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Dust (New Moon), 2021

Dust particles on HEPA filter

26 x 36 x 4 cm

To breathe is a thing of beauty.


Our existence depend on the deceptively simple repeated cycles of inhalation and exhalation. I contemplate on my own breathing all the time. With each breath drawn, the act marks an invisible accumulation of time. It serves as a reminder that I am still alive.

When WHO admitted that coronavirus is airborne in April 2021, it sparked a surge in the sale of air purifiers in Singapore. In agog response to the news, I created the series Dust (New Moon), using a home-made version. Attaching HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to a table fan, the project eventually took 12 months to complete.

Dust (New Moon), was not an experiment to test the filters' promise of eliminating 99.9% of allergens, dust, smoke and bacteria from the air. Rather, it was a conscientious effort to draw in, capture and make visible our fear of the unknown. The filters became the canvases to express my ideas through the dust media.

These days, I think about suffocation, of choked airways, dirty air and infected lungs. I no longer breathe freely.

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