ (2018), which questions immobility imposed through nation formation and a projection installation And this is the lady and her pond (2015-2018) that juxtaposes stories of an imagined homeland, lived trauma and family lore.

About the artist
Wei Leng Tay is an artist working with mediums including photography, audio, and installation. Her process begins with conversations and interactions with people she meets, which inform the forms the projects take. Her practice draws links between how desires, personal relationships and histories are tied to family, society and the state.

Tay has exhibited at institutions like ARTER Space for Art, Istanbul, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and participated in group exhibitions such as the Asian Art Biennale, Taiwan, and Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, NUS Museum, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, and the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan.

Image : Detail from from Wei Leng Tay, ‘you think it over slowly, slowly choose…’, 2018. Image courtesy of artist.

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