It’s strange I feel like I’ve seen this one before by Lai Yu Tong

24 September, 2019

Singapore, 24 February 2020

It’s strange I feel like I’ve seen this one before by Lai Yu Tong
24 Sep — 13 Oct 2019

Opening Reception:
Tues, 24 Sep 2019, 7pm — 9pm

Artist Talk:
Sat, 5 Oct 2019, 3pm

It’s strange I feel like I’ve seen this one before is the first solo exhibition by Lai Yu Tong. The exhibition features recent works where a local newspaper has been used as source material to examine image culture, consumption, and living in Singapore. Working with images in a time of image saturation, Yu Tong employs gestures of collection, appropriation, reduction and arrangement as primary modes of artist production.

The exhibition contains four works. The first is a series of Newspaper Paintings made by gradually covering spreads of newspaper with layers of white paint, creating abstracted compositions of images floating precariously beside one another without text, captions, or dates. The second is a set of collages made entirely with newspaper cutouts titled The Weather Report where the largely self-legitimising language of news reportage is borrowed to create fictional scenes that discuss a mundane but common conversational topic in Singapore — the weather. The third, Everything is absolutely alright and perfectly fine (nothing is wrong), consists of 350 images of people smiling that were scanned and reproduced from newspapers. Such images make up most of the images that exist today; in the age of selfies, profile pictures, front-facing cameras, and modern society’s obsession with looking happy all the time.

Lastly, scattered around the exhibition are objects that falter in between sculpture and trash; an assortment of items used by the artist sit around cardboard replicas of household fixtures from his home. The exhibition features an introductory text by Caterina Riva and the artist talk on 5 October will be conducted together with Cheng Jia Yun.

About the Artist

Lai Yu Tong (b. 1996) is a Singaporean artist who works mainly with images. His works are influenced by the things he sees, things he buys, things he eats, things he uses, things he throws away, and other things. He is a graduate of the School of the Arts Singapore, and furthered his studies in Fine Arts with the National Arts Council Scholarship at LASALLE College of the Arts where he recently graduated and was awarded the Winston Oh Travel Award and the LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence.. Past exhibitions include Textures, The Arts House (2019), Perennial Concerns, ISLANDS at Peninsular Plaza (2018), A City of Books, Bras Basah Complex (2018), opening day (2017), Undescribed, DECK (2016), Noise The Apprenticeship Programme Exhibition, SAM 8Q (2014). He recently publised an artist book under the independent publishing project, browsing copy (2019). In 2018, he briefly ran an experimental art space called —Tom.


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