A Thing of Beauty is a series of photographed installations of small, locally sourced objects — the objectified minutia of everyday life culminating in a structural wonderland of monochromatic shapes and shades built on stone.
The plethora of objects provisioned for the palette of this work is handpicked from a total of 138 "mom and pop" shops from bakeries to convenience stores throughout Singapore’s residential heartlands, making each installation an anthropological documentary of things we collectively own in this day and age.
Drawing from symbolism and surrealism, A Thing of Beauty forges unexpected relationships between objects from these different worlds, to create a new visual language through the use of colour, scale, form and texture. Extracting objects from their “invisible normality” isolates each article’s preciousness in form, pushing the viewer to discover an object’s capacity to hold meaning or invent new ones. This process distills the intangible value of commonplace items, as fossils and emblems of people, places and memories, while reframing these objects in an imaginary landscape, is an act of storytelling sans words. Each installation thus exists as a puzzle unto itself, containing both the absurdities and profoundness of life found in a grand orchestra of stuff.
A Thing of Beauty is a bold celebration of the everyday and ordinary. The work aims to challenge common canonizations of what we find beautiful and helps us see a bit of ourselves in the things we keep.