Goddess of Mercy
By Alecia Neo
A Commission of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2012: Art and Faith
Two families. Four faiths. Visual artist Alecia Neo brings forth an art installation about love and faith, and how each needs the other in order to survive.
In a huge rustic house in upper Bukit Timah lives Tan Ying Hsien and his mother Dr Nalla Tan. Nalla suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and her condition has deteriorated to the point whereby she is a stranger even to herself. While Dr Tan was an active member of church, her youngest son Ying Hsien calls himself agnostic, and unconvinced about life after death. In a shophouse unit in Queenstown lives the Neo family. Filled with books about Buddhism and cooking, it reveals Mdm Tay Siew Hwa’s areas of specialties. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she devotes more time to self-study about her religion and life after death, while undergoing chemotherapy. Her oldest son Alex Neo, builds his own shrine of beliefs with religious pendants and symbols from Thailand.
Guests are invited to participate and witness rituals of healing. Photography and soundscape installations will evoke the range of emotions experienced by the mothers (Alzheimer’s sufferer and Cancer patient) in trying to reach out emotionally to their sons, as well as the abstract phenomena of how religion functions.