3 Exhibitions by
Cheo Chai-Hiang
Nipan Oranniwesna
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
22.08.2009 ¡V 04.10.2009
Press Preview: 21.08.2009, 3:00pm¡V5:00pm
Opening Reception: 21.08.2009, 6:00pm¡V8:00pm

This August, Osage Kwun Tong is proud to be presenting three exhibitions by four established artists in Asia, Cheo Chai-Hiang (Singapore), Nipan Oranniwesna (Thailand) and Sun Yuan & Peng Yu (China). The exhibitions will premiere new works and projects by the artists.

Cheo Chai-Hiang's The Story of Money explores the complex relationships between the Chinese language and contemporary capitalist society. The installation comprises seventy stainless steel Chinese characters, each of which consists of the symbol¨© (bei), meaning ¡¥shell' or ¡¥cowry', but in which the symbol ¨© is replaced by a real cowry, highlighting how the word ¨©originally evolved from the physical shape of a cowry. By returning the symbol¨©to its physical origin, The Story of Money highlights the ingenuity of the Chinese language by revealing the hidden layers of meanings that exist in the use of the language within the context of our late-capitalist societies. The work reveals how other words in the Chinese language are transformed into words of new and vastly different meanings through the inclusion of the monetary symbol ¨©, an allusion to how the introduction of financial or monetary aspects change the ways in which we perceive the world.

Nipan Oranniwesna's Being.....At Home examines the fragile state of contemporary societies in the age of globalisation, the related notion of nationalism, both within the context of Thailand, as well as globally. The exhibition is dominated by the installation, City of Ghost, a sprawling cityscape made of baby powder that is a combination of different metropolitan cities. The work's compelling visuality is contrasted at same time by consciousness of its fragility, highlighting the delicate and precarious nature of our societies, as well as the relationship with other cities and societies in the age of globalisation. The exhibition further addresses issues of nationalism and identity, and their relationship to the notion of home through other works. In ¡Kwith our flesh and blood¡K, Oranniwesna reproduced, by piercing small holes on paper, the lyrics of the Chinese national anthem, creating a Braille-like version of the anthem. A corresponding component of the anthem, also made of baby powder, alludes to the vulnerability and volatility of such collective consciousness creation. Narrative Floor, meanwhile, presents a metaphorical space of meeting or intersection, making tangible the links between individuals and their community.

Sun Yuan & Peng Yu's Hong Kong Intervention explores the social fabric of contemporary Hong Kong society, through Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, who have become a prominent and integral part of the society. The project invited the participation of 100 Filipino domestic workers, who were each asked to photograph a space of their choosing in their place of work. There was an added condition that the photograph must include within it, the image of a faux, toy grenade which they were given by the artist. These photographs will be presented alongside portraits of the participants taken from behind. In this project, the tension between purity and danger emerges more potently as it intrudes on space in which another form of anxiety takes place: between intimacy and estrangement, anonymity (facelessness and uninhabitedness) and incursion. This exhibition will present a selection of images in the ongoing project.

Press preview for the above exhibitions will be held on Friday, 21 August 2009 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The artists, Cheo Chai-Hiang, Nipan Oranniwesna, Sun Yuan, and Peng Yu will be present at this event for interviews.

The press preview will be followed by the Opening Reception at 6:00pm.