Women in Film & Photography 2021 Exhibition, Chapel Gallery

When I was younger, I had a misconception about the Chinese characters for seaweed. My mandarin pronunciations had always been slightly off due to my Brunei accent. Instead of “purple vegetable” (zicai), I always thought the seaweed was “paper vegetable” (zhicai). In my eyes, the seaweed was always dried and in its black and wrinkly form. It was a mass of black, a mess of black. The seaweed was a large piece of black pastry – thin and crispy, light and fragile.

Lapping Emulations adopts a process-led investigation of the nuances and complexities of an unstable and protean cultural identity. Shu’s family was proudly Chinese in ways she could never articulate confidently. Looking at her family histories, traditions and customs, she found they were always near the sea, always eating parmee (a Henghwa noodle dish) and always writing in Chinese. Shu conjures new manners of image-making with her improvised darkroom and editing techniques. These improvisations articulate her rumination as part of Singapore’s Chinese diaspora.

This process of looking and relooking was potent for holding onto fluid ideas and analogies. Shu created a space to ponder, wonder, and indulge in imaginative labour by practising abstraction and defamiliarisation. Departing from the seaweed, Shu began to look at the sea as this rich allegory and visual mine. Like the sea, Chineseness is never the same though it’s always present. It’s an amorphous entity of shifting, formless bodies.

Hong Shu-ying 方舒颖 (b.1997) is a Singaporean Chinese artist. Shu engages in process-led projects to clarify and negotiate notions of home and familiarity. She is fascinated by the creative potential of nostalgia, both as a narrative tool and source of enquiry. Informed by her lived experiences and Chinese culture, she is a keen observer of the traces people leave on and for each other.

Shu recently graduated with a BFA in Media Art (Photography) from the Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media. She has participated in exhibitions and festivals in Singapore and China. Recently, she was awarded the Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Photography 2021, her works were also recognised during the International Photography Awards 2020.

:: Exhibition: 11 Nov to 19 Dec 2021
:: Opening: 11 Nov (12pm to 9pm) / Artists in attendance: 11 Nov (6pm to 9pm)
:: Exhibition Tours with Curators & Artists, registration required: 11 Nov (6pm) and 11 Dec (2pm)
:: Online Artist Talks, registration required:
16 Nov, Tue, 8pm to 930pm: A Stubborn Bloom, Uma Bista, Ennuh Tiu
23 Nov, Tue, 8pm to 930pm: Aakriti Chandervanshi, Hong Shu-ying, Natalie Khoo, Yen Duong
30 Nov, Tue, 8pm to 930pm: Divya Cowasji, Michelle Chan, Moe Suzuki
7 Dec, Tue, 8pm to 9pm: Amrita Chandradas, Aarthi Sankar and Ruby Jayaseelan
:: Film screenings, 4 Dec
– Remnants and Reflections 130pm to 310pm
– Open Call Programme 345pm to 510pm