Posts Tagged ‘SAM’
Image from The Substation site.
The facade of the Substation is currently swathed in a screen of black and white PVC slats. The installation is the brainchild of a local architect and a designer, Randy Chan and Grace Tan, titled Building as a Body. The work, as that moniker suggests, imagines architecture as anatomy. According to Tan:
The façade becomes bare and neutral, but powerful and dynamic beyond the surface. Subsequently, Randy and I started talking about the parallel between the body and architecture. Over the course of our dialogue, the notion of constructing a layer/skin to cover the façade came naturally to us.
By shrouding the façade, we are removing and masking the ‘face’ of the building, which is the most critical, visual, and symbolic physical representation of The Substation.
(See an interview with Tan here.)
The correlation between built structures and somatic structures is not a new one:
… Renaissance building owed its special qualities as an “architecture of humanism” to its analogies, in theory and physical presence, to the human body. A confessed Wolfflinian himself, Rowe would seem to agree with the ascription of a corporeal psychology to the experience of architecture, a response of the human body to a building that, for the building to be successful, would have, so to speak, to be matched and instigated by the building itself. We sense an echo of Wolfflin’s conclusion that “we judge every object by analogy with our own bodies.” Wolfflin wrote of the “creature”-like nature of the building, “with head and foot, back and front” ……
For Geoffrey Scott, the building’s “body” acted as a referent for “the body’s favorable state,” the “moods of the spirit … power and laughter, strength and terror and calm.” Translating the long tradition of Renaissance bodily analogy into psychological terms, Scott identified two complementary principles at work: the one, founded on the response we have to the appearance of stability or instability in a building, is our identification with the building itself: “we have transcribed ourselves into terms of architecture.” The other was founded on the fact that with this initial transcription we unconsciously invest the building itself with human movement and human moods: “we transcribe architecture into terms of ourselves.” Together, these two principles formed, he asserted, “the humanism of architecture.” … Thence Scott’s impassioned plea for the body in architecture: “architecture, to communicate the vital values of the spirit must appear organic, like the body.”
(Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny [1992, MIT Press].)
Comparisons to the large-scale outdoor projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude aside, Building as a Body strikes one as an informed intervention in the urban streetscape: cloaking the physical presence of a well-established local institution in a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t play of shifting chromaticism, the work perhaps functions as an oblique comment on the Substation’s diminished influence in the arts scene hereabouts, a game of optical hide-and-seek to mirror its vicissitudinous wax and wane in the public eye …
A write-up in The Straits Times last week, reproduced below.
VEIL FOR SUBSTATION
Artists turn the arts centre into an art installation for its 20th anniversary.
By Denise Cheong. Published: 3 February 2012.
One of Singapore’s landmark arts centres has itself been turned into a work of art.
Take a stroll along Armenian Street and you will find The Substation shrouded in interwoven black and cream plastic strips.
The arts centre-turned-art-installation was commissioned by the National Heritage Board and the Singapore Art Museum.
Singapore artists Grace Tan, 32, and Randy Chan, 41, created it to celebrate The Substation’s 20th anniversary. Their work, quite an artistic and architectural feat, is titled Building As A Body.
It is a 15m-tall and 10m-wide matrix of 471 PVC strips, each between 5m and 9m in length and 3cm in width. These strips are connected to steel poles using square rings and conceals the entire facade of The Substation building.
The 80kg structure was completed on Jan 10 and is on display till March 28. It is supported by steel scaffolding clamped to the building’s pillars, and took three days and 10 construction workers to build.
On why the artists concealed the arts centre, Chan said he was disappointed that since the National Library and a well- known char kway teow stall (Armenian Street Char Kway Teow, now at Block 303, Anchorvale Link Coffeshop in Sengkang) were relocated, the area was now often deserted.
‘The idea was to personify the building. If you look at it one way, the veil represents a woman’s coming of age as a young bride. However, it can also stand for something more morbid, as a veil is also used to cover a corpse,’ he said.
Tan added: ‘This is why we chose the monochromatic colour scheme instead of something more striking. The polarity is very symbolic.
