Exploring Photography as a Creative Thinking Endeavour

Curated by Ang Siew Ching 
Creative Authors (Exhibition Participants): Lee Wen (via Bruce Quek), Chua Ek Kay, (via estate of Chua Ek Kay), Debbie Ding, Marc Nair, Rachel Bok, Randy Chan, ila, Tang Da Wu 

Chapel Gallery, Objectifs
7 May to 19 Jun 2022
Free admission

Exhibition Opening:
Sat 7 May, 4pm to 7pm

Guided Walkthrough with Curator:
Sat 21 May, 2.15pm to 3.15pm, at Objectifs (Register here)
Sat 28 May, 2.15pm to 3.15pm, at Objectifs (Register here)
Suggested Donation: $5 / person (pay at the door)

Workshops with Creative Authors:
Interactive “Walk-Shop” with Randy Chan & Marc Nair: Sat 21 May, 4pm to 6.30pm, at Objectifs (Register here)
Create a Metaverse with Debbie Ding: Sat 28 May, 4pm to 6pm, at Objectifs (Register here)

Book Club: Photography Theory Matters
Held in conjunction with the National Library Board

Fri 27 May, 3pm to 5pm, at Objectifs Workshop Space (Register here)
Open to ages 14 and up

In Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography, Geoffrey Batchen discusses the origins of photography in terms of how proto-photographers did not possess the concept of a transparent reality that can be represented through photography. Like opening one’s eyes for the first time, these proto-photographers were divided on what exactly a photograph should look like and what aspects of reality are to be captured.

Invoking such troubled origins of photography, this exhibition expands the idea of what photography can be, by proposing photography as a node in creative thinking endeavours of various disciplines. The eight “creative authors” in this exhibition include artists, an architect, a writer and an academic. They do not profess to use photography as their main medium, and yet all take an active and subjective approach to photography. Some create photographs as playful experimentation, others make snapshots as a form of note-taking or simply an impulse, and yet others use photographs to orient themselves in real or virtual spaces.

:: The Straits Times: Arts Picks: Stand-up comedy at KC Arts Centre; photography at Objectifs

Supported by Objectifs, the National Arts Council and Tote Board Arts Fund 

About the Curator
Ang Siew Ching is a curator, artist and educator. She holds an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore and a BA in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is interested in photography theory and infrastructure studies. Her work has been exhibited in Singapore and London. She was awarded the Noise Singapore Award 2016.

About the Creative Authors

Bruce Quek is a Singaporean artist and writer drawn to the strangeness and complexity of cities. Between 2015 and 2019, he worked with Lee Wen on the Independent Archive. In collaboration with Asia Art Archive, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and National Gallery Singapore, he has also been contributing to the Lee Wen Archive since 2017.

Lee Wen (1957 – 2019) was a multidisciplinary artist and a pioneer of performance art in Singapore best known for his Yellow Man series. His work has been shown in international arts festivals and biennales. For his contributions to the Singapore art scene, he was conferred the Cultural Medallion for Visual Arts in 2005.

Chua Ek Kay (1947 – 2008) was one of Singapore’s leading ink painters, known for his distinctive approach of bridging Chinese ink painting traditions and Western modernist aesthetics. He was the first Chinese-ink painter to win the United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Award in 1991. He was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1999.

Debbie Ding (DBBD.SG) is a visual artist and technologist whose interests range from historical research and urban geography to visions of the future. She reworks and reappropriates formal, qualitative approaches to collecting, labelling, organising, and interpreting assemblages of information, using this to open up possibilities for alternative constructions of knowledge. Her work was shortlisted for the President’s Young Talents 2018 and Impart Art Awards 2020 and is collected by the Australian War Memorial.

Marc Nair is a poet and photographer from Singapore. He is a recipient of the Young Artist Award 2016. He has published six solo volumes of poetry and has released another four collections in collaboration with visual artists, photographers and graphic artists: Spomenik (2016), Slide & Tongue (2018), Vital Possessions (2018) and Sightlines (2019).

Rachel Bok is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of British Columbia. She researches critical urban theory and critical policy studies in order to understand cities and their global connections. She is also a hobbyist photographer who shoots landscapes on film.

Randy Chan is the Principal of Zarch Collaboratives. His portfolio spans architecture, landscape urbanism, art installations, curation, galleries and exhibitions. His works have received local and international recognition and have been featured in a number of architectural publications with awards.

Spanning across performance, photography and other mediums, ila weaves her own body and emotions into the peripheries of lived experience and unspoken narratives. Constantly in negotiation with different realms of existence and the aftermaths of trauma, she reconfigures and merges speculative fiction with factual histories, conceiving them as sites for empathy and connectivity.

Tang Da Wu works with performance, installation, painting, and drawing to explore social and environmental themes. He also co-founded The Artists Village, a collective committed to promoting experimental art through the provision of studio and exhibition space. Tang has been awarded international accolades and has participated in group exhibitions worldwide.