Sherman Ong

    • Statement

      My focus has always been the human condition – living, dying, loving, praying, forgetting and longing – and how we organize and regulate our lives and our environment. I am interested in exploring the intersection between Nature and Human Nature, between the landscape and the body, between the physical and the psychological/spiritual realm, offering an alternative view point to the banal while eliciting the subtle beauty of everyday life.

      In my encounters with different peoples and cultures, I realize that each of them have their own survival mechanisms of coping, harnessing or controlling Nature in order to build a stable social environment where they can thrive. The idea of coping, harnessing or controlling Nature, and how it intersects with Human Nature in our quest to regulate our lives – within our natural/social/political environment - has always been my interest and a recurring theme in my practice.

    Sherman is a filmmaker, photographer and visual artist. His practice has always centred on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger milieu.

    Winner of the 2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award, Sherman has premiered works in Art Biennales, major Film Festivals and Museums around the world, including the Venice, Singapore and Jakarta Biennales, Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Musee du Quai Branly Paris, Centre Pompidou Paris, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, VideoBrasil International Electronic Art Festival, Singapore Art Museum, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Queensland Art Gallery, South Australia Contemporary Art Centre and Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania.

    He is an Associate Artist of the Substation and a founding member of 13 Little Pictures, a film collective based in Singapore. He also serves as the Artistic Manager for the Singapore International Photography Festival, as an educator at schools and universities, and as a member of juries at various film festivals. In 2009, he was invited to participate in the Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale which garnered a Special Mention. His works are in the collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Singapore Art Museum and the Seoul Art Centre Korea. He is nominated for the APB-Singapore Art Museum Signature Art Prize for 2011.


    Formal Education

    1991-1995 National University of Singapore, LLB (Hons.), Singapore

    Honors & Awards

    2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award, Singapore
    Hubert Bals (Script Development) Fund, Netherlands
    2009 Special Mention (Ming Wong, Singapore Pavilion) Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
    Best Screenplay (Hashi), Singapore Film Awards, Singapore
    Forget Africa Commission, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands
    2007 Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Artist Residency Award, Fukuoka, Japan
    2005 Special Jury Prize (Exodus), Independent Film & Video Awards, Hong Kong, China
    ArtConnexions: Goethe-Institut Artist Residency Award, Singapore
    2004 Best Experimental Film (Exodus), Int’l Panorama of Independent Filmmakers, Greece
    Special Jury Prize (Exodus), Malaysian Video Awards, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Special Festival Prize (Exodus), La Cittadella del Corto Short Film Festival, Italy
    2002 Best Documentary (The Ground I Stand), Malaysian Video Awards, Malaysia

    Public Collections

    Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan
    Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
    Seoul Art Centre, Korea


    Selected Solo Exhibitions

    2010 ICON de Martell Photography Award, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore
    Ticket Seller, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA
    2009 Sherman Ong, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Australia
    2008 Hanoi Monogatari (Hanoi Story), Zeit Foto Salon, Tokyo, Japan
    HanoiHaiku: Month of Photography Asia, 2902 Gallery, Singapore
    2007 Missing You, Fukuoka Art Asian Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
    2006 HanoiHaiku, Angkor Photography Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Selected Group Exhibitions