‘The image of a veil in itself is very elusive and mysterious. This can be paralleled to how The Substation means different things to different people.’
The Substation artistic director Noor Effendy Ibrahim, 38, said: ‘I hope the installation will activate a new imagination of The Substation, not only as a home for the arts but also as a platform for design and sculpture.’
He added: ‘The Substation already stands out in gentrified Armenian Street. This installation disrupts the clean lines of this neighbourhood. I like it and I think it’s an important statement.’
On the use of PVC strips, Chan said: ‘As this is a public art installation, we were very strategic about the materials used. Instead of just draping a big cloth over the building, which will eventually get wet and heavy, we went for this idea of weaving so that wind can flow through it.
‘PVC material is water-resistant and also very light, making the veil structurally sound.’
This is Chan and Tan’s first time collaborating on an art project of this scale.
He is an architect by profession, and she is an associate artist of The Substation’s research programme and the founder of kwodrent, an inter-disciplinary practice specialising in design and fabric works.
Ok, its coming on December: people are preparing to decamp for the hols, the Orchard Rd. belt is now visible from space at night, and top ten lists of the year’s best everybloodything are popping up like OWS sub-movements ..
Time to deck those halls, folks.
This year I thought I’d try sumthin’ new: my own list of top ten art moments. After all, this marks the first full year I’ve spent at home in quite a while, and 2011 – fortuitously – produced quite the bumper crop for art lovers hereabouts. There was the inaugural Art Stage fair; the 3rd Singapore Biennale; the OH! (Open House) event; a whole slew of impressive shows at the SAM, including Its Now or Never II, Negotiating Home, History and Nation, and Video, an Art, a History; as well as the arrival of several major new players on the local gallery scene, such as Art Plural and Ikkan Sanada.
The art gods were working overtime this year.
A couple of preliminary notes: I’ve unfortunately had to restrict the list to pieces either (a) by Singaporean artists, or (b) which spoke to uniquely local issues. Its not an ideal situation, I realize – also, that second one is highly debatable – but the alternative presents too dauntingly wide a field. For instance, I saw certain works by Judd, Oldenburg, Vito Acconci and Pierre Huyghe for the first time this year, which I loved, but it didn’t seem quite .. apropos to put them in a list for 2011 (the Judd piece, say, dated from the ’60s). I also considered expanding the list to include Southeast Asian artists in general, but, again, it made little sense. While what I saw locally by contemporary regional artists was pretty damned good, it represented but a fraction of what was available in their home countries; I’m sure critics there can come up with far more comprehensive and intelligible lists of their own. I know this runs counter to the new spirit of globalized plurality which seems to characterize our little red dot and its burgeoning art scene in the new millennium (the catch-all colloquialism here being “foreign talent”), but this is Singapore after all. I hate to admit this, buuuut … I was afraid that if the parameters got too broad, the final tally might not have erm, included too many Singaporeans. How’s that for xenophobic insecurity eh ? (Notabilia, don’t bite my head off.) Finally, this should be borne in mind: I saw a whole lotta stuff this past year, but there’s plenty I missed, so if there’s something you think should’ve made the cut but didn’t, feel free to drop me a line, or just leave a note on this post. (One caveat: if you’re planning to write in recommending the ArtScience Museum, please don’t bother. It’s absence from the present discussion is both deliberate and, I hope, conspicuous.)
Anyways, enough prattling. Below are my picks – “my” being the operative word. Write-ups supplied where available, otherwise I’ll get round to it when I’m free (or not, which is entirely possible).
