In celebration of International Women’s Day and in conjunction with Singapore Design Week 2018, The Private Museum is pleased to present In Flux by New York-based Singaporean artist, Dr Wee Hong Ling, from 16 March to 6 May 2018. This solo exhibition follows the most recent development of Wee’s artistic practice, featuring three distinct series of ceramic works (Brooklyn, Moxie and My Family Portrait) and, importantly, the inaugural showcase of blacksmithing works by a Singaporean female artist.
Brooklyn is a series that acknowledges both Singapore and New York as Wee’s homes. From one island to another, Brooklyn references her mediation between continents and her abiding state of flux. By contrast, Moxie, a series of large vessels with daring cantilevers, engages the viewer to ruminate on the artist’s internal qualities of fortitude and persistence as requisites of creating sizable ceramic works.
In this exhibition, Wee also revisits My Family Portrait, the sole figurative sculpture from her body of work that has never been shown. In Flux presents her interpretations in clay and steel juxtaposed against the old childhood photograph.
For the second blacksmithing work, Heaven and Earth, Wee experiments with time and chance by exposing nine forged discs to the elements, including the first snow of winter in New York, to develop a skin of rust. Heaven and Earth, inspired by Chinese cosmology, can be seen as the artist paying homage to her mother tongue and heritage.
As a whole, In Flux is an artistic endeavour by Dr Wee Hong Ling to challenge perceptions and break social stereotypes. Personal and endearing, the works mirror her mindset regarding the continual state of uncertainty that she experiences in the physical, metaphysical and humanistic worlds.
Dr Wee Hong Ling is an award-winning ceramicist representing Singapore art and design internationally since 2003. Not only is Wee making an impact upon the field of ceramic arts, she is also committed to raising the visibility of Singaporean ceramics globally.
In 2011, she had a solo exhibition, No Place Like Home, at Sculpture Square in celebration of the 46th National Day. During the Olympic Games in London in 2012, she was invited to exhibit at the Pop-Up Singapore House. After that show, My Paper named Wee one of ten Singaporeans who make the nation proud. And in 2013, she received the prestigious Outstanding Achievements and Contribution to Community Empowerment Award from The Society of Foreign Consuls in New York City.
Wee’s work has also represented Singapore in competitions in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Japan and Korea. Her accolades include the First Prize at Ceramics Biennial 2006 at The New Hampshire Institute of Art (New Hampshire, USA), an Award of Excellence at the Third China-ASEAN Youth Creativity Competition at the Guangxi National Art Centre (Nanning, China) and an Honourable Mention at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale (Cheongju-si, Korea).
Because Wee considers both Singapore and New York to be home, it is natural that she married the two by organising the first grassroots Singapore Arts Festival in New York to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee in 2015. The 11-day presentation of Singapore arts and culture in downtown Manhattan drew 1500 attendees.
Last November, Wee was again flying the Singapore flag, this time at the Singapore Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. Her installation, Things That Matter, is her body of ceremonial objects and centerpieces that keeps her closely connected to her culture.
Wee’s ceramics can be found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery (Singapore), the Ministries of Law and Foreign Affairs (Singapore), the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Japan), the Fule International Ceramic Art Museum (China) and the Guangxi National Art Center (China).