Importance of Unimportance

Ong Cai Bin

1 – 15 May 2019

What seems to be unimportant in our daily routines — mundane actions which have become ritualistically compulsive and ordinary are very much archetypal, an element that makes up our day. They seldom get noticed and hardly deserves attention and acutely, does not warrant an audience, but these actions happen daily, from morning till evening and even in our sleep, some may argue, are predominantly preparatory. How much time each of us devote to doing the lesser important things daily weighing against the more important ones has been a subject of crucial discourse as the argument factored an interesting question — are they all time wasting?

In this exhibition, Ong Cai Bin offers a personal glimpse of her observations. Things that people do in the privacy of their own space is also a reflection of ourselves as we routinely repeat these social rituals which no one is interested in and take notice of. Her trajectory of observation consists of no extraordinary gestures or acts, rather, the collective subconscious state of idle and the sense of emptiness prevail.

The assertions in her arguments revolve around the essentiality of blankness and emptiness. It also challenges her to be doubly concern about our privacy being invaded because of the drastic shift happening in society as a result of people habitually breaking preset rules and laws.

In our midst, because of tragedies that pry society and made us vulnerable, surveillance has become essential and as humans, we became the victims of circumstance when CCTV’s (close-circuit televisions) installed in public spaces watch us constantly. But how much of surveillance should be allowed before we regard them as intrusive? And are we aware of its choking existence, in the name of security?