    2011 Unseen: Cinema of the 21st Century, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
    Changwon Asian Art Festival, Sungsan Arts Hall, Changwon, Korea
    17th International Contemporary Art Festival Videobrasil, Sao Paolo, Brazil
    Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Prague, Czech Republic
    Cross-Scape, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
    BankART Life III, Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan
    Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA
    Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania, Australia
    Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
    I want to Remember, Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore
    Singapore Survey 2011: Imagine Malaysia, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore
    Photo Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
    Short Cuts, Singapore National Museum, Singapore
    Now or Never, ION Art Gallery, Singapore
    Kumbukumbu Za Mti Uunguao | Memories of a Burning Tree Kandy International Film Festival, Sri Lanka
    When the end of Winter is almost Spring Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands
    Tickets Gdansk Docfilm Festival (Competition), Poland
    2010 Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
    Malaysia-Singapore Cinema, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
    Daegu Photography Biennale, Daegu Culture and Arts Center, Korea
    Nanjing Biennale, Jiangsu Art Museum, Nanjing, China
    Rainbow Asia, Hangaram Museum, Seoul Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea
    The Tropics-Views from the Middle of the Globe, Jim Thompson Art Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
    The Last Book, The Zentralbibliothek Zürich, SwitzerlandBanjir Kemarau | Flooding in the Time of Drought
    Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands
    Barcelona Asian Film Festival, Spain
    Rome Asian Film Festival, ItalyKumbukumbu Za Mti Uunguao | Memories of a Burning Tree
    Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands
    Goteborg International Film Festival, Sweden
    Hong Kong International Film Festival, China
    Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan
    Singapore International Film Festival, Singapore
    Montreal World Film Festival, Canada
    Bangkok World Film Festival, Thailand
    Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
    Mumbai International Film Festival, India
    Rome Asian Film Festival, Italy
    Milan Festival of African, Asian and Latin American Cinema, Italy
    Cinemanila, Manila, Philippines
    Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, Jogjakarta, IndonesiaWhen the end of Winter is almost Spring
    Montreal World Film Festival, Netherlands

    Tickets
    Montreal World Film Festival, Netherlands
    Hawaii International Film Festival, USA

    2009 Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
    Code Share: 10 Biennales, 20 Artists, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Fluid Zone: Jakarta Biennale, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Die Tropen – Views from the Middle of the Globe, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, GermanyBanjir Kemarau | Flooding in the Time of Drought
    Hong Kong International Film Festival
    Cinema Digital Seoul, Korea
    Bangkok World Film Festival, Thailand
    Osian Cinefan International Film Festival, India
    Cinemanila International Film Festival, Philippines
    Q! Film Festival, Jakarta IndonesiaHashi
    Best Screenplay Award, Singapore Film Awards, Singapore
    Rotterdam International Film Festival
    Barcelona Asian Film Festival Spain
    Rome Asian Film Festival Italy
    Sofia Film Festival, Bulgaria
    2008 Wonder, Singapore Biennale, City Hall, Singapore
    In-between (Asian Video Art), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
    Cut2: New Photography from Southeast Asia, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore
    The Last Book, Biblioteca Nacional Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Photo Art Asia, Bangkok, Thailand
    Out of Berlin…pass the picture! Goethe Institut, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    OsTropicos – Views from the Middle of the Globe, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Cut: New Photography from Southeast Asia, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Exodus – Wanita Yang Berlari, Clermond-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, FranceHashi
    Singapore International Film Festival, Singapore
    Mumbai Women’s Film Festival India, IndiaState of Things
    Asean + 3 Film Festival, Sinema Old School, Singapore
    2007 Photoquai-World Visual Arts Biennale, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
    OsTropicos – Views from the Middle of the Globe, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasilia, Brazil
    Singapore Art Show, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
    Making Heroes, Striking The Missing Chord, National Library, SingaporeExodus – Wanita Yang Berlari
    Independent Contemporary Dance Festival, Cultural Center of the Philippines
    Films of Desire, Neemrana, India
    Arts House, SingaporeHDB Housing Project
    History Gallery, National Museum Singapore
    2006 Another Asia, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
    40°1`N/3°36`W, Aranjuez, Plaza de Parejas, Aranjuez Spain
    Landscape & Architecture, Art Salon, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaArtConnexions, Goethe Institut/IFA
    RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
    National Museum Jakarta, Indonesia
    Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi Vietnam
    IFA Gallery Stuttgart, Germany
    IFA Gallery Berlin, GermanyExodus – Wanita Yang Berlari
    3rd International Dance Video Festival, Tokyo, JapanThe Circle
    Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, United Kingdom
    2005 Exodus – Wanita Yang Berlari
    Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    10th Hong Kong Independent Film and Video Awards, China
    Jakarta International Dance Film Festival, Indonesia
    VideoLisboa#5, PortugalDrought
    Yokohama Art Triennial (Closing Presentation), JapanIs it easy to kill/pray?
    4th Bangkok International Experimental Film Festival ThailandMeat, Vegetables & Dessert
    International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands
    ArtConnexions, Space 217, Singapore

    The Circle
    DIBA Digital Barcelona International Film Festival, Spain

    El Pollo de Quijote
    Finalist 4th Centennial of Don Quixote Short Film Awards, Spain

    State of Things
    Singapore Short Cuts, Singapore History Museum, Singapore

    2004 Singapore Season, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK
    Month of Photography, Singapore Arts Festival, Alliance Francaise, Singapore
    Spirituality in Modern Singapore, Goethe Institut, SingaporeExodus – Wanita Yang Berlari
    International Panorama of Independent Filmmakers, Greece
    International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Malaysian Video Awards, Malaysia
    Bangkok International Film Festival, Thailand
    Barcelona Asian Film Festival Spain
    Circuito Off Venice International Short Film Festival, Italy
    Turin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Italy
    Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival, USA
    La Cittadella del Corto International Short Film Festival, Italy (Special Festival Prize)
    New York Asian American International Film Festival USA
    Rome Asian Film Festival, Italy
    Dance On Screen, International Dance Film Festival London, UK
    Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin, Paris, France
    Bilbao International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Spain
    Asia-Europe Foundation Dance Forum, Hebbel Theatre, Berlin, Germany
    .MOV International Digital Film Festival, Philippines 2004State of Things
    Zero Gravity, Multimedia Art Asia Pacific, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
    2003 Towards the Month of Photography 2004, Alliance Francaise, SingaporeExodus – Wanita Yang Berlari
    Q Film Festival Jakarta, IndonesiaDi Mana Bumi Dipijak | The Ground I Stand
    Videobrasil – International Electronic Art Festival 2003, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    7th Thai Short Film and Video Festival 2003, Bangkok ThailandState of Things
    Emergency Filmmaking Project, The Substation, Singapore
    2002 60’s Now, Singapore Art Museum, SingaporeDi Mana Bumi Dipijak | The Ground I Stand
    7th Malaysian Video Awards, Malaysia
    8th Hongkong Independent Short Film & Video Festival
    Women Inspire Film Festival 2002, Singapore
    2nd Singapore Shorts Film Festival, Singapore
    Contemplation Room, Danish Ministry of Culture, Overgaden Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Danger Museum, Institute of International Visual Arts, London, UK
    Aus Kobberling, Kassel, Germany
    2001 Time-Image in the Peranakan House, Central District Arts Festival, Singapore

    Scholarships/Grants

    Singapore Government ASEAN Scholarship (1989-1990)
    Singapore Film Commission Bursary (2001)
    Associate Artist, Substation (since 2002)
    Asia-Europe Foundation Young Photographer’s Forum Singapore (2002)
    Asia-Europe Foundation Cultural Exchange (2007)
    Singapore Film Commission Grants (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010)
    Singapore National Art Council Grants (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)


    Commissions

    I want to Remember (2011, dance film)
    commissioned by Singapore Arts Festival 2011

    When the end of Winter is almost Spring (2010, dance film)
    commissioned by Singapore Arts Festival 2010

    Memories of a Burning Tree (2010)
    commissioned by Rotterdam International Film Festival, Forget Africa Programme, Netherlands

    3 works on Cinema (Ticket Seller, Poster Painter and Collector)
    commissioned by Tang Fu Kuen, curator for Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2009

    HDB Housing Project (2006)
    commissioned by the National Museum Singapore

    Exodus – Wanita Yang Berlari (2003, dance film)
    commissioned by the Indonesian Contemporary Dance Centre

    60s Now (2002)
    commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum


    Artist Residencies

    Goethe Institute Art Connexions Residency (Hanoi, Vietnam) 2005
    Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan 2007
    Rotterdam Film Festival Forget Africa Residency (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) 2009