The construction of new commercial buildings and residential projects, continual road works and the demolition of old buildings have been prevalent in this country for many years throughout its development.
As Chua wanders around on his daily outings, he picks up objects of interesting shapes and sizes that catch his attention. Many have turned out to be materials left from construction projects. This process of continuous building and demolition, of the constant renewal, development, cleaning and clearing of an ever-changing landscape is a subject close to Chua’s heart. He has been working on such issues over the past 15 years. More recently, he has been drawn to the bare essentials and essence of each object, such as the beautiful curve of a tree branch, a simple rock or a fallen leaf that has crossed his path. This has resulted in a collection of images portraying mostly singular elements such as line, colour, shape and form – the basic elements of art.
Chua’s working process is almost clinical. There is minimal manipulation of the objects’ form and shape. These are laid against a plain background and photographed in the most conventional manner to reproduce the exact form that the naked eye sees. The photographs are then presented on textured, rice paper-like material, stripping them of the typical photo quality that most photographic papers offer.
The assembly of all photographs and the style of presentation used to showcase each object’s pared-down beauty shift one’s typical perception of what value and beauty mean, as well as how photography is traditionally presented.
Similar to how modern, high-rise buildings are realised from simple, unassuming construction materials, these discarded objects are transformed through photography into works of art. The subtleties in his photography echo the development of Singapore; its ability to shift our perception mimics the constant changing of our landscape and the cloaking of the essentials by ever-shifting façades.
In Memories, Chua presents a series of 150 images.
Venue: Esplanade, Tunnel
When: 16 Apr - 19 Jul 2015,