ShanghART Singapore is proud to present This Moment Now is Past and Future All at Once, a group exhibition presenting the works of Anthony Chin, Dusadee Huntrakul, Ong Kian Peng, Ng Joon Kiat, Pratchaya Phinthong, and Miti Ruangkritya. Curated by John Z. W. Tung, the exhibition that opens on the 14 October 2023 consolidates a spread of contemporary art-making concerns that intimate the present’s indelible ties to that which has transpired and anxieties that are to come.
Inspired by the German notion of Sehnsucht – a yearning for the redress of imperfect moments in life – Tung writes of the exhibition:
The title of the exhibition, and its associations, is all that there is to it. It is an exhibition of art that is relevant in perpetuity, histories repeating themselves in our daily lives, technologies and the lack thereof, prophecies and regrets, but also unwavering hopes and optimism.
The title, functioning as both an intimate whisper and a declarative statement, encapsulates the fluid relationship between what has been, what is, and what is yet to come. It underlines the perennial relevance of this collection of artworks which simultaneously mirrors and questions the cyclical nature of history, technology, prophecy, regret, hope, and optimism.
In exploring the dichotomy of technologies and their conspicuous absence, the exhibition unveils the dialectics between advancement and tradition. The artworks presented bear witness to the innovative spirit of humanity and its relentless drive towards progress, while simultaneously heralding the loss of simplicity associated with a technologically naïve past. In such a light, the consequences of action and inaction are also brought to bear, set against the backdrop of the anthropogenic epoch.
With each work in dialogue with another, the exhibition urges a contemplative pause, engaging viewers in reflecting on the pluralities of existence. Visitors to the exhibition can look forward to new works created specially for the exhibition from Anthony Chin, Dusadee Huntrakul, Ong Kian Peng and Pratchaya Phinthong. At the same time, the exhibition also offers opportunities for a re-animation of pickings from Ng Joon Kiat’s corpus of paintings, and the Singapore premiere of a selection of works from Miti Ruangkritya’s recent photographic series BLISS.
The exhibition runs till the 26 November 2023. Members of the media and public are welcome to partake in the opening moment commencing at 4pm on the 14 October 2023.
It is in no uncertain terms that art bears the weight of history. But to what end can it bear the weight of the ahistorical too?
About the Artists
Anthony Chin T W (b. 1969) is a designer turned visual artist who holds an MA in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art in London. He creates site-specific and responsive artworks that poetically and conceptually respond to a given site's architectural presence and history. His works emerge from a process of extensive research, using common materials to invoke particular places with attention to their power structure and related implications. His interest lies in making visible inherent structures of power and hegemony that undergirds our daily existence, from the levels of individuals and nation states, so as to challenge prevailing narratives of life and social organisation under colonial and post-colonial eras.
Dusadee Huntrakul (b. 1978) is a multi-disciplinary artist working across mediums of sculpture, ceramic, drawing, painting, and text. Seeking human connections that extend across time, his works span the topics of archaeology, anthropology, and basic urban ecological observation. Ever since seeing his late brother bring home funky fired ceramic pots made at a community college’s pottery class, something profound moved within him. He started working with clay almost twenty years ago at his uncle’s ceramic studio in Bangkok, and remains to this day, committed to using fired clay, language, and other materials to compose spaces that are familiar yet unknown.
Ng Joon Kiat (b. 1976) is a painter who works with the material language of paint as thought and conceptual processes. He develops art researches from archives of disciplines such as geography, microscopic science, history, cartography, surgical history and city-planning to interrogate for a painting practice, which began in the late 1990s.
Ong Kian Peng (b. 1981) is an artist whose work is situated at the intersection of art, technology and ecology. His research focuses on the imperceptibility of Climate Change, exploring immersive and synaesthetic expressions that broaden our consciousness toward the impending ecological disaster.
Pratchaya Phinthong (b. 1974) works in the transitory spaces between systems, and his practice is underscored by themes of displacement and translation. Premised on collaborative processes, modes of exchange and the transfer of artistic agency, Pratchaya’s conceptually driven practice seeks to redefine the value and significance of art. Pratchaya's work translates his research—be they scientific discoveries, economic theories or even rumours—into experiential forms and gestures. He currently lives and works in Bangkok.
Miti Ruangkritya (b.1981) is a visual artist whose photography practice expands into the realms of video, text, and publishing. A nobility of beauty can provoke a disturbing reality, Ruangkritya’s work has proven its capacity when audiences are put in the middle of beautiful ordeal. Raised in the UK, and returned to Bangkok in 2010, the artist noticed the city’s increasing urbanization and started documenting its rapid changes. He has produced immaculate photography focusing on the urban city, its development, and impact. A subtle sarcasm has also informed his commentary work on politics.
About the Curator
John Z.W. Tung is an independent curator and exhibition-maker. To date, his close work with artists has realised more than 50 artwork commissions and site-specific adaptations ranging from the minute to monumental. Serving as a co-curator for the Singapore Biennale 2016 and Singapore Biennale 2019, three of the artwork commissions he curated were finalists for the Benesse Prize, with one work winning the prestigious award. His recent appointments as an independent curator include Festival Curator for the 7th & 8th Singapore International Photography Festival (2020 & 2022) and Associate Curator for the Open House programme, For the House; Against the House (2021, 2022 & 2023), and The Forest Institute, a large-scale architectural art installation dedicated to secondary forest ecologies. In 2023, he was the recipient of the inaugural Tan Boon Hui Curatorial Prize.