Imagination is Reality Opening Reception
Singapore, March 2018 – ShanghART Singapore is pleased to present a collaborative exhibition by father-son artist duo Hu Jieming and Hu Weiyi. This exhibition is the result of ShanghART’s Southeast Asia residency programme for this year and showcases about 20 new works created during their travels in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand since December 2017. The exhibition opens on Friday, 14 April 2018 and runs through 23 May 2018.
Using Singapore as the focal point, the artists took on the perspectives of travelers as they studied the local contemporary cultures and natural landscapes, striving to understand the heritage and history of Southeast Asia. Through their works, the artists present their intuitive responses and apt narratives to the urban and natural landscapes encountered.
Produced over the course of the residency programme, the works exhibited include the remodeling of historical artifacts into video installations, along with conceptual photography and videos inspired by their experiences. The photographs explore the relationship between people and the environment, reinterpreting the movements of people in the urban landscape. The artists also present a reimagination of reality in a scenario where winter befalls the tropical environment, depicting ideas such as the construction of body representations as part of the tropical scenery and the mental activities of people under the strong ultraviolet rays.
The video installation tells a story from the perspectives of the humanities and nature through two characters whose paths converge under natural circumstances. In contrasting the natural and urban scenery of Singapore by drawing parallels between the forests in nature reserves and the concrete jungle that coexist, the short film provokes us to reflect on our sense of existence as we strive to differentiate between what is imagined and what is real. The fact that it is screened through a remodeled antique film camera further highlights the complexities between the portrayed, the perceived, and the reality.
Reflecting on the Southeast Asia environment, the works illustrate a series of stories about the tropical climate. The intense sunlight results in a diffused impression of a country that does not experience winter. Through this state of diffusion, the works seek to uncover the historical context behind the artists’ experiences, creating a contemplative image that reconciles the nostalgia of the past with the vivid modern society in search of lost memories.
Lines are blurred as the artists juxtapose the present and the past, the perceived and the conceived, and ultimately, the reality and the imagined.
The Southeast Asia residency programme was made possible by ShanghART with the support of the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB), exploring the potential of Singapore as a site for artistic practice and inspiration, in addition to its status as a hub for art exhibition and business.