laughter is a breath away from a sigh
Muhammad Mustaghfir, Nuhayd Naufal, Wang Xi Jie, Zheng Jialei
24 November - 3 December, 11am to 7pm
As an intimate by-product of the living corporeal body, the heaving of a breath traces mental and physical states of our being. It is at once warm and visceral yet immaterial and elusive. Between rest and exhaustion, we find tempered breaths which seek respite beyond a mere respiratory obligation.
‘laughter is only a breath away from a sigh’ tracks the meandering of the self in an earnest attempt to adjust to fatigue and exhaustion. Submerged in existential dilemmas, interpersonal dramas and sociopolitical frictions, the exhibition confronts material and spiritual discontentment with artistic manoeuvres and introspective side steps with hopes of making life more comfortable or at the very least amusing.
Four artists convene to reconcile their personal misgivings, not with a deterministic intention to resolve them, but as a practice to ruminate on care and compensate for the lack thereof through artistic practice. The outcome is a motley of works that disclose private fears and desires but shy away from an overt exposition of the sorrows of the world, preferring a visual language of cheeky absurdity laced with obscured poignance.
About the Artist(s)
Muhammad Mustaghfir (b. 2000, Singapore) is a multidisciplinary art practitioner whose work encompasses drawing, (soft) sculpture and performance. In his current practice, he is exploring the body in relation to clothing and its performativity in an attempt to understand intimacy. His exploration of identity and gendered expectations is confronted through his interventions with domestic and everyday objects. Through this, he draws meaning from the simplicity of his everyday encounters, surfacing the intersections of bodily duties and bodily desires.
Mustaghfir has participated in group exhibitions such as Corporeal Inten/se/ts at Starch SG, Walk Walk Don’t Run (2023), Serving Thots at UltraSuperNew Gallery (2023) and THERE–HERE at Alliance Française de Singapour La galerie, Singapore (2023).
Zheng Jialei (b. 2001, Singapore) is a multidisciplinary art practitioner investigating the concerns of Chinese diaspora and the fragmentation of cultural identity. Born to immigrant parents, her sense of displacement inspires her to look at loss and trauma through the lens of post-memory. Zheng hopes to reconcile with her roots and foster strong familial bonds in an age of urban amnesia.
She has exhibited in group shows such as Walk Walk Don’t Run (2023) and Across the Way (2023) at Starch SG.
Nuhayd Naufal (b.2001, Indonesia) is a multidisciplinary creative based in Singapore whose practice centers around the intricacies of desire, its volatile movements and contingent feelings of fragmentation within a tech-mediated environment. Primarily working with painting and sculptures, he reflects upon the mechanisms of meaning-making through an aesthetic of the weird and ugly. His creative output also covers digital imaging, sound explorations and more recently endeavours into curatorial practice.
Wang Xi Jie (b. 2001, Malaysia) is a Singapore-based artist whose practice explores the intersections of corporeality, class, space, and the everyday. Working primarily with found objects that are often gritty, he gives attention to the unseen and overlooked. By employing conversations as methodology and meditating on sensorial/embodied experiences, his works also examine the relational qualities between labour, body, and the aesthetics of empathy. Industrial and organic elements are often recontextualized in his works to explore the resilience within their material compositions. Through his practice, he seeks to practice empathy as a method of feeling and being in the world.