In no particular order, here’s the first ever Jusdeananas Annual Singapore Art Roundup:
1. THE MERLION HOTEL (2011), TATZU NISHI. Displayed: Singapore Biennale 2011 Open House.
From an earlier write-up on this blog:
However, at its most immediate and intelligible, the Merlion Hotel probably serves best as a symptom of the new Singapore. And just what is this new Singapore ? Flush (the world’s fastest growing economy as of 2010), fancy (now boasting two fabulously glitzy resorts with the country’s first casinos), and demographically and sociologically evolving at light speed, the population on the whole growing from some 3 million to 5 in the last two decades –a jump of 66.6% in 20 years – but with the number of resident aliens positively ballooning from 0.3 million in 1990 to 1.3 million in 2010. (See here for figures.) In other words, a playground for the wealthy, both local and foreign. In fact, the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort, located just across the bay, is prominently featured both on the wallpaper – along with the Merlion logo and founding father Sir Stamford Raffles – and as part of the panoramic view from the bathtub. The triple towers, exemplar par excellence of the new, moneyed, swingin’ Singapore, thus become enshrined in the country’s repertoire of emblems, their signalling of new economic trajectories taking its place alongside our most cherished historical images in a gesture of symbolic suturing.
(Read the full version here.)
2. EXPENSE OF SPIRIT IN A WASTE OF SHAME (1994), SUZANN VICTOR. Displayed: Negotiating Home, History and Nation, Singapore Art Museum.
3. TAMAN NEGARA (2011), LOO ZIHAN. Performed: Singapore Survey 2011: Imagine Malaysia, Valentine Willie Fine Art.
From an earlier write-up on this blog:
It consisted of Loo alternately standing stock-still, and moving between two pillars … Accompanied by several chamber pots filled with water, he would, at regular intervals, drink from these pots, or transfer the contents from one to the next …. Apparently the piece … was a reference to (an exorcism of?) an old childhood trauma. The exact intent behind it was not entirely clear to me just from watching, but I loved it. Performance art was proscribed by the authorities after the hijinks of Josef Ng, Shannon Tham and Vincent Leow back in the early ’90s. Ng, as most people might remember, snipped his pubic hair at a public performance in Parkway Parade, and Tham chewed up and threw up a copy of The New Paper … while Leow, a year earlier, had taken a leak in front of his audience — and then guzzled it back down … The consequence of all this was, of course, official disapprobation, and censorship: the National Arts Council condemned Ng’s act, the artist was fined 1,000 SGD, and, most unfortunately, funding for performance art of all stripes was embargoed – a ban lifted only in 2003, nearly a decade later …… Are we now witnessing a return to the sort of in-your-face stunts that performance artists of a previous generation espoused ?
(Read the full version here.)
4. AN EXILE REVISITS THE CITY (2011), GREEN ZENG. (Exhibition.) Displayed: The Substation Gallery.
5. RAW CANVAS (2010), JANE LEE. Displayed: Collectors’ Stage, Singapore Art Museum.
From an earlier write-up on this blog:
The work is phenomenal. As it appeared at the SAM, Raw Canvas was an absolutely mammoth web of thick, solid skeins of paint (I think – other materials/additives were probably involved), which by some trick of the trade were made to adhere to the surface of an entire wall, transforming a simple structural element into a towering, ceiling-to-floor exercise in stereoscopic synesthesia, a play on the perceptual tensions between two-dimensional appearance and resolutely tactile, three-dimensional reality. In that sense, Lee’s work deconstructs, literally, the painting as an object. The interrogation of the traditional medial supports of paint and canvas is effected at the level of their sheer physical facticity: paint moves from being a tool of utility (the means of pictorial creation) to being an obdurately material existence in its own right, insisting on its own auratic presence as a three-dimensional object in space, the shift occurring not merely as aesthetic affect or formal inflection, but as manifest ontological redirection.
(Read the full version here.)
6. ALL LINES FLOW OUT (2011), CHARLES LIM. Displayed: Singapore Biennale 2011 Open House.
From an earlier write-up on this blog:
The video in particular was engrossing, especially when the camera tracks slowly down the length of various canals and rivers at the level of the water’s surface (below). The effect is compelling and creepy all at once, providing an alien, bottom-up perspective on the island’s urban landscape, literally capturing a worm’s eye view of everyday terrain most people are otherwise unaccustomed to …… The process of defamiliarization was echoed in the two installations nearby, which hung from the ceiling like a couple of supersized beehives, left there by mutant insects as a testament to their existence …… The act of repression and return, then, may be located in Lim’s excavation of “often unseen part[s] of Singapore”: the uninhabited waterways, canals and storm drains of our city-state, rendered from a distinctly unsettling perspective, the slowly gliding camera seeming closer to the experience of some form of marine species, rather than the thrashing movements of a human being in the water; the stuffed drainage socks suspended in the middle of a gallery space, an item of utility that most people may be unfamiliar with, and taking on an even more eerie aspect for their mode of display.
