28 - 30 july 2021

Nanyang academy of fine arts

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Presentation (Live & Video on Demand)

Day 1 (Video on Demand)Wednesday 28 July 2021, 16:00

Day 2 (LIVE)Thursday 29 July 2021, 14:35

How does an object contain memory, and why is this important to us?

Wong Gin Ming

In Ollivier Dyens's 2001 paper, The Sadness of the Machine, Dyens illustrates the difficulty of placing a single meaning on memory through a collection of stories by neuropsychologist Oliver Sacks. Dyens observes the individuals in Sack's stories to reside inside an individual realm, one unique to them, and closed off from the rest of the world. Being the sole captive in our own intimate spheres where the sense of time and space is unique to us, our relationship with our own memories can prove to be potentially untrustworthy - especially with no true reliable source to reference ourselves to. This situation can get rather precarious, considering that we rely on the experience of memories to ascertain our identities.

Hence, this is where objects - or more specifically, 'memory objects' - come in, as the silent, objective third party; a tangible piece of the past existence that resides with us in the present. For modern philosopher Slavoj Zisek, objects are a little piece of truth that we can touch, that acts as a form of absolute reassurance of all that we have experienced (Zisek, 1991). If objects act as material checkpoints of our memories, then by process of implication, the objects that we own helps to establish who we are - or as put by Anthony Hudek, that 'objects define us'.

This essay focuses on the different ways philosophers and art writers discuss the relationships between memory and objects; from Graham Harman's Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) to Jacques Lacan's Object Petit A - taking these ideas to observe the connections we have to objects that surround us, and look at how artists have utilized these ideas in the objects used to make art.

Participating as part of   

Wong Gin Ming (b. 1994) is a Singapore-based artist. Gin Ming graduated with a Diploma with Distinction in Fine Art from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in 2019, and subsequently obtained a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Practice at the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom.

Throughout her years of education at NAFA, Gin Ming has been awarded the 'Tan Chin Tuan Merit Award' (Diploma) in 2017, the 'Tan Chin Tuan Scholarship for Creative Education' (Diploma) in 2018, and subsequently the 'NAFA Dean's List award' and 'NAFA Entry Scholarship' (Degree) in 2019. In recent times, Gin Ming was the Merit Award Winner of the Singapore Creator Awards 2019 (Graphic Design Category)

Gin is currently a teaching assistant at the Fine Art Programme at NAFA. She has participated in various local group exhibitions and is the founder of a start-up enterprise, 'ArtinMondays' (2017), where she sells a collection of her works in various mediums.