Shangyi Xie was trained as a traditional painter during her school days in Singapore, with most of her paintings concentrating on realistic social commentaries. Inspired by the vibrant contemporary art scene in Britain while pursuing her art degree, Shangyi took a great leap towards exploring new mediums. Discarding the paints, she investigates the use of photographic images in her recent practice.
Sensitive to social trends that people often follow unconsciously, Shangyi closes in on certain social norms in the contemporary culture and brings attention to them. Through her works, Shangyi highlights these common behaviours that individuals are guilty of and yet many a time are ashamed to own up to. One such example is that of scrutinising strangers based on their superficial appearances and passing personal judgments on them.
However, Shangyi’s work is definitely not just a simple attempt “to burst the bubble and pinpoint on something that you shouldn’t be doing but is guilty of”. Instead, through her work, she provided “more support for such socially impolite mode of conduct because it is such a norm”. It is with such an unconventional perspective that often injects in her works a sense of humour and absurdity. In Shangyi’s usual spirited and bold fashion, she encourages us once again, “don’t be afraid to do it”.