Sarah Choo Jing, ‘Wear You All Night’, 2017, Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

The gaze of the camera glides down a row of sculpted glass bottles, expensive perfumes contained in their exquisite, limpid shapes; it lingers caressingly on the wine-dark hue of the woman’s lipstick; it returns time and again to the glimmering, pellucid surfaces of numerous mirrors in the room, lit by the low light from a solitary lace-clad lampshade. Sarah Choo Jing’s 'Wear You All Night' evokes various forms of contemporary visual culture. Like a commercial for luxury merchandise, it is replete with signifiers of conspicuous consumption. Simultaneously, its oblique narrative of romantic estrangement – the male and female protagonists occupy the same narrative space, but are trapped within separate camera frames – is drawn from cinematic conventions, suggesting, for instance, the lovelorn characters and claustrophobic ambience typical of a Wong Kar Wai film. Interrupting this insular world, however, is a soundtrack derived from war zones, the strident noise of gunfire and artillery magnifying the emotional textures of the narrative to melodramatic proportions. The heightened, almost exaggerated nature of the audiovisual experience here serves to send up the artifice of the language of contemporary mass media.

About Sarah Choo Jing