“A Thing of Beauty” is a photo series by artist Dawn Ng that features displays of monochromatic scenes using objects that she found in thrift stores, convenience stores, bakeries, and local stores from across Singapore‘s varied communities. In arranging the displays in such order, Ng tells a story about about people and their belongings.
Drawing from symbolism and surrealism, A Thing of Beauty forges unexpected relationships between objects from these different worlds, to create a new visual language through the use of colour, scale, form and texture. Extracting objects from their “invisible normality ”isolates each article’s preciousness in form, pushing the viewer to discover an object’s capacity to hold meaning or invent new ones. This process distills the intangible value of commonplace items, as fossils and emblems of people, places and memories, while reframing these objects in an imaginary land- scape, is an act of storytelling sans words. Each installation thus exists as a puzzle unto itself, containing both the absurdities and profoundness of life found in a grand orchestra of stuff. Thing of Beauty is a bold celebration of the everyday and ordinary. The work aims to challenge common canonizations of what we find beautiful and helps us see a bit of ourselves in the things we keep.
images via Dawn Ng