An educator and interdisciplinary artist, the 33-year-old was born in Singapore with ancestral origin from Chaoan, Teochew, Guangdong Province. Sebastian Mary Tay SSA is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. He graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with Master of Research and Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Art.
In the last five years, Sebastian’s works exhibited in the UK, USA, Lithuania, Singapore, Malaysia, and China. Some exhibitions include ‘Something Above; Somewhere Beyond’ at FOST Gallery (solo exhibition, Singapore), 8th Singapore International Photography Festival (public installation, Singapore), Glasgow Open House Arts Festival (group exhibition, UK), Bus.Stop.Art (public installation, Singapore), ‘Frame & Frequency’ (group exhibition, USA), ‘Sandstorm in an Hourglass’ (group exhibition, Singapore), ‘Utopia’ (group exhibition, UK), and The Society of Scottish Artists annual exhibitions. Sebastian’s works showed at The Royal Scottish Academy on multiple occasions; he also received the Royal Glasgow Institute prize and the Royal Scottish Academy Latimer Award.
In 2020, Sebastian partook in Meta Open Arts residency programme, where he made a site-specific photographic print measuring twenty-five metres and across three walls. More recently, in 2021, he was involved in a collaborative project between Meta Open Arts and Messenger in the making, and subsequent launching, of a 360 degrees augmented reality filter, titled ‘Seeking Starlight’.
Numerous institutions invited Sebastian for talks and guest lectures in the past years; some of them include City of Glasgow College (UK), The Royal Scottish Academy (UK), Mount Florida Studios (UK), The University of the West of Scotland (UK), DECK (Singapore), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore). Sebastian is currently an adjunct lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, and Nanyang Technological University. His research interests and teaching areas include art history, contextual studies, art theory, contemporary art practice, philosophy, critical theory, photography history, photography theory, photography practice, black and white darkroom photography, and alternative lens-based processes.
Sebastian is based between Singapore and Korea; he is currently making works and preparing for exhibitions in Singapore and the UK. He is an elected Professional Member of The Society of Scottish Artists.
Short Artist Statement:
The theme of ‘landscape’ largely forms the foundation of Sebastian’s practice. His approach to the topic is expressed through the empirical fabrication of landscape sets, which are subsequently articulated through the mediums of photography, moving image, sculpture, and installation. These constructed landscapes are without references to specific geographical locations; they are productions generated from wonderments of the imagination, and therefore, psycho-topographical in nature.
The significances of these constructed spaces are framed by his interest in the ontological, phenomenological, psychological, political, and the poetic. As an artist, Sebastian has always been interested in initiating conversations between people of different cultures and stories, highlighting similarities to mediate the fissures caused by disparities of our postmodern world. The abstract landscape forms in his works serve essentially as a space to discover the significances of our universality.
An Exclusive interview with Ngee Ann Young Promising Artist 2022 – Sebastian Mary Tay – Second Episode