— 5 Min Read —

Simon Ng, Artist in Residence 2023

— 5 Min Read —

Simon Ng, Artist in Residence 2023

“A single poem, alone / can turn tides / scatter galaxies / and burst forth with rivers / from paradise…”

Sanober Khan

The Museum of Contemporary Cuts (MoCC) in 2023 — as part of “Students as Researchers: Creative Practice and University Education,” a Collateral Event organized by the New York Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Design, approved by Leslie Lokko, curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 — is hosting Simon Ng as artist in residence from January to December 2023. The artist is one of a group of 12 international artists presenting a mobile exploration of the crisis of water. The curatorial project conceived by Lanfranco Aceti will be a long-term investigation into the elemental crisis of water, earth, wind, and fire. The artists will explore, according to their own personal aesthetic approaches and cultural underpinnings, the elemental crisis of water, its impact, and the consequences of the alterations of its mythologies and poetics. The curatorial brief, titled What If This Were The Case? – The Waters We Are In, is inspired by the meaning of ‘case’: building up a legal case as well as a case being a piece of luggage. The international sharing of knowledge, understanding, and interpretations of the current crises are paramount to resuscitate old mythologies and cultural postulates — or to develop new ones — truly inspired by communal structures of surviving, living, and possibly even thriving.

Artist’s Bio

Simon Ng, is a painter and an installation artist. In 2012, he was awarded the Winston Oh’s Travel Grant and the Winston Oh’s Postgraduate Fine Art Research Fund, which allowed him to focus on the development of an aesthetic of the human body within the natural world. His artworks are inspired by multiple concerns which are rooted in and lead to the human body as the site of all that is good and evil. This is the reason why Ng’s portraits and landscapes are strictly intertwined, creating a game of mirrors and reflections through which the viewer has to discover where the emotive focus is situated — whether in the landscape or the portrait. Ng has exhibited his works in solo and collective shows in Singapore, Malaysia, Finland and other international venues. His artworks are part of numerous private collections worldwide, including the Sunpride Foundation in Hong Kong.

Ng’s works are primarily figurative and inspired by the impermanence of the human condition. They focus on issues related to identity and its portrayal. The landscapes within which human figures are placed are a reflection of human nature, and of the unstable state of the subconscious. By carefully observing the relation between the landscape and the figures that populate it, the landscape becomes a mirror of the human and the human is transformed into a reflection of untainted primordial forces. Drawing on his personal experiences and memories, the artworks explore the unconscious depths of the mind — of the artist or his sitters — and materialize as paintings, illustrations, drawings, and mixed-media artworks. The artist often distills human figures into abstractions, which are materialized in a wide range of visual permutations of shapes, colors, and forms.

Works of Art

Artist’s Video

Artist’s Statement

As an artist, I find myself standing alone within the landscape, where memories and mythologies conjure enigmatic creatures. Nothing is as it initially appears, and the existence of mythological beings not only remains possible but also acquires an undeniable certainty that commands our attention.

For me, it all began at the source of a river — a place where it seems we, as human beings, may uncover the root of our transgressions against nature. It is here that we can delve into the essence of our destructive tendencies, ultimately leading us to confront our collective shortcomings and the toll they take on our delicate ecosystems. In these moments of awareness, the landscape undergoes transformations, giving birth to peculiar creatures that embody and exemplify the consequences of our disharmony with nature. As we navigate this existence, we, too, assume the roles of these beings, defying the natural order with our inherent flaws and eventually paying a concealed price that we will not to discover until the very end.

I have a profound interest in exploring the intricate relationships between human intervention and the environment. I emphasize the origins, transformations, and complex social and environmental impacts associated with human endeavors to ‘purify’ rivers, lakes, and seas. The acts of cleaning and cleansing necessitate establishing unattainable criteria for achieving an idealized goal. Once touched, altered, or abused, the primordial state is forever lost, just as the human psyche undergoes irrevocable changes when subjected to abuse, violence, or victimization. Nature, too, undergoes a profound metamorphosis when relentlessly exploited.

I am intrigued by the multifaceted consequences that arise from such violent relationships, even when an illusion of tranquillity cloaks the surface. Through the contemplation of past events, the present reality, and the potential future, I aspire to shed light on the profound transitions that occur as a result of our actions, bringing them — through my paintings — into the light of our consciousness.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy.