Installation artist Donna Ong looks at the ordinary in an extraordinary way. As a child, the 35-year-old promised herself never to forget what it felt like to be a kid, to “dream and invest in the imaginary, the fantastic, the impossible”. She says: “My work is about trying to keep that promise.”
Ong’s work ranges from the gritty (Alpha Omega is a sculpture of a dying woman giving birth) to the fantastical (Palace of Dreams features intricate drawings of insects and a mahogany desk transformed into a plane). 2004’s Doctor Auctor — her photographic work of 24 pictures in film noir style — won the Sefton Open Competition in 2D Art, holding the distinction of being the first ever photographic art piece to win the prize. In 2009, she won the NAC Young Artist Award and the People’s Choice award at the President’s Young Talent Competition.
Ong has held exhibitions in Asia, Australia and the UK. Her 2006 work Secret Interiors: Chrysalis was exhibited at the Singapore Biennale and Moscow Biennale, while her ongoing group exhibition at Espace Louis Vuitton Singapore, titled Landscape Memories, draws to a close this month. She next exhibits in October at the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam.