An award-winning Singaporean artist is planning to focus his skills in Sunderland as he takes up a week-long ‘micro-residency’ at the Northern Centre of Photography.

The University of Sunderland-based centre and NEPN (North East Photography Network) are delighted to welcome the celebrated visual artist to the region this month.

Ang Song Nian chose to develop his research and techniques at the Centre due to its international links and reputation, and at an exciting time for Sunderland, bidding for City of Culture in 2021.

Amanda Ritson, Programme Manager of NEPN, said: “We are delighted that Song has selected Sunderland as the place to further develop his creative process and professional practice. The project reaffirms Sunderland as a centre for international photographic exchange.”

Ang Song Nian is a leading artist, from Singapore, whose work explores the relationship of human interventions and invasions on landscapes. His work has been featured in multiple exhibitions including the Singapore Biennale and the Singapore International Photography Festival. In 2012, he was awarded Winner for Photography in the Noise Singapore, and he was one of 30 finalists for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

His most recognised work, ‘Hanging Heavy on my Eyes’, explores the visualisation of air pollution by using daily recordings of particulate matter. The original project was created in Singapore and documented the hidden impact of forest fires and the grey ‘haze’ caused by them. However, Ang Song Nian hopes to develop an iteration of this work during his stay in the North East.

During his visit, Ang Song Nian will have full access to the range of chemical and digital darkroom and facilities of the Northern Centre of Photography, which recently won a prestigious Higher Education Academy accolade – the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). He will also present a work in progress exhibition and talk at the University’s Priestman Gallery.

Ang Song Nian commented: “With the strong support from NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography, I am excited to be working on a unique edition of large format silver gelatin prints from my series – Hanging Heavy On My Eyes. This will be a perfect opportunity to create a series of prints, responding specifically to the air particulate matter data collected from the region of Sunderland.”

The artist’s visit is supported by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Arts Council England and the University of Sunderland.

An artist talk will be held at The Priestman Gallery, Priestman Building, Green Terrace, Sunderland SR1 3PZ on Monday 27 March at 6pm.