By Shwe Wutt Hmon (Myanmar)
In collaboration with Kyi Kyi Thar
Curated by Guo-Liang Tan
Presented as a culmination of the Objectifs Documentary Award, Open Category
Chapel Gallery, Objectifs
24 Jun to 18 Jul 2021
Noise and Cloud and Us: A conversation on recent works by Shwe Wutt Hmon
Featuring Guo-Liang Tan and Alecia Neo
Tues 6 July 2021, 8pm to 9pm (SGT) on Zoom | Register here
“Shwe, we just don’t talk about it. Most of us have someone in the family who is struggling with mental health. We just don’t talk about that openly,” said a close friend who lives a thousand miles away.
How does it feel to see someone you care for and love so deeply constantly defeated by mental illness? How can we cope and reimagine our individual and collective pain?
Noise and Cloud and Us is a new exhibition by emerging Burmese photographer Shwe Wutt Hmon. It is an exploration of trauma, empathy and kinship, emerging out of personal experience caring for a loved one struggling with mental illness.
A collaborative journey with the artist’s sister Kyi Kyi Thar, the exhibition includes photographic and mixed media work that seeks to surface and tend to the hidden wounds of the psyche. Conceived under the Objectifs Documentary Award, Noise and Cloud and Us resists capturing an easy picture of living with mental illness. Rather, it engages with image-making as an empathic response and to reimagine a sense of recovery.
About Shwe Wutt Hmon
Shwe Wutt Hmon (b. 1986) is a freelance documentary photographer based in Yangon, Myanmar, and is an independent researcher for UN agencies and international organisations. Her works focus on collective identity, human relationships, exploring mental health and telling stories of places and people that are close to her heart.
Shwe is one of the founding members of a Myanmar based women photographer collective, Thuma Collective. She was a participant in 13th Angkor PhotoWorkshop in 2017 and a mentee in Invisible Photographer Asia’s Mentorship Program in 2018. She was selected for South Asia Incubator 1 at Photo Kathmandu 2018 and completed her first artist residency at Villa Sträuli in Winterthur, Switzerland, in early 2020, supported by Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi. Most recently, Shwe participated in World Press Photo’s 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass and won 1st prize in the still image category for the Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize.
About Guo-Liang Tan
Guo-Liang Tan (b. 1980, Singapore) is a visual artist working primarily in the field of painting, from which works in other mediums such as text, collage and video sometimes emerge. In his work, surfaces, painterly or otherwise, become a space for performing gestures of affect and conjuring a haunting that converses with the ghosts of abstraction.
Tan completed his MFA at Glasgow School of Art and was a guest student at The Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is a recipient of Singapore National Arts Council Scholarship, the Antje und Jürgen Conzelmann Preis for painting and a finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2018. Alongside his own work, Tan also writes and collaborates with other artists on curatorial projects, including Side Affects (2019) for Ota Fine Arts, Rushes Of Time (2020) for Asian Film Archive and Strange Forms Of Life (2021) for STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery.
About Alecia Neo
Alecia Neo (b. 1986) develops long-term projects that involve collaborative partnerships with individuals communities and networks. Her socially engaged practice unfolds primarily through photography, video, and participatory workshops that address modes of radical hospitality, reciprocity, caregiving, and wellbeing to explore issues of identity and the search for self. Her recent projects include Care Index, an experimental platform that collects and features diverse practices of care performed by people from all walks of life. Care Index was initiated in Dec 2020 as part of the larger artistic research project on care practices, building on a previous collaborative project titled, Between Earth and Sky, which was developed with a group of caregivers in Singapore. She is the co-founder of Brack, a platform for socially engaged art and Ubah Rumah Residency. Alecia was the recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2016.
The A List: Exploring mental health through art