Ang Song Nian
2 May – 30 August 2019
Through photography and installation, Ang Song Nian (b. 1983, Singapore) scrutinises traces of human presence in the landscape. Intrigued by the power of the photographic image to convey complex and layered narratives, he favours a “microscopic approach” that unleashes the imperceptible and ideological potential embedded in small details. His most recent solo exhibitions are As They Grow Older and Wiser, Objectifs, and Hanging Heavy On My Eyes, DECK, both Singapore (2017). He has participated in group exhibitions at Bangkok University Gallery, Thailand (2016) and Photo España Festival, Spain (2012) amongs others. Ang is currently lecturer in Photography at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
During the residency, Ang Song Nian will continue his ongoing investigation into human interventions on the urban landscape by focusing on plant nurseries and the potted plants industry in Singapore. This research unfolds in the wake of a residency at Bangkok University Gallery that culminated with the work As They Grow Older and Wiser (2016). Ang was fascinated by the legal loopholes that allowed for a massive transplanting of rare and exotic trees from the region of Chiang Mai to the fast-changing city of Bangkok for decorative purposes. Framed against Singapore’s nation-building narratives, the artist is interested in the manipulation of nature through state-driven initiatives and policies of environmental control, greening, and city-branding. Such endeavours include the Tree Planting campaign of 1963 and the government’s subsequent initiatives directed to fabricate a new understanding of nature and obliterate the country’s past of clearing forests to make way for plantation economy.