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Girl On Film: Erin Coates

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Matthew Ngui: Points of View

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


04 Jun 2007 to 12 Aug 2007

Curator: Russell Storer

about the exhibtion

For over twenty years, Matthew Ngui has embraced the shifting point of view as a means to question perception, location and subjectivity. His installations, video works, photographs and performances engage in subtle and playful processes of negotiation and communication, from his renowned 1990s performances in which Singaporean food was ordered, prepared and consumed in the gallery, to his recent architectural pipe constructions that form connections between people and spaces.

Born in Singapore and based in Perth since the late 1980s, Ngui continues to live and work between the two cities. The idea of ‘home’ is recurrent in his art, considered not as a singular place but as a process continually under review. The condition of having two widely contrasting homes has been an important influence on the artist’s work, resulting in an exploratory approach towards place and identity. This can be seen in both his early attempts to map the Western Australian landscape as well as his public proposal to write the word HOME in floodlights across the Singaporean city skyline.

In this proposal, as well as in works such as Chair and the PVC pipe installation in this exhibition, Ngui employed the visual device of anamorphosis, in which a fragmented or distorted image comes together from a single viewpoint. Actively involving the public in the construction of the image, Ngui’s anamorphic works suggest the shifting nature of perception and meaning, depending on where one is at a particular point in time and space.

Matthew Ngui: Points of View featured works from the past two decades of the artist’s practice, including early photographic and slide pieces, reconfigured recent works and new videos produced for the MCA exhibition. Documentation and materials relating to Ngui’s many public and site-specific projects and proposals were also presented, providing a sense of the artist’s multifarious approach to working in public, private – and imaginary – sites.

An MCA National Touring exhibition:

  • John Curtin Gallery, Perth: 7 February – 20 March 2008
  • National Museum of Singapore, Singapore: 28 May – 30 June 2008

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