07 Oct - 29 Oct 2016
Solo Exhibition | Lee Paje
Tin-aw Art Gallery
7 – 29 October 2016
A continuation of her work in the 2013 group show Childhood Games People Play in Singapore, Lee Paje once again takes inspiration from children’s books in Unexpurgated. This time however, popular tales from the Disney collection serve as the nucleus albeit in alternate configurations.
Gender is conventionally perceived as a rigidly binary classification: all humans are divided in terms of anatomy into the disjunctive categories of either male or female, of which certain codes such as taste, clothing, and mannerisms are ascribed to one or the other, never neither nor both. The belief that to deviate from this is to be an anomaly remains prevalent and deeply entrenched in our society, as strongly enforced by various institutions and state apparatuses—families and schools included. Alarmingly, the conditioning process haphazardly dictating the ideology of what is supposedly “natural” is quite pronounced in the majority of books aimed at children.
Through paper sculptures and oil on copper paintings, the artist reworks these heteronormative narratives to personally fit her own experiences. Well-known characters inhabit an intricately assembled surreal and fantastical mirrors-and-flora mise-en-scène as participants in scenarios designed to represent the vast spectrum of gender, sexuality, and preference—facets of life such tales typically shy away from. And this is essentially what Paje seeks to accomplish with Unexpurgated; to shed light on the complexity of gender as well as contemporary lifestyles barely visible in popular media, in the hopes of transforming the audience through the fostering of respect and understanding for the nuances of identity.
Unexpurgated runs from 7 to 29 October 2016 at the Tin-aw Art Gallery.