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Sarah Choo Jing

Wear You All Night

A.I. Gallery, London

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Sarah Choo Jing
Wear You All Night
4 min 38 s
Format & Technical

Double channel, HD video, colour, sound
5 + 1 AP

  • Produced by: Mathias Choo
  • Postproduction: Zulhairi
  • Make-up: Nur Syazana
  • Cast: Male Talent: Thomas Pang, Female Talent: Katharine Crane
  • Special Thanks: Lee Feng Nian, Colin Peh, Anthony Choo, Cannie Kee
  • Director: Sarah Choo Jing, Co-Director: Swee San

This split screen video installation depicts the solitude and alienation which characterizes contemporary urban life. The video opens with a nocturnal shot of a metropolis, which functions as a contextual passage to the quotidian performance of a woman and a man in their intimate space, that takes place in the subsequent scenes. They seem trapped in a near robotic perpetuation of the quotidian, incapable of establishing a physical or verbal connection between each other. Tellingly, they resort to objects and commodities as a substitute to communicate and channel affect. Not by chance, Choo’s depiction of these objects is reminiscent of the aesthetic of commercials —a clear nod to commodity culture. But, contrary to fetishization and aestheticization of commodities in commercials, in Wear you all night they appear to be intrinsically woven into the notion of isolation: ultimately, only these objects seem to be able to convey a sense of self and belonging.

Although separated by the dividing frame of the split screen, the characters inhabit the same symbolic space of solitude. They live together, but are isolated from each other, mirroring the alienated urban experience in densely populated megalopolis such as Singapore —where Choo is from— which are characterized by a neoliberal ethos of radical individualism. This new urban subjectivity is motivated by perpetual self-improvement and personal success, while a sense of community, empathy and even real human connection, so it seems, have become secondary or only based on the production and sharing of virtual images in social networks.

Through Choo’s camera perspective, the viewer is coerced into a voyeuristic gaze, allowing him/her to observe this intimate space of solitude and alienation. As the viewer peers through a window frame, he/she is watching both characters from a clandestine distance, hindering empathetic attachment to them. Thus, the artist is offering a raw material vision of the self-design. This is not a selfie; we are spying behind a scene built on the demands of the commercialization, not only of the image but of the being, too.

Maike Moncayo



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