Exhibition: 16 January ­‐ 27 March 2016, ArtScience Musuem
Awards: 19 January 2016, Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands

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Head slide 160202 ecns.cn
3 Feb 2016

Awards celebrate emerging Asian artist take on issues

He links his mother's story with the story of "Auntie Huang", another woman from southern China's Shenzhen city, where many cloth factories get their money from Taiwan. The two women share a similar background: Both went to cities from the countryside and ended up working on such production lines.

Huang put up a youthful photo of his mother at the exhibition venue and a photo of the other woman facing away from the visitors. Near them he has placed a stack of jeans made in the factories of Taipei and Shenzhen, with the words, "Sorry, I don't have an off today", projected on a nearby wall.

"In Taiwan, nobody cares about personal stories. People always focus on the economy, finance and business. That's why I try to look at the very small universe of individuals," says Huang, who was one of the award-winners.

Shanghai-based sculptor Yang Mushi also dwells on individuals. His installation-like sculpture on show, called Grind, displays several groups of objects in different formations - some look like piles of timber and some like sharpened pencils. The articles, placed on a large aluminum plate, took two years to make at a Shanghai factory. He then darkened their surfaces with lacquer.

He says the objects reflect the various states of his mind.

"I felt rather pessimistic and pained during the production process. I saw the materials becoming smaller inside the machines, and felt my own life fritter away."

He sees the process as a confrontation with his "other" side that easily blends into the social mainstream. He says the work helps him cool down, release his anxiety and maintain a distance from his surroundings.

Zhang Wei, a Beijing-based photo artist and awards nominee, says many young artists today "simply sell ideas or depend on impulse to create".

"But when one reaches middle age, an artist should rely on his experiences to go on."