28 - 30 july 2021

Nanyang academy of fine arts

Presentation (Video-On-Demand)

Day 2Thursday 29 July 2021, 16:30

STORIES THAT MATTER: material culture and photography as a medium of accumulative storytelling

Antonius Cong

For a long time since its establishment, Singapore has been relying numerously on external parties to prosper and thrive. Since the pandemic hit and lockdown announced, Singapore has shut virtually all available travel borders, hence leaving millions of migrant workers and domestic workers to fend for themselves while worrying about the state of their families back in their respective hometown.

This project will feature photographs and recollections from various migrant workers in Singapore surrounding material culture, the issue of home and belonging in an overseas setting. The main objects and narrative will be compiled from the domestic and migrant worker's perspective to add authenticity factor, while artistic curation is present to facilitate seamless overall flow. To identify common grounds across the workers hailing from different parts of Southeast Asia, a focus group will be conducted for a collaborative and collective share of experience, thus adding a unifying factor in the storytelling process from all parties.

Each item reveals the psychosocial state of these migrant workers and offers us unfiltered glimpses into their lives, one where they sacrifice for a society. The aim is to bring the subject matter closer to heart - about common pain points of isolation and familiarity.

Overall, the role of this project is to examine the role of interdisciplinary documentations as a form of recollecting and bridging emotions in turbulent times. With current international borders closed, this project is a timely opportunity to bring hope that extending care for domestic and migrant workers is an achievable feat.

Deeply influenced by the dynamic things in life, Antonius sees himself as a street explorer with a love for the physical exploration of places. The narrative in his works are born from culmination of his travels and post-trip reflection, allowing a synthesis of context. Aspires to unravel stories that matter.