AC43 Gallery is proud to present Children of the Star that brings together Chen Shitong and Nhawfal Juma'at—both artists, educators, and first-time fathers!
Sharing similar yet different life experiences, the artists utilise their distinctive approaches to collect and deploy tangible and intangible emotions, forms, and colours to create their works. Each piece is a narrative that expands the audience's imagination on nature, religion, everyday objects, scale, and the sense of self. The exhibition delves into the ever-morphing nature of memories and their interchangeable properties with stories.
Featuring over 25 new works of prints, ceramics, and paintings by Chen Shitong and Nhawfal Juma'at, the title Children of the Star is taken from the astronomer Carl Sagan's popular science show in the 1980s. As he once said, "The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself." While we may not delve deep into how our bodies and those of our ancestors are formed by the spectacular death of the massive stars that were thousands of lightyears distant, we are looking into his poetic ways of deploying memories, weaving us a tapestry that connects to the unreachable and mysterious universe. The story expands our imagination and liberates our sense of self from our repetitive and ordinary lives on earth. Over time, the story grows and morphs into different forms of memories, making all of us "children of the star". The exhibition will commence with this poetic take on Sagan's.
Our everyday experiences are accumulations of memories that form stories, just like bricks form a house; they constitute our internal voices, give us a sense of meaning, ideas and dreams to pursue, and guide us in making even the tiniest daily decisions. At the centre of it is the protagonist—the precious "me"—who sets forth a series of goals that becomes the plot of our lives. Therefore, recognising memories becomes crucial as they are the resources we draw upon to imagine and project different futures—the stories of us. Through this presentation, Shitong and Nhawfal invite the audience to embark on an intimate and transcendental journey to explore and scrutinise the personal and collective space of Storyland.