Exhibition: RUINS Captain’s Log Entries on Days with No End – New works by Jason Wee

I was invited to the above solo photography exhibition at the Australian embassy last Friday. Spoiled with wine, wagyu mini-burgers and wistful pieces of art, I was a happy girl indeed.

During his residency at the Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Sydney, Singaporean photographer Jason Wee was inspired by the legendary voyages of Admiral Cheng Ho from Asia to Australia. The maps Admiral Cheng Ho used then were largely inaccurate and one can only imagine the endless seas and non-spaces the crew would have experienced. Aptly described: “RUINS is a moving composition of a Captain’s beautiful and improbable journey through distant seas.”

I was captivated, so much so that I must share it with everyone. That being said, the above image doesn’t do the print justice, one would have to view the pieces (9 in total, the above is my favorite) first hand. On the other, I would also understand if a handful wonders what the deal is about on an image that could be easily digitally created. I shall try to explain as briefly as I can my standpoint on why this series took my breath away.

Art is all about the feelings invoked when you view a piece, not about how a 5 year old can paint that. The inspiration that led to the creation is very important, you can’t get away with just saying it’s an artwork because you like black. For Ruins, the story of Admiral Cheng Ho’s journey transported me to his ship. I experienced his views of the same horizon, with only the changing light to mark the minutes that passed. The crew must have felt a certain despondence and anticipation in their yearning to spot land and with this I related to my own hopes and aspirations. All of us have our versions of land in this modern age, and it was indeed moving.

These are my thoughts on Jason Wee’s Ruins. Art being subjective, you will have your own opinion of it as well. The next thing you know it will start to be the conversation piece in your hall, as with any canvas or print. Remember how you’d answer your guests on where you took the wedding portraiture and who the photographer was?

Yes, you can easily imitate a piece and have it created in Photoshop for 1/4 the price. But who are we kidding, you’d know it’s not the same. It’s not the original.

Imagesource: Valentine Willie Fine Art

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