面相
Mian Xiang: Stories Beyond the Portrait, 2012

Mixed media installation
150 x 150 cm

Face-reading or Physiognomy is the art of reading the mind’s construction in the face and body. It is known to the Chinese as xiang, the character for which, 相, consists of the pictures of a tree and an eye. The Shuowen jiezi 說文解字, a character dictionary from the Han dynasty, defines it as “eye meets thing” or “to inspect.” (Kohn, 1996).

In 面相 Mian Xiang, I am interested in this physiognomic inspection or reading of the face and the profound relationship of humanity’s inquiry into the metaphysical dimensions of life. Using the concept of the 100 Year Map 百歲圖 in Chinese traditional practice of face-reading as a vehicle and narration tool, this project investigates into a person’s life based on evidences from old photographs, documents and belongings.

I invite you to read beyond these portraits, into each individual’s memories, to learn and experience their unique stories and journeys.


Foo Tee Jun


Ishu Patel


Tim Lai Teep


Lee Yoke Tien


Cheang Ching Kwee


Ogawa Eitaro


Chida Miyuki


Kee Ya Ting


Summer Open, Aperture Foundation, 2014, New York, United States


Theory of Clouds Gallery, 2013, Kobe, Japan


Theory of Clouds Gallery, 2013, Kobe, Japan


Singapore International Photography Festival, 2012


Singapore International Photography Festival, 2012


Pingyao International Photography Festival, 2012, China


Pingyao International Photography Festival, 2012, China