2012

Joel Yuen
If there is something strange about me, I am not aware of it


In response to the complex relationship between
the Internet and user, my work is a form of social critique in line with Mark Poster’s theory about
the second media age. The Internet is no longer a passive instrument but one, which our social lives are intertwined. It cuts though time and space, transcending our ontological understanding of reality. It allows me to change my image and identity, to tell blatant lies, to play, to reconstruct and create new visual realities. I adorned fantastical costumes and masks to perform for the camera as my alter ego. There is no historical value to
 the images but there is a sense of nostalgia. The representations are laced with traces of ritual and familiarities, responding to the blip culture we live in. Looking at my work, I can relate to a certain race, culture, tradition or belonging that exists, but there is no authority to declare truth. Everything created and performed for the camera exists for its own sake, paving the way for a new narrative that flows in all directions, exemplified by the fluidity of the costumes and the unfinished quality of aesthetic. What is revealed is just a simulacrum of reality.

About the Artist
Joel Yuen (Singapore, b.1983) received his BFA from Nanyang Technological University and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design. Notable exhibitions include The Singapore Show: Future Proof at Singapore Art Museum at 8Q SAM, Xhibit at Menier Gallery, London and Seeing in the City at Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Yuen is a recipient of the Artists and Collectors Exchange Bursaries Award and winner of the 27th UOB Painting Of The Year Competition.