Visual Arts Student Wins Standard Bank Ovation AwardHumanities

Ms Kristin NG-Yang’s work BIRD/FISH.Ms Kristin NG-Yang’s work BIRD/FISH.

PhD student Ms Kristin NG-Yang of the Centre for Visual Art (CVA), who had a successful solo exhibition at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, won the coveted Standard Bank Ovation Award for her work BIRD/FISH.

The award is given for artistic innovation, excellence, the exploration of new performance styles and the courage to open new conversation through the arts.

NG-Yang’s work was the only art exhibition selected by a jury of critics, journalists and theatre makers at the National Lottery Fringe at the Festival.

The inspiration for her work BIRD/FISH was from a Chinese musical composition and legend in which a bird becomes captivated by a fish. The theme is deployed metaphorically - the suspended fish/birds painted on plexiglass, allude to that which is elusive - to disparate realms and difference. The work also reflects on flawed perceptions of racial and cultural homogeneity, and on tainted histories of former encounters and power relations, then and now.

According to reviewer, Mr David Fick, the drawings and watercolour prints comprise a series of shadow-like figures. Some are reminiscent of dancing figures, fish and birds while others are abstract shapes that seem to disappear into the paper on which they are drawn or printed.

NG-Yang thanked the School of Arts and the CVA for their support for the BIRD/FISH installation at the National Arts Festival. ‘We have received two very good reviews and are thrilled that we won this award from the Festival conveners for best Fringe exhibition. We are delighted and had good audience attendance and excellent support from both local and international visitors.’

Melissa Mungroo