Upfront, a Fine Art Photography Show

Opening today at 2902 Gallery is Upfront, an exhibition introducing ten graduating fine art photographers from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts as they use the medium of photography to explore issues of identity.

The works exhibited are part of the students’ Final Year Project, a culmination of their diploma studies in the discipline of fine art photography. They depict a spectrum of views and aesthetics in the investigation of intersubjective identity issues.

Below are the themes explored:

Darkness as Metaphor
Izwan Subawi photographs members of his family as they awake and conduct their daily routines in the wee hours of the morning. The spot lighting creates an envelope of darkness, and suspended time and space, which starts to blur the line between activity and fiction. Kerthiga Naidu explores the subject of death in close-up portraits of the remains of a dead dog, which leads to an inevitable existential questioning of what a being becomes when it is dead. The textual light scribbling in Fajrina Razak’s domestic space reveals her internal struggles as she grows into a young adult who is grappling with conflicting beliefs and identities.

Body as Performative Space
Siti Khatijah Bt. Zainal Ngabidin‘s portraits are an exploration of the performative aspects of gender, through facial expressions, anatomical structure and bodily markings. Esther Jude‘s self-portraits show how identity can easily shift with a change of clothing and attitude. Using a simple gesture of holding hands, Vincent Lim‘s snapshots confront viewers’ notions of heteronormative behavior with their overtones of homophobia. Nurmaisharah Noordin‘s playful arrangements of forms and textures of parts of the body provide viewers with a fresh perspective in their identification. As the human form starts to lose its dimensionality and dissolves into other surfaces in Gina Loh‘s photographs, the images take on a psychological presence that is haunting and emotive.

Who’s the Man?
The sensitive portrayal of the neighbours living in Nurhidayah Moliano‘s block reveals an easy intimacy and a sense of trust from her sitters. Her use of the documentary language in portraiture is not unlike August Sander’s portrayal of the German people and his search of a German identity. In his examination of the social and political history of Singapore, Simon Pan‘s photographs of tables in Potong Pasir as witnesses of past and present events beg the question of the location of power and authority.

The exhibition runs through 17 April at 2902 Gallery.

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