The relationship between medical technology and art has been addressed by

many. But for Chng Nai Wee, a medical practitioner, investigations into the

subject are made with measured and well considered insights informed by his

training and practice as a doctor, often involving risks of elucidating the

very problematics and contradictions faced within his medical profession.

His artworks reflect the many tensions between issues of technology and

humanist responsibilities and dilemma. These issues are not merely

addressed via observations and theoretical predications, but rather often

urged by his own appreciation of his work in ophthalmology. For Chng,

technological knowledge and ability often preclude philosophical

considerations, and art as an aesthetic experience allows the fluid access

and engagements into the many ethical challenges. Two of his major works,

Ophthalmogenesis (1999) and The Spirituality of Perceptions (2001) are good



Chng Nai Wee, born in 1969, has participated in many exhibitions, the

latest being Nokia Singapore Art 2001, a biannual contemporary art

exposition. He coupled in medical training in ophthalmology with short

training programmes in fine art which included visual arts modules at Yale

University. In 1999, he was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National

Arts Council, Singapore. As resourceful artist, his website, Biotechnics,

at, offers good documentation of not only his practice,

but also contemporary art and artists in Singapore. His participation in

the broad development in Singapore art has also been exemplary. Nai Wee is

a member of the arts resource panel of the National Arts Council. He serves

on the Arts Education Council, which aims to upgrade art educational

institutions in Singapore.


Ahmad Mashadi