(Read the full version here.)
7. MULTIPLE PERFORMANCES (2011), MARK WONG, KAI LAM, ZAI TANG & YUZURU MAEDA. Performed: dream: borderlands and other territories, Goodman Arts Centre.
8. ADINANDRA BELUKAR (2011), GENEVIEVE CHUA. Displayed: Singapore Biennale 2011 Open House.
9. ? (?), ?. Displayed: privately.
From an earlier write-up on this blog (the painting in question is the one on the left):
In that sense, the painting is, above all, citational. It quotes from the trans-spatial archive that is the contemporary discipline of art history; it references repositories of localized memory in the inscription of those narratives — teasingly, ambivalently — into its iconographic negotiations. But the main locus of referentiality, of course, is the inclusion of Titian’s painting, a nod to the forces of globalization as much as the art historical archive. The nebulous space of the composition, anterior to the painting within a painting, reproduces the reproduction: the presence of a dog and the tiled grid of the floor in both; the slant of a shadow across the wall gestures at the bisection of Titian’s work, by the partition draped in green fabric; even the samfoo-ed getup of the young girl, though ostensibly standing in stark contrast to the nudity of the Venus figure, alludes, in its pristine whiteness, to the smooth, creamy expanse of flesh that is the goddess at her erotic best. That the position of the young girl’s head also, coincidentally or otherwise, obscures Venus’ obscuration of her own pudenda with her hand — a gesture notorious in the annals of art history for its risque titillation — also perhaps further sediments the two spaces in the painting in a mutually constitutive embrace.
(Read the full version here.)
10. ARTISTS IN THE NEWS (2011), KOH NGUANG HOW. Displayed: Singapore Biennale 2011 Open House.
11. (The honorary spot.) HE IS SATISFIED FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY AND ON SUNDAY HE LOVES TO CRY (2009), CHUN KAIFENG. Displayed: It’s Now or Never II, Singapore Art Museum.
Turned Out II (2011), Jane Lee. Image by Allison Meier for Hyperallergic.
More award-related controversy: two homegrown art acts, Jane Lee and Vertical Submarine, were honoured by this year’s Celeste Prize jury. Lee won in the Painting category for one of her trademark three-dimensional, near-sculptural works, titled Turned Out II (above), and Vert Sub – a.k.a. Yang, Koh and Loke – won the Installation Prize for their A View With a Room (2009).
Lee’s piece stirred a faint sense of deja vu. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it … until, reading the comments over at the Celeste Network’s site, I spotted a couple of pretty irate individuals who basically accused Lee of ripping Eva Hesse off. Even then though it still didn’t quite come to me: which Hesse work exactly was I reminded of ?
A Google search cleared that up: Ringaround Arosie (1965, below), a multi-medial extravaganza of “varnish, graphite, ink, enamel, cloth-covered wire, papier-câché, unknown modeling compound, masonite, wood.”
Ringaround Arosie (1965), Eva Hesse. Image from Hauser & Wirth.
Yeah, sure, Turned Out II does sorta strike an .. evocative note, but I’m perfectly willing to buy that Lee’s claim that she had no prior knowledge of the Hesse piece. (These things do happen.) And anyway, I’m biased: this is the woman responsible for Raw Canvas (2010, below), which appeared in an earlier incarnation at the 2008 Singapore Biennale, and again in the SAM’s Collectors’ Stage exhibition in January this year. (Read my review of the latter here.)
