Everything You Ever Wanted Is Right Here features a series of handcrafted photographic and typography-based collages by one of Singapore’s most adored contemporary artists, Dawn Ng. Exploring the notion of “home”, the works are a tongue-in-cheek, visual documentary of present day Singapore compiled over a four-month period utilising photojournalism and interviews with locals.
By slicing phrases through large-scale photographs, the collages expose the cultural sentiments beneath one of the world’s most highly “case-studied” cities as it tells the ongoing story of a country in the making via humorous, provocative captions to everyday sights. The juxtaposition of image and text sets up a visual “peek-a-boo”, revealing hidden socio-commentaries on the tensions, idiosyncrasies, and hopes unique to Singapore. Beneath the canvas of an image of something so close to home, the accompanying statement brings to light various social, economic and political tensions of our country. Having spent 10 years shuttling between Singapore, Paris and New York, Everything You Ever Wanted Is Right Here is core to Ng’s obsession with the notion of home, identity, and belonging.
I got to know Dawn when I was working with her on an exhibition of her most well-known art installation – a ginormous white rabbit balloon sculpture Walter (I liked it so much I asked Dawn if we could create a female Walterina as a mate for him, haha). I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek character of Dawn’s work; it is matter-of-fact enough for the man-in-the-street to understand yet carries a relevant social statement while being able to bring a smile to the audience’s face. More importantly, Dawn brings your attention to the beauty in ordinary everyday things which is invisible to most people. Not losing the sense of wonder about the simple things in life makes us more appreciative of what we have around us instead of incessantly working towards material gains which may bring only a moment of fulfillment.
Dawn’s latest work got me thinking – is everything I ever wanted right here? While there is always the desire to do better in life, get a bigger house, own a car, work overseas for a few years, travel more, lose a few more kilos, buy more Birkin bags and the list goes on, at least for now I could not pinpoint what I was really lacking. I am blessed with an awesome and caring chum like Darren (I wouldn’t want it any other way), loving parents, a God who watches over me (trust me, I get into loads of mischief with my antics), a comfortable home with a room Darren thinks it’s more of a shopping mall, the ability to be financially independent and go on travel adventures, and fun friends like Ben, Calvin, Darren Ang, Darren Chin, Darren Sim (I seem to get along REALLY well with all the Darrens!), Dawn, Maddie, Mark Ong, Mint and so many more. These days, I find more pleasure in listening to the sound of sea waves and feeling the cool breeze caress my cheek, than acquiring another material possession. I guess we need to take a step back from our busy lives at some point in time, to question ourselves what it is that we are seeking for in life. The answer may be unexpectedly simple. Perhaps there is one thing lacking for me – the inability to express how thankful I am for all the things that I am, and to be.
Everything You Ever Wanted Is Right Here
Solo exhibition by Dawn Ng
7th to 24th September 2012
Chan Hampe Galleries
Raffles Hotel Arcade Units #01-20/21
328 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188719
Tel: +65 6338 1962
Open daily 11:00AM – 7:00PM
About Dawn Ng
With a background in studio art and journalism at Georgetown University and the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, Dawn Ng spent 10 years across Singapore, Paris and New York straddling art and advertising. Her time in advertising is reflective in the pop cultural resonance of her personal work and its attempt to toy with the obvious to tell the truth.
To date, Dawn has worked across a breadth of mediums, motives and scale ranging from collage, photography, illustration, light and installations for both private galleries, as well as the Singapore Art Museum. In 2009, I FLY LIKE PAPER GET HIGH LIKE PLANES, an installation at the BlackOut art show, received much press across Channel News Asia and the Business Times, who coined Dawn the new tour de force of the local art scene. Following which, her solo, WALTER, garnered more media attention for its controversial guerilla content and form, and was later acquired into the permanent collection of the Singapore Art Museum.
A range of Dawn’s collage, light and space installations, such as SUPERHIGH, HELLO STRANGER, MASSIVE ATTACK, and THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE INSIDE, have since been commissioned and curated by the Singapore Art Museum. Dawn was the youngest artist to be commissioned to design the museum’s building façade in 2010 for the Art Garden show. Her latest works THE SLEEP SERIES was be exhibited in the Jenkins Johnson Gallery group show in New York, while 31 KINDS OF WONDERFUL in Paris was part of the Future Proof Show at the Singapore Art museum. Dawn continues to work on a public art commission for the Singapore Art Museum in 2012.