Five Trees Make A Forest | Donna Ong


Exhibition Opening
10 March 2016, 7pm

NUS Museum

Guest-of-Honour
Professor Jonathan Rigg
Director, Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore

Free with registration. Please register at http://fivetreesmakeaforest.peatix.com/.

The exhibition offers an insight into the various stages involved in the production of tropical landscapes for visual and pedagogical consumption through a dialogue between Donna Ong’s overall project which draws attention to and complicates colonial tropes of the forest, with a focus on colonial paintings and illustrations including the works of Charles Dyce from the NUS Museum’s collection.

Donna Ong refers to the “tropics” through an interpretative synthesis of scientific journals, travelogues and illustrations initiated by the colonial voyages from the 18th to 20th century. In Five Trees Make a Forest, the lithographic reproductions on display are from the artist’s personal collection of antique prints and photographic images of the tropics, acquired from her travels abroad. Within the discourse on tropical landscapes, these works expand the field of the continuing projection of the colonial view with Ong’s dialogue with the Charles Dyce collection. The collection bears 35 watercolour paintings and a 22-page handwritten manuscript that illustrates Dyce’s voyage and residence in Singapore, Malacca, Penang and Batavia in the mid-19th century English settlement.

The exhibition convenes the different modes of colonial representation in abstracting the lived tropical landscape – from its imaginings to the relations of the spectator-artist as an active agent in it.

To view the e-flyer, please click here.

About the artist
Donna Ong is an installation artist from Singapore, best known for her evocative and thought-provoking environments made from furniture, found objects and original artwork. She has exhibited her works locally and internationally. In 2009, Donna received the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award and the People’s Choice award for the President’s Young Talent Competition.

[Image Credit: Detail from Donng Ong, Five Trees Make A Forest, 1896, Antique original lithograph, 19.5 x 25.8cm]

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