Tay Ining (b. 1988, Singapore) works at a metalworking shop. As an artist, she explores the neglected creative potential of fabrication industries in Singapore. Her sculptural works examine the phenomena of physical materials, the linguistics of depicted objects, and the extension of psychomotor skills. They are inspired by her encounters with the transformation of metal in the factory.
While she figures the potentials of metalworking, juggles her artistic visions and craftsmanship, she also helps other creatives realise their projects through the use of her metal workshop’s facilities. Being a collaborator helps her to discover ways in which different fields of study can align together.
Ining did her B.F.A. at Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media in 2011, majoring in Interactive Media. She is a participant of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology GAMBIT (2010) program and a recipient of the National University of Singapore SHAPE (2014) grant, both of which were work residency in the United States. She is granted the Noise Singapore Award (2015) by the National Art Council to hold her first solo exhibition at the ION Art's Young Talent Programme Winners' Solo (2017).
Working in the metal workshop has allowed the artist to introduce something new and odd to the existing industrial process in the factory. She aspires to build up her craftsmanship and close the gap on conceptual art, making artwork as she experiments with metalworking. Interestingly though, she comes out with unusual approaches of using the existing equipment to work with metal and the factory workers around her start to ponder on the purpose of art. At the end of each day, she contemplates among the firey sparks and deafening noises from the labour.
In the artist’s own words, “As a metal fabricator, I am accustomed to considering the practical, functional aspects of metal structures, such as how strong the material is, and the preventive measures that can be taken against rusting. But in my artistic pursuits, I wish to break away from this. Rust has been my love, and it is the starting point of my works. I focus on Ferrum (Fe), also known as Iron as we call it in English, as an element in the periodic table. Mild steel has always been the main material in my work. It is an alloy with the usual composition of 99% iron element and 0.5% carbon + others. I have to be cautious though, because my prior knowledge of working with iron as a material may work against my attitude towards iron as an element, as a poetic substance. For instance, the conventional mind does not consider iron as being capable of evaporation, but in reality, it actually is under incredibly high temperatures.”
Approach her for help if you need to make something – whatever it is – she would love to join in the fun.
Artist CV can be viewed here. [Link]
Studio Library Catalogue [Link]
"This is the Metalworking Studio's Library alongside with some private book collection on Art, Culture, Design and Intellectual Studies. The library aims to provide substantial materials on metal fabrication, manufacturing process and engineering to facilitate self-study. Occasionally, you may chance upon some occult-themed literature of the 1890s and early 20th Century. These are texts which I grew up with."