SOJOURN: Joint exhibition featuring artists Wee Hong-Ling and Yap Lay Bee in Singapore after London Olympics showcase
Singapore, 27 March 2013 – Following their showcase at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, award-winning ceramist Dr Wee Hong-Ling and photographer Yap Lay Bee are showing their works in a joint exhibition in Singapore for the first time. The Arts House will present the exhibition Sojourn from 4 to 21 April.
In Sojourn, Hong Ling’s ceramic houses and Lay Bee’s monochrome photographs form an impression collage of traversed terrain and locales. They collaborated to showcase Singapore art as part of the Pop-Up Singapore House festival during the Olympic Games last year.
Says William Phuan, Director, The Arts House: “The exhibition has finally “come home” after its Sojourn in London, so to speak, and we are glad to be the House for it. However, the exhibition also reflects a larger preoccupation of the two artists – an investigation of the place through their years of wandering and exploration. At the same time, it illustrates their circuitous paths to the discovery of their passion in ceramics and photography.”
Hong-Ling and Lay Bee draw inspiration as much from their own formal training – Hong-Ling as a geographer and Lay Bee as an architect/urban designer – as their passion for ceramics and photography respectively. Using the journey from their professional trainings to their art and the vast expanses of territory they have travelled over the last 15 years as focal points, Sojourn is an exhibition of works generated by wandering and exploration. The journey itself is both medium and subject for them. The common thread in both artists’ work lies in the investigation of place.
The works are a juxtaposition of old and modern, colour versus monochrome, exterior against interior, public versus private, individuality and conformity, minimalism against ornamentation, and home versus shelter. The meticulously constructed ceramic houses and beautifully composed monochrome images are stunning narratives of some locations encountered during their sojourns abroad.
Hong-Ling’s series of ceramic houses, named after Lulang Town, was inspired by and made in response to her travel through Tibet. The work addresses the artist’s interpretation of the elusive qualities that define a sanctum. The installation conjures a visual haiku, evoking the unfamiliar, fantastical, metaphorical, and poetic.
Lay Bee’s large monochromatic photographic prints of complex urban-scapes and architectural monumentality are visual essays suggestive of the beauty and power of archetypal forms, but one that is also fraught with ambiguity, alienation and ambivalence in the contemporary city.
Both artists’ ability to present the mundane world with freshness is drawn from their time living and travelling abroad, experiencing new ideas, spaces, cultures and traditions. This exhibition invites the viewer’s imagination to traverse through the unique interior/exterior spaces. Hong-Ling and Bee both create works that appeal to the senses while challenging common conventions of artmaking. Finally, Sojourn provokes a critical reassessment of the role of formal education and vocational training, and the importance of opportunities for creative practices.
This exhibition is supported by Gentle Dental Group and Solitaire LLP.
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About The Arts House at The Old Parliament
Occupying the almost 200-year-old building that was Singapore's first Parliament House, The Arts House since its opening in 2004 has been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of lifestyle options, while at the same time playing an active role in the Singapore arts and creative scene. Since 2011, The Arts House has been focusing on the development of Literary Arts, while supporting and presenting programmes and festivals that aim to give a wide and multidisciplinary experience to our audiences. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.