Exercises in Excision 划画·画划
in conjunction with Wong Keen: Forest
8–31 October 2022
Confounded by the spectrum of emotions associated with flesh and meat, Shu-ying explores how images of flesh and meat are made and utilised in 划画·画划 Exercises in Excision.
In 划画 Exercises (translated as cut-up images), Shu photographs and reimagines Wong Keen’s flesh sculptures from the series Forest. Masqueraded as seductively beautiful layers of colours and paper forms, Wong’s candid studies of our desires towards flesh and meat belie the violent and visceral at first glance. This uneasy coexistence echoes the thin line between meat and flesh.
Wong's sculptural paintings are re-presented as flattened images again through photography. The focus shifts to specific textures while the surrounding visuals melt into blurs of colours in an ambiguous space, much like how our ideals of flesh and meat are often disembodied or removed from context.
In 画划 Excisions (translated as imaging the gash), Shu creates abstract compositions from her personal archive of ultrasound scans from an excision biopsy. In contrast with languages of care and notions of physical wellness, intrusive and aggressive medical procedures often feel violent and disorientating. What do we make of these trimmings of ourselves that are removed, not for consumption but for health; do we see them as flesh or meat?
The collaged scans possess an obscure and cryptic quality, appearing serene and sinuous at first glance; yet this is disrupted by traces of medical imaging. This juxtaposition of the natural-looking monochromatic forms with crosses, gradients and grids in colour creates tension that challenges the wholesomeness of these images.
These exercises of reimagining different images of flesh and meat further excise the imaged bodies, serving as a reminder that they were once part of living entities. How are flesh and bodies rendered through the eyes of an artist and the lenses of medical devices?
Left: 划画 Exercises #1, 2022, UV Print on Digital Acrylic, Editions of 3
Right: 划画 Exercises #5, 2022, UV Print on Digital Acrylic, Editions of 3
About the Artist
Hong Shu-ying (b.1997, Singapore) works with metaphors she finds in familiarity. Informed by her lived experiences growing up in Singapore, she is a keen observer of the traces people leave on and for one another.
Shu recently graduated with a BFA in Media Art (Photography) from the Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media. She has participated in exhibitions and festivals in Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and China. Recently, she was awarded the Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Photography 2021, her works were also recognised during the 7th Women in Film and Photography Showcase 2021 by Objectifs (Singapore).