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About The Artist

Ang Song Nian (b. 1983, Singapore) works with materials and traces of human behaviours made visible within landscapes through photographic documentations and installation. Intrigued by the narration of thoughts and ideologies through visuals, he has always favoured a microscopic approach to concepts, a style which he always employ to open up details in his practice. His works questions the relationship of human interventions and invasions on landscapes.

Ang’s recent solo exhibition, Artificial Conditions: Something To Grow Into premiered at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum in 2019. His other earlier solo exhibitions include Hanging Heavy On My Eyes, exhibited at both DECK (Singapore) and the Sunderland University Priestman Gallery in 2017, As They Grow Older And Wiser at the Bangkok University Gallery in 2016, as well as A Tree With Too Many Branches in 2015. Group exhibitions include Unearthed at the Singapore Art Museum and Engaging Perspectives at the Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore).

He has exhibited in the Photo Espana Festival (Spain), Lianzhou International Photo Festival (China), Gallery Jinsun (Seoul, South Korea), Hanmi Gallery (London) and the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs (Lleida, Spain).

His works has been awarded the Grand Prize in the 41st edition of the New Cosmos of Photography award organized by Canon Inc. in 2018. He was also the winner for Photography in the Noise Singapore 2012 and was selected for eCrea Award (Spain, 2010) as well as the Association of Photographers Awards (UK, 2010). In 2012, he was awarded the International Graduate Scholarship for his graduate studies at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

Ang currently lectures in the Photography department at the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also the founder of THEBOOKSHOW, a platform which started in 2014, that works towards providing opportunities for artists and photographers interested in the self-published photobook medium.

And Now, Like Sleeping Flowers | 2009-2010
By Ang Song Nian
Archival Inkjet Print | Edition 2/3 + 1 AP | 50 x 50cm | Unframed

And Now, Like Sleeping Flowers is an allegorical work about humanity’s complex relationship with nature. The work depicts a wild and exuberant jungle, proffering a contrast to the notion of the Garden City which Singapore was famously known as, especially in the 1980s.

This series captures a succession of peaceful landscapes which betray subtle signs of man’s incursions: a tree stump in a wooded area; a hollow clearing in a forest; a brick wall cutting through greenery, dividing its foreground from the background; and tarpaulin drawn over mounds in a landscape.

What appears to be white confetti gently drifts over each of these scenes, reminiscent of falling leaves or petals. The white paper, however, also resembles ‘spirit money’, strewn in front of the hearse during Chinese funeral processions to pave the way for the departed. In the same way, they are scattered over these unassuming landscapes to mourn their eventual passing, even while nature sleeps on, unaware of the imminent danger.

This work is coloured by double meaning. On the one hand, it suggests that man can never bend nature completely to his will, just as a garden needs to be guarded constantly against the encroachment of wild greenery. On the other hand, it is a reminder of how human culture and belief have altered man’s view of nature.

This work is part of Singapore Art Museum’s permanent collection.

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