19 November 2009 – 16 January 2010

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Her Eyes Closed may imply sleeping, dreaming, or the state of unconsciousness. It may also be an attitude of refusing to show emotion or a passive state. Annysa Ng, named by The Sunday Times last year as one of the top ten contemporary art talents to watch, uses these possibilities to explore topics of identity and reality as perceived through various states of consciousness in her first solo exhibition in Europe.

The exhibition features the installation piece Who Is The Dreamer, a work based on the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream which questions the nature of our perception of reality and our identity. The chair’s seat is missing and it is resting on a crystal globe. Zhuangzi’’s chair is overtaken by a tangle of braids and butterflies a reminder that reality is fragile and the visual appearance of the physical world may not be the absolute truth. Who is the dreamer and who dreams the dream?

Ng’s other three dimensional works feature continue her examination of consiciousness and perception, often related to female identity. The Wrongs of Woman was inspired by 18th-century British writer Mary Wollstonecraft’s novel of the same title. The top of the assemblage is adorned by a halo and a collar, while the lower part of the table lamp is a hidden prison where a female figure is hung like a witch. The piece expresses Ng’s observation that throughout history, women have been expected to be good and virtuous, not through education but through punishment.

The featureless blackout faces of the figures in Ng’s two-dimensional works are specifically tied to identity and the history of Hong Kong as a British colony. Reflecting her interest in physiognomy in human cultures, in her Tea Silk and Porcelain works, costume is the only visual language. The phoenix and the dragon on the robe, and the Elizabethan ruff on the collar are motifs of the past. Their myths and tales resuscitate and pass on.

Ng’s black and white drawings reflect the solitude of the unconscious state when we are not interrupted by the five colours as per the teachings as ancient Chinese philosophy. Philosphoer Lao Zi said that the five colours make people blind, five colours in Dao meaning the material world and black and white representing the unity of the Yin and the Yang. With this stark combination of black and white in her drawings, Ng encourages the viewer to close the eyes and use intuition.

Ng comments on the her concept for the show, ���������������������������������������������������������Jung said dreams are the window to the unconscious. I submit to my unconscious through art making.�����