Ben Ali Ong
Some artist’s work has the capacity to take you places that most never can, transporting you to allegorical destinations using poetry as its fuel. Ben Ali Ong’s imagery circumvents those stubborn inadequacies of the often clumsy language we utter, crafting vocabularies to address the sublime. There are no words to convey certain feelings with any real precision; certain frames of mind, the way the heart feels when it beats in sullen empathy or despair; those moments that have no materiality in real world though they animate the mind. To pin these elusive things down, to still them for our scrutiny, the camera must be an instrument not just a tool; to evoke and not simply record. Ben blends portraits and landscapes, layering textures of history against the uncertain possibilities the future presents, bringing about the genesis of a remarkably convincing new world. He anticipates those collective anxieties that haunt us all in this age of spiritual abandonment - culpability for the atrocities of the past, life’s frailty, love’s ultimate futility, the finality of death. He orchestrates these frighteningly beautiful images to confront the terrifying question we’d all rather deny, “What does the world hold for us when it’s deserted by the divine”.
Lecturer, Queensland Collage of Art, 2012