Convergence By Wei Leng Tay

Published by Wei Leng Tay
November 2013
283 x 228 mm
130 pages


Convergence is a book by artist Wei Leng Tay, a Chinese Singaporean. Comprising 65 images, it is an intimate look at segments of the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaysia.
From 2009-2010, working with family, friends and acquaintances, Tay researched, photographed and interviewed families and individuals of Chinese descent in Singapore and Malaysia. Sitters were photographed in their homes, temples, coffee shops, and other frequented spaces.

Like many of her sitters, Tay’s family had originally migrated from Southern China to Malaya and Singapore. Looking inward at her own disjuncture from the traditions and habits of her own culture, Tay embarked on a journey that allowed her to discover shared experiences, histories and memories.

This book questions and records the changes current generations experience as they grow increasingly distant from their grandparents’ homeland, as attitudes and values shift with each generation. It also looks at how this Chinese community has evolved with characteristics shaped by the co-dependent history, and social landscapes particular to Singapore and Malaysia.

Convergence explores the ways of life and relationships of these people and reflects the ideas of race, heritage and language that are ingrained in the community. The people that Tay photographs for the project convey a contemporary take on the Chinese in her larger circle, free from the nostalgia and iconography commonly used to identify segments of the Chinese Diaspora.

About Wei Leng Tay

Wei Leng Tay’s practice examines how people’s relationships, priorities, and ways of life are shaped by the socio-political landscape of the places where they live. She has exhibited with institutions such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, the National Museum of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University Art Center, Bangkok, the NUS Museum, Singapore, and the Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Kosovo. She has also participated in festivals and biennials such as the Asian Art Biennial, Taiwan, Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, the Netherlands, the International Photography Festival of Rome, the F/Stop International Photography Festival in Leipzig, PhotoEspana and the Delhi Photo Festival. Her work is collected by museums such as the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.