X-rays, computer circuits form eye-catching exhibits

by Julia Goh

Abstract paintings and sculptures fashioned from X-rays, electronic circuits and blown up photographs are some of the unusual but eye-catching works of art by Chng Nai Wee, twenty-two.

His first solo-exhibition is titled New Works.

The fourth-year medical student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, who has paint-stained hands, said 'It's a play on words - new because I did the works recently and new because some of the ideas haven't been explored by other people.'

He was referring to the subjects of his work - discarded x-rays, computer pictures of microscopic organic forms.

'It's a new perspective. Everything in the world around us has been seen and done. By showing a composition of organic matter as seen through a microscope, I hope people will realise that there are new microscopic world's to explore.'

On how he reconciles the two diverse disciplines of medicine and art, he said: 'Everything counts. When I study medicine, it helps me with my perspective. In fact, doing medicine has given me an advantage. I learned about the microscopic world. It hit me just like that...this is good stuff!'

Chng, who is back for a two and a half-week visit, goes to more than a hundred exhibitions a year to learn more about art. He also visits Temple Bar Studios, a converted warehouse in Dublin, to pick up tips from artists there.

He said: 'Even if people think my works are no good, I hope they can pick up some ideas from it and build on it. That's what life is all about, isn't it?'

Largely self-taught, Chng will exhibit twenty-six works at the National Museum Art Gallery. The exhibition was opened yesterday by Mr Ho Kah Leong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Information and the Arts).