Singapore, October 2019 – ongoing
For this tear project, there are two parts to the act of tear catching: one part exists as my own daily journal of tears (to be shown as in monthly clusters or as a vial from one single day). Secondly, it is also about stories of shared tears from my collaborators. The vials are given (in person or mailed out to the participants, and they then write of the event (if any) that caused them to tear. This project – in both senses of what the word “tear” means — is about negotiating ideas about collecting tears and to reclaim the agency behind the process usually relegated to the realms of women, or as a sign of weakness. Some questions I am asking include: How can we look at emotions as a form of reconnecting with our being today? How do we deal with aspects of mourning or grief in light of our daily realities and the ecological turn?
In many of my works, I gravitate towards the overlooked aspects in life, such as everyday rituals, personal histories, and invisible labour (including craft and emotions). It is a way for me to bring to the fore some of these narratives that address the inequalities or power imbalances in our society.
Feminism, in its various waves and forms, is significant to me because the personal is political. I like to start from a personal positioning that filmmaker Trinh Minh-ha says is a way of “‘know[ing] the world inwardly’ so that the deeper we go into ourselves, the wider we go into society.” I am also very conscious about how my works are situated in historical and larger socio-political contexts. The vials are also similar to the messages in bottles sent out but with tears, and as secretions, they are perhaps far more about the process that allows for a kind of cathartic release and reflexivity involved in self-care.
Adeline Kueh makes installations, photography and embodied works that reconsider the relationship we have with things and rituals around us. Her works are imbued with a sense of desire and longing, and act as modern-day totems that explore personal histories and overlooked moments. Using drawing as a conceptual tool, Adeline tries to map out the historical trajectories across time and space through her use of found objects and new production.
Adeline was involved in the Word of Mouth exhibition in the 2019 Venice Biennale, and was a consultant/designer for projects including the Passion Made Possible Culture Shaper Tribe films (Singapore Tourism Board) in 2019 and Hermes Singapore in 2016.