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This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore

The work is massive and dizzying.

By Tay Shi Ting | Mar 01, 2017

  • This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore
    Coco Cola can. Photo credit: Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi
  • This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore
    100PLUS can. Photo credit: Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi
  • This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore
    Haywards can. Photo credit: Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi
  • This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore
    F&N Sarsi can. Photo credit: Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi
  • This exhibition will use 1,000 aluminum cans to demonstrate social inequality in Singapore
    Grid of photographs. Photo credit: Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi

Two years ago, we interviewed photographer Stefen Chow about his work photographing Singapore's playgrounds via drones. Now, he has teamed up with his longtime collaborator, economist Lin Huiyi, for a project aimed at highlighting social inequality. In Equivalence, the pair, whose previous collaborations have exhibited in Paris’ Les Nuits Photographiques, Hong Kong’s PMQ and permanently in Beijing’s CAFA Museum, juxtapose photographs of items that have vastly differing values.

Earlier versions have been done in Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and now the project has arrived at Objectifs in Singapore. Items that have been photographed in previous versions include phone charging cables, Chanel handbags, pau and instant noodles. In the Singapore edition of the show, the focus is on aluminium cans from the familiar brands 100PLUS, Coca Cola and Haywards. The idea is something like this: aluminium cans are considered trash that people do not hesitate to throw out, but are actually treasures to scrap collectors. In fact, 1,000 cans can fetch $15 at a recycling center.

The exhibition at Objectifs will see photographs of 1,000 cans and an equivalent $15 item presented in a grid. Beyond admiring the massive work, you can also catch the duo, Oh Soon Hwa, associate professor from NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media and Mohan Dutta, NUS’s Communications and New Media at a panel discussion on Apr 27.

The exhibition runs from Apr 26-May 14 at Objectifs Chapel Gallery. Admission is free. More information here.

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