An interdisciplinary artist, Tan Peiling often utilises both images and audio recordings to deconstruct how visual culture shapes our attention and experience. Her work with several deaf individuals in 2008 afforded her an insight to understanding how visual culture has dominated our attention and desensitised our hearing. By immersing the audience in a carefully constructed environment, she engineers compelling ways to channel our perception and understanding of reality. Tan received her MFA from Central Saint Martins College of Art, London, and her works have been included in various local exhibitions. Tan was also one of the mentors for NAC NOISE Mentorship 2016-17.
0.25 seconds before an image is void
Using the architectural design of the round windows dotted around Shaw Villa as a visual reference, the artist created a structure with circular openings for the viewer to look through. Within is a 35mm slide showing a series of images of Shaw Villa as taken from the film Ibu Mertua Ku, and left exposed 0.25 seconds before a complete white out. That fraction of a second is the average time it takes for a human to blink, expressing both an innate desire to see and the pain endured when witnessing each image progress towards a complete white out. This responds to the idea of blindness in the film, where seeing has become so undesirable that in an act to heal, the male protagonist Kassim chose to blind himself. The artist explores how the film captures the plight of being caught in the blinding light of modernity where the interplay of morality and immorality, materialism and poverty, modern and traditional values present fraught dilemmas; reflecting how potential progression can equally be viewed as regression.