HU Qiren

About The Artist

Hu Qiren (b. 1983) is a Singapore-based visual artist whose practice explores the myriad forms of image making, incorporating a wide range of media, and expressing a visual vocabulary inspired by his own identity and traditions, beliefs and value systems. He completed his MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons The New School for Design in 2015, and has showcased his works at the One World Trade Center, New York; Queens Museum, New York; Louvre Museum, Paris; Singapore International Photography Festival; Auckland Festival of Photography, New Zealand. In 2016, Hu was the grand winner of the Harper’s BAZAAR Art Prize.

HU Qiren

"The current pandemic has served as a turning point for rethinking my art-making process. Reflecting on the crisis and its resulting consequences and restrictions on our daily life, the works are also a personal response to broader questions of life and death."

A Grocer’s Essentials, Bananas

A Grocer’s Essentials, Bananas

A Grocer’s Essentials, Eggs

A Grocer’s Essentials, Eggs

A Grocer’s Essentials, Salmon

A Grocer’s Essentials, Salmon

A Grocer’s Essentials, Clorox

A Grocer’s Essentials, Clorox

A Grocer’s Essentials, Melons

A Grocer’s Essentials, Melons

A Grocer’s Essentials, Melons

A Grocer’s Essentials, Melons

A Grocer’s Essentials, Correction Tapes

A Grocer’s Essentials, Correction Tapes

A Grocer’s Essentials, Correction Tapes

A Grocer’s Essentials, Correction Tapes

About The Artwork

A Grocer's Essentials

Digital image

Hu Qiren produced the present series during the long weeks of the circuit breaker period in Singapore in 2020. Confronted with pictures of empty shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets that were circulating on social media at the height of the pandemic, he drew up lists of essential items, with these shopping lists soon turning into an unlikely source of inspiration. Here, for instance, he foregrounds images of Clorox disinfecting wipes canisters made from non-woven polypropylene, a plastic that is also used in personal protective equipment such as face masks; the latter were some of the first products to vanish from ready public supply during the initial months of the COVID-19 spread, along with the infamous shortage of toilet paper worldwide. Hu observes: “The current pandemic has served as a turning point for rethinking my art-making process. Reflecting on the crisis and its resulting consequences and restrictions on our daily life, the works are also a personal response to broader questions of life and death. How do our lives take shape in a global pandemic? How has the virus sabotaged and interrupted production of supplies that are marked essential to our existences?”

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Sustainability