Featuring six figures on 12 television monitors that embody six forms of crises in society—War, Disease, Poverty, Famine, Disaster and Refugee—Dr Chng Nai Wee's work "Sin of Apathy" (1991) envelopes viewers within a field of monochromatic and coloured screens in a darkened space.
One of the earliest multi-channel video works made in Singapore, "Sin of Apathy" was prompted by what Chng felt was a critical condition of Singapore society in 1990s: indifference. Created as a response to the 1991 National Sculpture Exhibition, it also challenges the conventional notions of visual arts in Singapore at the time.
In this conversation between the artist and exhibition curator Cheng Jia Yun, hear more about the challenges and opportunities for artists in the early days of the internet as they discuss more about "Sin of Apathy" and Chng's long-standing engagement with technology and art. They will also share more about his website, biotechnics.org, which is one of the earliest web directories built for artists in Singapore, and his early work consisting of assemblage, video and synthetic material.
About the Artist
Chng Nai Wee (b. 1969, Singapore), a practising ophthalmic surgeon, is also an artist. Chng's works are multidisciplinary, often synthesising art, technology, and medicine, and made with a range of mediums and approaches, from mixed-media paintings to installations. He attended part-time classes at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore and graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and National University of Singapore, and attended Yale University School of Architecture. He has received the Singapore Art Society Dr Tan Tsze Chor Art Award, the National Art Council Young Artist Award, and Honorable Mentions at the Phillip Morris ASEAN Art Awards.
About the Exhibition
Join us on a journey back in time to find out and explore the history of video installation art. This two-part series offers a fascinating look at the pivotal moments when video installation first emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, staged and recreated at the latest "See Me, See You: Early Video Installation of Southeast Asia" exhibition.
Through experimentation, these ten Southeast Asian Artists combined installation, performance, audience participation together with video, leading to a new form of art as a result of their interdisciplinary approach.
In its first installment, featuring works by Apinan Poshyananda (Thailand), Baharudin Mohd Arus (Malaysia), Chng Nai Wee (Singapore), Johnny Manahan (Philippines) and Jean Marie Syjuco (Philippines).
The second part, opening in October, will showcase works by Heri Dono (Indonesia), Hasnul Saidon (Malaysia), Ray Langenbach (Malaysia), Vincent Leow (Singapore) and Krisna Murti (Indonesia).
For more details, please visit nationalgallery.sg/SeeMeSeeYou