CHUAH Chong Yan

About The Artist

Sino-Malaysian artist, architect and designer Chuah Chong Yan (b. 1992) works primarily in the realms of the digital image and installation art. He was educated at Newcastle University and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he received the 2014 RIBA President’s Medals nomination and AA Scholarship. He co-founded Inferstudio, a design and media practice, and currently also operates under the platform of Somnii, a global collective of creatives. As an artist, he has exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His first solo exhibition, 27 Years of Lazarian Delights, was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2020.

CHUAH Chong Yan

"I tend to use numbers to build my fictional world. Everything has a certain value and is quantifiable. That contributes to the gestures that I introduce in this piece: zooming, scaling, multiplying."

Diamond Water. Video

Diamond Water. Video

About The Artwork

Diamond Water

Single-channel video with sound

Diamond Water is a micro-universe of ambiguous corporeal entities who populate a landscape that is as alien as its inhabitants. Here, the reality of Chuah's world is an abstruse one, premised on numerical formulations. “As a digital artist”, he observes, “I tend to use numbers to build my fictional world. Everything has a certain value and is quantifiable. That contributes to the gestures that I introduce in this piece: zooming, scaling, multiplying.” The iconography of this cosmos is likewise cryptic, with the prevalence of circles - in the form of round lights and metal studs - a private reference to new beginnings, while evidence of an idiosyncratic script is derived from a language that the artist created for a different project that also involved world-building. While there is visible nudity in the work, there are no genitalia on display. The twenty-first century has embraced the dimension of non-binarism and genderqueer identities that are neither exclusively masculine or feminine. Here, Chuah has envisioned a brave new world of gender-neutral bodies, free of the impositions of biological, sexed dichotomies - a future that is queerly liberated.

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Digital Disruption