GALLERY

Song-Nian Ang

“ Hanging Heavy On My Eyes ”

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2018Grand Prize

ARTIST STATEMENT

Hanging Heavy On My Eyes

Hanging Heavy On My Eyes (2016) documents the recurring haze situation in Singapore and its region of prolonged haze spells due to increased forest fires for palm oil plantations in neighbouring Sumatra, Indonesia, throughout the entire year of 2016.

Employing the photograph's indexical quality in literal sense, the artist translates the daily records of the Pollutant Standard Index's particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) from Singapore's National Environment Agency into a traditional wet dark room printing process, resulting in a range of gradated photo prints, displayed in a monthly basis arrangement. An effort to visualize the invisible, namely air and its particles, is to test the limit of documentary photography against the very nature of the medium recording ability that is the indexical.

The work recollects the artist's experience with the discomfort and unease of reduced and affected visibility – a result of conditions in human's continuous bid to control, intervene and manipulate landscapes and environment aligned to narrow-minded agendas.

Entries form: Book (285 x 225 mm), 158 pages

Selecting judge: Emilia van Lynden

This work depicts the severe and hazardous smog and haze that engulfed Singapore in 2016 in an extremely orderly and abstract form. The work recreates the actual experience of being immersed in the values of the pollutant standards index over a year's time with a substantial installation, and the well-executed book confronts the viewer with how just severe the environmental damage was in the city-state. As the artist was unable to leave his house, the work depicts his personal discomfort and immense frustration. But this is more than one person's story; this expresses a community paralyzed by smog that inundated everywhere, making even the act of breathing painful. Personal freedom was stripped away and yet people were powerless to do anything about it. This work makes a profound comment on a global phenomenon that all individuals, who stubbornly want to keep control, will experience. I believe the theme is perfectly timed, coming at a time when climate change is one of our greatest concerns.

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PROFILE

Song-Nian Ang

He was born in Singapore in 1983. He received the bachelor's and master's degrees in photography from the UAL Camberwell College of Arts and the London College of Communication respectively. In 2012, he was awarded the International Graduate Scholarship for his graduate studies at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Currently lectures at the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
He works with materials and traces of human behaviours made visible within landscapes through photographic documentations and installation. Intrigued by the narration of thoughts and ideologies through visuals, he favours a microscopic approach to concepts, a style he employs to open up details in his practice.

Individual Exhibition

2015“A Tree With Too Many Branches”
2016“As They Grow Older And Wiser” at the Bangkok University Gallery
2017“Hanging Heavy On My Eyes” at DECK, and the Sunderland University Priestman Gallery

Group Exhibition

“Unearthed” at the Singapore Art Museum
“Engaging Perspectives” at the Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore)

Award

2010The International Graduate Scholarship for his graduate studies at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
2010eCrea Award (Spain)
2012The Winner for Photography in the Noise Singapor
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2018Grand Prize

Song-Nian Ang

Hanging Heavy On My Eyes

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