The O.P.E.N. – The Price of Neglect

This year, the O.P.E.N, a pre-festival of ideas by the Singapore International Festival of the Arts presents Lu Guang’s The Price of Neglect.  Our ambassador Annabelle Lim went over to DECK to witness the opening of the exhibition on 16 June. Read on as she shares her thoughts on the exhibition!

Lu Guang’s photographs are powerful, strong and remains vivid in my mind. As a fearless photo documenter, Lu Guang photographs often depict the dark side of China’s landscape after the effects of the country’s economic boom. It brings to light the economically destructive consequences that can result from a rapidly developing country with an increasing power in the world’s economy.

Three series of his works were exhibited at the Deck, an independent art space that serves to support and nurture the photography community in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Through the three series, the gripping image that caught my attention was the one part of Polluted Landscape. It depicts a land of about one hundred fake cattle sculptures built by the Chinese government in an attempt to maintain the image of the city after the vast exploitation of the coal mines killed the existence of the cattle and the lush meadows that were originally there. It was a powerful piece of work that emulates the extent that nations would go or take in order to preserve the reputation of the country. However through the creation of cattle sculptures to replace the once free roaming cattle on the same meadows, it depicts the unscrupulous means of the government that instead of rectifying the core problem that has caused these consequences, they chose to ignore the situation and focus on the superficial in building a perfect exterior.

Lu Guang’s works are a reminder of not only the environmental, but also the global situation we are all facing. His photo-documentary style has forced all of us to face the poignant issue of the catastrophic state of our environment and what we plan to deal with the situation. Overall, the exhibition was a thoughtful, enriching and unique basis that makes us reflect on the issues of our contemporary society today. Indeed, the price of neglect is one that is impossible to pay.

The Price of Neglect by Lu Guang opens until 4 July 2014. The exhibition is free for all visitors with O.P.E.N. pass or a single entry ticket to Lu Guang’s exhibition which is available at the reception counter. Do head down to DECK to catch the exhibition before it ends!

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