In this commission for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the connection between art and poetry takes a palpable form. The life of a poet becomes the artist’s subject of inquiry. What does poetry do?
We see the artist in a video dancing to the sound of clapping hands. He dances at nighttime, the sounds and lights of traffic roar through the hedges into the empty lot. This ludic intervention under a nondescript highway implicitly disrupts Singapore’s perception of business-as-usual, slickness and restraint. We hear a tumultuous clapping acting as an internal voice that drives and pressurises the artist to dance, perform, disguise, loosen up. While the artist submits, his body sporadically expresses resistance to the expectations to put on a show. “Every face is his face. ‘A ghost, a shadow, a trace,’” writes the artist-poet in his diary, deploying poetry's infinite ability to conjure life and long for tomorrow. - Anca Rujoiu
Jason Wee is an artist and a writer. Recent projects include the choreographies of queer secrecy in parks and shipping lanes (for the 2020 Asia Society Triennale) and the history of publishing ‘undesirable literatures’ in Malaya (for the 2022 Kochi-Muziris Biennale).
He is embarking on a multiyear project most recently in the figuration and futuring of Asia and Southeast Asia.
His art practice centers polyphony and ‘powerless’ minor poetics within architecture, infrastructure and history. His works move restlessly between art, design histories, poetry, publishing, activism, sculpture and photography.
He is the 2023 Asymmetry Foundation Scholar at Goldsmisths, University of London."