The work is phenomenal. As it appeared at the SAM, Raw Canvas was an absolutely mammoth web of thick, solid skeins of paint (I think – other materials/additives were probably involved), which by some trick of the trade were made to adhere to the surface of an entire wall, transforming a simple structural element into a towering, ceiling-to-floor exercise in stereoscopic synesthesia, a play on the perceptual tensions between two-dimensional appearance and resolutely tactile, three-dimensional reality. In that sense, Lee’s work deconstructs, literally, the painting as an object. The interrogation of the traditional medial supports of paint and canvas is effected at the level of their sheer physical facticity: paint moves from being a tool of utility (the means of pictorial creation) to being an obdurately material existence in its own right, insisting on its own auratic presence as a three-dimensional object in space, the shift occurring not merely as aesthetic affect or formal inflection, but as manifest ontological redirection. In other words, the texture and physicality of the densely knotted field of protuberances here, by its deployment of paint as a sculptural statement, seems to supersede at once those questions of representation and mimesis which attended the rise of abstract painting on the one hand, as well as the discursive reorientation of post-war painting towards the processual paradigm made possible by Pollock’s painterly gestures and Harold Rosenberg’s panegyrics on the other – developments which, despite their break with existing praxis, essentially retained the phenomenon of a flat(-tened) layer of paint on a surface. Raw Canvas, cleverly, occupies the interstitial space between the appearance of two-dimensionality and the actuality of the third dimension; it approximates the appearance of painting, but constitutes the pictorial surface instead with a field of indecipherable tactilities of solid, sculptural paint traces.
It was awesome.
‘Genius’ is perhaps putting it a little strongly, but Lee certainly is very, very good at what she does (ignorance of Eva Hesse’s work notwithstanding).
A review of the APB Prize that I penned for local arts e-zine, The Muse, titled And the Award Goes to the Dullest Painting in the Room.
I mean every word of it.
The Turner Prize has been on my mind, mostly because of the fiasco that was the recent APBF (Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation) Signature Art Prize.
Yes, I’m calling it a fiasco.
I penned a short piece on the topic for a local arts e-zine – I’ll put a link up if and when that appears – but suffice to say that what was probably the most uninspired work in the shortlist ended up walking away with the grand prize, and 45,000 smackeroonies.
I suppose the undeserved win was one thing, but reading the laudatory notices the day after was plenty icky too. (You know who you are.)
In any case, it got me to thinking about the Turner, which prides itself on recognizing the best of cutting-edge contemporary work; in reality, of course, that just ends up causing a whole lot of fuss and noise and, oftentimes, outright fury. There was Martin Creed’s win in 2001 for his empty room where the lights went on and off (painter Jacqueline Crofton was so incensed she egged its walls), and Chris Ofili’s for his elephant dung painting (someone left a heap of manure on the Tate’s steps in protest), and, of course, the annual Stuckist demonstration. Now, I’m not an advocate of controversy for its own sake, but the APBF’s choice this year was simply tragic, a freakish, contrapuntal demonstration of how anodyne and pointless contemporary art can be when stripped of all that it does best – provoking dissent, stirring debate, being irreverent and critical and inscrutable and confrontational all at once …
So I borrowed an idea from the K Foundation: in 1993, these pranksters awarded the anti-Turner Prize prize to the “worst artist of the year”, Rachel Whiteread, who, un-coincidentally, was also that year’s Turner laureate. (Read about the whole hilarious affair here.)
In that spirit, I thought perhaps an Anti-Signature Art Prize Prize was called for.
My pick: Jompet Kuswidananto’s Java’s Machine: Phantasmagoria.
Indonesian artist Kuswidananto’s piece made it to the APBF longlist this year, but no further. Earlier, it was featured in the SAM’s show, It’s Now or Never Part II: New Contemporary Art Acquisitions from Southeast Asia. That was a pretty small exhibition, boasting some twelve works by regional artists, but some of it was spectacular. And the most dramatic and dazzling of the lot was Java’s Machine (below). The piece consists of a regiment of phantom soldiers, their existence as corporeal entities constituted solely by attire, implement and gesture. While these spectral presences, plugged into a power grid, banged on their drums and intoned a staccato, rhythmic chorus, footage of what looked to be antiquated machinery in operation, and a man performing a slow dance against a backdrop of sugarcane fields, played on the walls – soundtrack overlapping soundtrack, organic movement juxtaposed with automated action, deferred performativity set against immediate sensorial experience.
