Acrylic on canvas, 2022
See Yong Xin
Guangyang Secondary School
Breathing Space is an exploration of progress and what we leave behind in its wake. On one side, we see a brightly-lit stairway flanked by stacks of wrapped plastic chairs. The chairs are predictable and uninventive — there is a clear system of how to place them on top of one another; a clear order of how each one should fit in — leaving little room for deviance or disorder. The plastic wrapping leaves limited space to breathe, but protects the chairs from external contamination.
On the other side, a back alley is revealed. Two chairs and a small table awkwardly form a makeshift break room. The worker is framed by a rickety electrical box, his rubber boots are propped up to dry, and a glove hangs limp over a panel, with nothing to reach for.
Breathing Space invites you to slow down and take a look at what we often neglect to see. On this path towards growth, who have we forgotten? What have we left behind?
See Yong Xin (b. 1994) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Singapore whose work engages with diverse communities and brings them together in meaningful and unexpected ways.
In previous works, he has cast the handshakes of people experiencing homelessness as drinking cups and sold them to raise funds for homeless shelters; invited and hosted strangers for blindfolded dinner parties; and created a temporary bar in the middle of a public park where written confessions were exchanged for drinks.
He holds a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and has exhibited in Singapore and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.