Two families. Four faiths.
In a huge rustic house in upper Bukit Timah lives Tan Ying Hsien and his mother, the late Dr Nalla Tan. Nalla lived with Alzheimer’s disease and her condition had deteriorated to the point whereby she is a stranger even to herself. While Dr Tan was an active member of church, her youngest son Ying Hsien calls himself agnostic, and unconvinced about life after death. In a shophouse unit in Queenstown lives the Neo family. Filled with books about Buddhism and cooking, it reveals Mdm Tay Siew Hwa’s areas of specialties. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she devotes more time to self-study about her religion and life after death, while undergoing chemotherapy. Her oldest son Alex Neo, builds his own shrine of beliefs with religious pendants and symbols from Thailand.
Goddess of Mercy, draws parallels between two vastly different families, mothers and sons, and four different faiths. It is presented by the recreation of two living rooms, with videos revealing scenes of daily life from mother and son, that seem to echo each other. The video installations reflect upon how our circumstances and experiences affect our faiths and actions, and suggest that rituals are a necessary healing and coping mechanism.
This exhibition is commissioned by the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2012: Art and Faith.