Java’s Machine: Phantasmagoria, Jompet Kuswidananto.
The effect was quite breathtaking.
According to the wall label:
This installation by an emerging Indonesian artist, Jompet Kuswidananto, leaves an indelible impression on the viewer with its scale and audio-visual experience of an encounter with a phantom Javanese royal army. The phantom soldiers in ceremonial procession are clad in Dutch military headgear and Javanese warrior costume in the style of the early 19th century. Accompanied by western percussion based upon Javanese rhythm, the work comments on the syncretic nature of Javanese culture today.
Multisensorial appeal is big in contemporary art these days; it isn’t just about “visuality” anymore. Jompet’s piece, with its ordered phalanx of absent bodies beating out an incantatory, throbbing beat in the otherwise mute space of the gallery, quite literally overwhelms and enraptures the senses; like the verse in the Song of Songs which sings “Thou art beautiful, O my love … terrible as an army with banners”, it unnerves, transfixes, enthralls – an irresistible, visceral force.
High praise, I know, but I was very taken with it.
So, congrats, Mr. Kuswidananto, on your imaginary prize. It’s just one lone voice out here in the vastness of cyberspace, but still a start, hey ?
Just back from the APB Prize announcements.
The winner of the grand prize and the 45 thousand big ones ? – Filipino artist Rodel Tapaya’s Baston Ni Kabunian, Bilang Pero Di Mabilang (Cane Of Kabunian, Numbered But Cannot Be Counted).
My reaction superimposed on the painting, below.
More to come – once my nausea subsides.
The longlist for the second APB prize is out.
A number of Singaporeans were nominated, including the ever awe-inspiring Jane Lee and the Puck-ish Heman Chong. The competition this year has been expanded to include almost all of Asia, and, accordingly, the prize money for the big winner has been upped to a cool forty-five grand SGD.
I wish they’d stop using the term ‘Asia-Pacific’ though; countries like Nepal and Bangladesh (which feature on this year’s list) don’t really fit in there. More importantly, doesn’t a pan-Asian prize in general just sound so much more … impressive, than simply one for the Asia-Pacific region ?
ST write-up below. Longlist of nominees and other pertinent information available over at the SAM’s website.
BREWERY’S ART PRIZE GOES REGIONAL
Prize funding also doubles with more than three times the entries from previous run. By Deepika Shetty.
The triennial Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize is getting bigger. The second edition this year will include nominations from the whole Asia-Pacific region.
The competition will see 130 works from 24 countries vying for the $45,000 grand prize, more than three times the number of entries for its inaugural run in 2008 which featured 34 works from 12 countries.
The APB Foundation has also doubled its prize funding from $2.25 million for five editions to $4.45 million.
As a media briefing held yesterday at SAM at 8Q, Ms Sarah Koh, APB’s general manager for corporate communications, said they were encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the inaugural edition.
She said the foundation decided to expand the focus from South-east Asia to the Asia-Pacific to create opportunities for a wider pool of talented artists from the region.
The prize is aimed at recognising artworks created in the preceding three years and encouraging the development of contemporary art across the region.
Apart from the grand prize, there will there will also be three Juror’s Choice Awards worth $10,000 each and a $10,000 People’s Choice Award.
All artworks have been nominated by art experts in each country and they are being judged by an international jury panel. The jury comprises Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Gregor Muir, executive director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Hendro Wijanto, South-east Asian writer, critic and curator; Ranjit Hoskote, Indian critic and curator; and Tan Boon Hui, director of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), which is organising the competition and will be exhibiting the winning artworks ranging from paintings and sculptures to new media and installation works.
The jury will shortlist 15 finalists, whose names will be announced by Oct 1, and an exhibition of their works will open at SAM on Nov 11. The winner will be announced on Nov 18.
Museum director Tan, 41, said: “The expanded reach of this year’s prize enables us to validate and profile even more artists and their practice.”
