2010

Erica Lai
The Observatory


The viewing tower is a timeless and unfailing feature in tourist locations around the world, essentially dictating an “ideal” vantage point from which a place is to be visualised many times over. Through this series of observation decks around the world, the photographer examines the compelling process of pilgrimage to an area of great height and questions how one decides what is worth looking at, in a time where safety barriers and seeing devices heighten one’s awareness of the act of surveillance rather than the view that lies before.

About the Artist
Erica Lai was born 1981 in Singapore. Her work discusses issues pertaining to the idea of space, sense of place, and its unstable readings in land-scarce Singapore, as well as cities at large. Her current research dwells into the physiological roots of natural spaces and places of great height, and their relationship with the viewer. She has exhibited locally and internationally, along with various cross-disciplinary collaborations. In 2005, she was awarded first prize for Photography in the UOB Painting of the Year competition. Lai is currently a photography lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Singapore.