Nguan is an enigmatic picture-maker who only goes by one name. He was born and raised in Singapore and studied film and video production at Northwestern University. He spent over a decade in the States, photographing such oft-shot locations as New York City and Los Angeles.
Since 2010, he has turned his gaze home, to Singapore. His 2013 monograph, How Loneliness Goes, is now an exhibition, as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2015, at ION Art. The photographs “employ Singapore’s distinct vernacular architecture as both scenery and supporting cast for a lyrical and ambivalent evocation of urban isolation.”
I’ve seen many of Nguan‘s photographs online and on the page. (I am a huge fan.) The exhibit, however, takes the art’s framed flatness and fills it out with an illusory heft, of sorts. His work emphasizes the physical experience of photography, and captures both the illusion of photography and the physical presence of places, people, and objects.
I couldn’t help but think of the photographs’ nondescript frames as thresholds, their ability to be both an “in-between” and a gateway to a “beyond.”
How Loneliness Goes closes on Sunday. Go!