Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 26 November

Would you pay tribute to your parents with the help of your profession? Alright, to be more specific, if you were a photographer, would you use photography to pay tribute to your parents? And then, how do you win the honour of having your parents as part of, a pivotal part of, your series of artwork?

Sean Lee has the answer.


Aging is inevitable, and we may get emotional while witnessing our parents age. What if their bodies are part of the land and the universe, never-ending and always rejuvenated? Perhaps a more sentient way of putting it is, longevity.

Say, expiry date applies even to longevity. Their bodies wither away eventually. We walk in a single file like ants, looking at their bodies. The body parts appear gigantic now, it’s hard to tell which is which, then they are also slowly blending into the ground to give a new lease of life.

Sean Lee explores topics generally avoided by people and tells stories through the lenses of his camera. A little awkward at first perhaps, because we do not know how to feel about his works. As we walk through the narrow passage in the gallery, we will emerge at the end of the passage, which essentially is also the beginning of the passage, with a new or renewed sense of the circle of life and death. And the beauty of his photographs.

Sean Lee’s book of photographs, Two People, will be launched on 3rd December 2013 at National Museum of Singapore, 7.30pm. You may pre-order it online and collect it at the launch event or from Objectifs at 56A, Arab Street.

More about Sean Lee and his works.

The Garden, 2012-2013

by Sean Lee

Set of 12 photographs

Singapore Art Museum, level 2, gallery to the left of the spiral staircase and the lift

Collection of the artist

Singapore Biennale 2013 commission