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The Catalyst

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Under One Moon

Sissi Kaplan

Curated by Sam I-shan

16 March to 12 May 2024
The Catalyst
Opening: 16 March 2024, 3-8pm

Book reading event: 23 March 2024, 6-7pm

Under One Moon is a site-specific exhibition of moving images, sound, light, photographs and text. The works are inspired by Sissi Kaplan’s artist book, 77 Days: An Experience Report, a story of enforced isolation and personal loss that took place during the global pandemic of 2020. Fear of mortal contagion kept people apart as national borders started to close. Having lived abroad for decades, questions of separation and absence became even more acute for the artist. She turned to reverie, invention and performance to make meaning of these new circumstances. These creative acts became a way to practise resilience, and represent individual experience and emotion amidst collective adversity. Now souvenirs of a particular moment in worldwide history, these works are also considerations about what it means to be in the world and to interact with others.


The six video works in this exhibition are encountered in darkness, over thresholds and through portals. A moon gate leads the way toward Under One Moon, an ascending passageway bridges Dance With Me and Sissi (On a Staircase), a door ajar reveals Circling Around, I Am Still Here is viewed under and over an entrance void, and an Eclipse floats untethered. Made from textured layers of digital video, photography, and super-8 footage from family and found archives, each video suggests different chapters of a narrative. They evoke the fleeting asynchronicity of real life, but are connected by moments of shared imagery, and united by the music and sound compositions of Vivian Wang. Seen together, they reveal various facets of temporality: the ghosts of memory, the contingent past, the ache of the present, the speculative future, and an infinite cosmos.


The book 77 Days: An Experience Report will be launched during the opening, and is part of the exhibition. It will be available for purchase from the gallery for the duration of the show, and from the artist’s website and selected distributors thereafter.


About the artist

Sissi Kaplan is a visual artist working with photography, video and text. Her work focuses on the fictionalisation of the everyday, employing solitude, emptiness and her own performing body to transfigure found situations and reveal hidden aspects of human nature. Her work has been presented at film festivals and exhibitions in Singapore, Paris, Berlin, Naples, Johannesburg, and Kuala Lumpur. She lives and works in Hong Kong.


About the curator

Sam I-shan is an independent curator focusing on time-based media, photography, and art and politics. She programmes for film festivals, specialising in artist films and video, and Southeast Asian and experimental cinema, working with Singapore International Film Festival, Art SG Film and Videoex Zurich. She was previously curator at National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum and Esplanade Visual Arts. She lives and works in Cambodia and Singapore.


About the composer

Composer and sound artist Vivian Wang develops work across a range of sonic intersections in art, culture and space. Her practice investigates existential human states, part of her research interest in breath, listening and sound perception. She is a founding member of avant rock group The Observatory and has toured extensively in noise and improv since 2001. She has been commissioned for spatial and multichannel works by the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2019 and the Ekko Festival 2021, Norway. Her new works involving kinetic sculpture and sensor technology are currently shown at Shanshui: Echoes and Signals in M+ Hong Kong.

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© 2024 The Catalyst.

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