Michael Janssen Singapore is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Singaporean artist Jason Wee. Titled “Requiem (The Sea Can’t Reach You Now)”, the show takes its cue from a line from old tricks for new houses- a poem by Arthur Yap. The full line reading ‘the sea can’t reach you now/ & it’ll be further away next year’, Requiem shares the poem’s strong spatial reference, organising within the gallery space some, among our many multivalent ways of grieving.
Featuring a series of sculptural and other associated objects that on their own individually constitute a different mode of mourning, Requiem articulates an architecture of grief and exposes the ambiguity in mourning that always seems to surface. These objects, without which grief would seem otherwise impossible, each permit a particular address to the departed, and together give rise to a space that is part private mausoleum, part public memorial. Situating the artist’s grief within a social history that is to come, Requiem also acknowledges and critically assesses the complex demands of grief and the consequent need to balance between honouring a legacy and creating a space for ambivalence and intense affect. It is thus a memorial for a lost father, a public monument accessible at certain hours on most days and an art installation all at once.
Concerned with the hollowing out of singular authority in favour of multiple perspectives and polyphony, Wee’s practice involves the transformation of singular histories and spaces into various visual and written materials, with a particular attention to conundrums, idealism and unexplored futures. This is his first solo project in recent years.
Jason Wee (b.1979) is an artist and writer living and working in Singapore and New York. The founder of Grey Projects, an artists’ space and residency that focuses on experimental curatorship, new writing, design propositions and emergent art practices that is neither about being young nor avantgarde, of which he still currently runs, Wee is also The 2008 Young Artist Award winner for visual arts in Singapore and the 2009 Voters’ Prize winner from the Singapore Art Museum.
Notable solo exhibitions include Master Plan at Chan Hampe Galleries (2012), Ruins at Valentine Willie Fine Art, (2009) and Treasure at The Substation Gallery (2005). Other prominent group exhibitions, include Notes on Performance at Objectifs Gallery, Singapore (2014), Parallax at Gyeongju Arts Centre, Korea (2014), The Invisibility Project at The Arts House, Singapore (2013), Anthropos at Numthong Gallery, Bangkok (2013), Project Glocal at Vargas Museum, University of Philippines, Quezon City (2012).