ABOUT    An interdisciplinary research and visual art project,  investigating the visibility of orbital debris.

ARTIST      Isabella Ong
CURATOR   Seet Yun Teng


ABOUT    An interdisciplinary research and visual art project,  investigating the visibility of orbital debris.

ARTIST      Isabella Ong
CURATOR   Seet Yun Teng

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4 – 28 April 2024
Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, Lower Gallery 1
155 Middle Rd, Singapore 188977
Tuesdays – Saturdays  |  12pm – 7pm
Sundays | 12pm – 4pm

The planetary issue of outer space debris is one that, while distant from public consciousness, is emerging to be an urgent environmental concern. Dead satellites, spent rocket stages, and fragments from collisions circle the Earth in rings of debris, where even the smallest paint chip, travelling at astonishing speeds in zero-gravity, bears destructive capabilities. Humanity has always looked to the night sky to make sense of the universe we live in. We observe patterns in its complex tapestry, imagine fantastical characters, and tell stories to guide us through time. How do we, then, see and relate to a sky in which today, a dense, orbiting web of manmade machines overlaps our vision of the cosmos?

Lucy in the Sky with Debris takes this, among other intersecting threads, as a starting point. A research and visual art project merging astronomy, cartography, mythology, and material culture, it aims to generate a layered reframing of the space debris issue, exploring alternative ways to visualise and communicate the environmental problem that parallels the ecological crises on Earth. It presents Errant Stars, a kinetic installation, and a display of research materials. This showcase marks the culmination of a 18-month research and artistic development process that serves as the first phase of a multi-year project.

Public Programmes

Exhibition Opening
Thurs, 4 April 2024  |  7pm – 9pm

[Artist Talk] Isabella Ong with Seet Yun Teng
Saturday, 6 April 2024  |  2pm – 3pm
Objectifs Workshop Space

Artist Isabella Ong and curator Seet Yun Teng will share about the process of developing the exhibition and long-term project, discussing outer space debris, orbital collisions, cosmic imaginations, and the stories we tell of the sky.

Free with registration: https://isabella-yunteng-talk.peatix.com/

[Workshop] Worldly matter and stars: making chemigrams with Ng Hui Hsien
Saturday, 13 April 2024  |  5pm – 7pm
Objectifs Workshop Space

How can we photograph the night sky with its distant galaxies and faraway stars, orbiting planets and the occasional meteor and satellite streaks? Inspired by August Strindberg’s cameraless “celestograph” techniques, where the universe can be deciphered in photographic images created by chemicals mixing with particles of dirt and dust, we are excited to invite artist Ng Hui Hsien to collaboratively present this chemigram workshop. Join us as we experiment with making images on light-sensitive photo papers, using dirt, debris, and dust to image the night sky—worldly matter as photographic representations of the cosmos.

Tickets: https://worldly-matters-and-stars.peatix.com/

[Screening] Star Dreaming: Same Stars, Different Stories
Friday, 19 April 2024  |  6.30pm – 10pm
Omni-Theatre, Science Centre, 15 Science Centre Rd, Singapore 609081

Every culture has gazed upon the stars and woven distinct narratives, revealing the profound connection between the cosmos and human creativity. Beneath the expansive skies, countless stories wait to be told.

Celebrating diversity and the beauty of the universe, this special event begins with the screening of Star Dreaming at Science Centre’s Omni-Theatre. Star Dreaming is a collaboration between Curtin University, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Yamaji Art, Prospero Productions, and Last Pixel.

Following the screening, astrophysicist Professor Steven Tingay from the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy will share about the process of making Star Dreaming with artists from Yamaji Art. After which, artist Isabella Ong and curator Seet Yun Teng from Lucy in the Sky with Debris – a multi-disciplinary research and visual art project investigating the visibility of orbital debris – will engage in conversation with Professor Tingay. The night will end off with stargazing.

Buffet dinner will be served. Ages 18 and above only.

Tickets: https://www.gevme.com/sciencecafe 

This event is supported by Curtin University-Singapore and Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, and the Australian High Commission, Singapore.

Isabella Ong
Seet Yun Teng
National Arts Council Singapore