“It often strikes me that when someone says they miss something, they ordinarily allude to a person, time or place; when what they truly miss is a version of themselves, which they can never get back to again. After all, what is each of us, but a vessel of vanishing selves?”
After catching a glimpse of her new work at DISINI 2018, Sullivan+Strumpf is about to take Dawn Ng’s Perfect Stranger all the way to their gallery in Sydney!
Previously presented at Chan+Hori earlier in the year, Perfect Stranger collects 61 texts distilled from of a year-long Q&A project between Ng and an Israeli child psychologist, where each day of the project the stranger would ask a question and Ng would respond; including writing from her hospital bed after giving birth to her first child.
These were then arranged on canvases totalling an emotional, nostalgic autobiographic aide-memoir.With the combination of text and gradient tones, each sheet emits a an almost phosphoric glow, synthesising the word and colour. These are arranged flat on the gallery floor, and seeing them from above, lain not hung, they become a fossilized, fleeting exchange shared by two women from different pasts, presents and futures.
Through this process of inquisition, one then questions and reflects upon fact and fiction, the idea of narrative and recollections, memory that is recalled in the form of observations, questions, lists, stories, poems, confessions and jokes, and Perfect Stranger becomes an experiment in freezing moments of oneself, recording one through words and the faintest of feelings over time.
For Ng, who works across a diverse range of mediums, Perfect Stranger continues her work on issues of time, memory, identity and space, becoming a 61 part self-portrait and narrative time capsule to capture her self in the here and now. Seemingly still upon first sight yet shimmering across its spectrum of shades, it is the little ironies and binaries of life that come to be represented on each canvas, from the hellos to goodbyes, the monumental and mundane, all co-existing within the same thoughts and moments.
Perfect Stranger runs at Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney, 799 Elizabeth St, Zetland, Sydney NSW Australia, from 24th November to 27th December 2018. Admission is free. For more information, visit their website here