Seven local artists have been nominated by for the competition by Ms Joanna Lee, an art consultant and independent curator, and Ms Audrey Wong, programme director of the MA Arts and Cultural Programme at Lasalle College of the Arts.
These include several instantly recognisable names such as artist Jane Lee, who made a splash with her massive painting Raw Canvas at the Singapore Biennale in 2008, and award-winning photographer and film-maker Sherman Ong, who won the first Icon de Martell Cordon Bleu award for photography last year. (See side story.)
Also on the nominated list are several big contemporary art names such as leading Pakistani artist Rashid Rani. His work Desperately Seeking Paradise, a conglomeration of numerous miniscule details, was recently on show at the Musee Guimet, France’s national museum of Asian art.
Japanese artist Kohei Nawa’s PixCell-Deer#17, which explores how people interact with virtual reality, has also been nominated. The artist sources taxidermied objects from online auction sites and layers them with transparent glass beads. The veil of differently sized glass beads on the surface of the taxidermied animal magnifies it in some areas and distorts it in others. this piece was exhibited in Trans-Cool Tokyo, a show held at SAM at 8Q last November.
Adding to the range and the contest are artists such as Qiu Anxion from China, Sopheap Pich from Cambodia, Eko Nugroho from Indonesia and Tracey Moffatt from Australia.
Said Mr Tan: “The range as well as the quality of the art shows that we are at the heart of the most dynamic region and this award will help us uncover ground-breaking artworks of lasting significance.”
FROM SINGAPORE: SEVEN ARTWORKS
RECONSTRUCTING SENTOL, 2008 – 2010, Khairuddin Hori. Digital print on paper, 14 pieces. Appropriating ideas and images from Mat Sentol films of the 1960s, the artist creates new pictures, giving each one of them a contemporary and often idiosyncratic touch. He juxtaposes real and imagined landscapes with characters from the films.
THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS, 2010, by art collective Vertical Submarine. Installation. Inspired by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges’ 1941 short story of the same name about a maze, this tongue-in-cheek installation was shown by artist jason Wee’s art space, Grey Projects, in Zion Road. The constructed labyrinths led to rooms that alluded to central characters in Borges’ story.
SECOND-HAND CITY, 2010, by Michael Lee. Digital print on archival paper, set of 10. Melding science fiction with cultural studies, the series Second-Hand City (2010 – 2011) weaves several themes in contemporary life and art in the city. These range from the demolition or collapse of structures to their physical disappearance and destruction by war or natural processes, and statuses of being abandoned, not built and forgotten. this leads a refreshing exploration of the lifecycles of buildings and cities.
TOGETHER AGAIN (WOOD: CUT) PART I NATURAL HISTORY & TOGETHER AGAIN (WOOD: CUT) PART II MAGIC, 2009, by Lucy Davis. Woodcut, woodprint collage and woodprint. Breathing new life into the term “dead wood”, visual artist Davis collected discarded wooden objects from the streets around Little India. She then transferred their woodgrains onto rice paper. this was eventually used to form tree-shaped collages and the work beautifully blended ecology with everyday stories.
A SHORT STORY ABOUT GEOMETRY, 2009, by Heman Chong. Performance involving the oral transmission of a 499-word story written by the artist via physical face-to-face encounter between two people. Focusing on a more intimate and concentrated exchange, the work is a private memory class. A participant with the help of a teacher is required to memorise a 499=word short story. The short story will not be published or adapted into any other form.
BANJIR KEMARAU (FLOODING IN THE TIME OF DROUGHT), 2009, by Sherman Ong. Video in two separate rooms, 92 minutes each. Some time in the near future, when 40 per cent of Singapore’s population is made of foreigners, the tap runs dry. Ong’s actors speak in Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai, Indonesian, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Italian and some German. Through their fears, he reveals what a water crisis can mean for ordinary people living here.
STATUS, 2009, by Jane Lee. Mixed media. Lee continues her artistic exploration through layers of paint. Like her earlier painting, Raw Canvas, which was featured at the Singapore Biennale in 2008, this work is also created with her trademark squiggles of paint and parts of it look like a loosely woven piece of fabric.