TRANSMISSION: KINGDOM OF- Vanessa Ban & Kenneth Lee

With the TRANSMISSION: KINGDOM OF-  exhibition only two days away, we are excited to introduce you to the last two apprentices, Vanessa Ban and Kenneth Lee. They talk about their experience of being under the mentorship of PHUNK, and reveal what they have been working on at the TRANSMISSION lab.

Here they are, in their own words …

Artist/Designer Vanessa Ban graduated from the London College of Communication (former London College of Printing) in 2011 from the now-defunct Typo/ Graphics pathway. She has participated in the London Design Festival 2011 under recommendation of Adrian Shaughnessy (Author of How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing your Soul), and has worked at various studios including Pentagram (London) and Asylum (Singapore).

The Apprentice
“My past exhibitions include group shows at 2902 Gallery, the now defunct Post-Museum as well as the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore. My work has been featured in design books including Imprint: Innovative Book and Promo Design and Excellent: International Design Yearbook 2011. I now lecture under the Design Communication Department at Orita Sinclair School of Design. Recently, I co-founded BAN—FAM (with partner Andrea Fam), a multidisciplinary studio that focuses on contemporary art, graphic design, curation and critique.”

The Experience
“Transmission has been a learning journey that encourages apprentices to step away from creating work based on comfortable mediums. Trials and failures are part of the learning process in order to create a piece of work that we wouldn’t otherwise create on a daily basis. The creation of a group exhibition straddles along individualism and a collective compromise. It is sometimes requires stepping away from the self for the benefit of the overall aesthetic. Mutual respect between the individuals creates an environment where each can learn from the other and in return, take away much more from it.”

Axis (WIP) by Vanessa Ban

The Works
Axis is an interactive installation presented in the form of a 2m inflatable eyeball. It looks to question the role of documented film footage in society. Enclosed within the eyeball is a security camera, which gives literalness to the notion of ‘being eyed’. This work seeks to question the universal idea that documented footage is understood to be used for ‘security and monitoring purposes’ — but to whom do we actually place this trust? The Sound of Silence is a visual interpretation on Dieter Daniels and Inke Arn’s essay ‘Context: Silence Today’, published in the exhibition catalogue for ‘Sounds Like Silence’, an exhibition organized by Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) that explored the continuing impact of John Cage’s musical composition 4’33”.

Kenneth Lee is an artist and architect who grew up in a world that was transcending towards the digital age where he thrived between the realms of the outdoors, Japanese manga and video games. In 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne and has since been practicing architecture.

The Apprentice
“Exploring the realms of the self, my work aspires to find our sense of place in the universe. I aim to invest in the aesthetic potential of nature, molding “life” into creations that reflect identity, our emotional desires and the environment. Informed by my training in architecture and my love for fine art, I seek to bring nature to meet the viewer and in doing so, revealing us to ourselves.My projects span across art, architecture, design, and photography.”

The Experience
“My experience under the mentorship program could be described as walking into a new reality where the discovery or spark of new ideas happens when we get together as a collective. It feels like a powerhouse of thought and the wealth of knowledge coming from everyone is invaluable. The challenge is coming up with original ideas and magic happens every Wednesday. Through the mentorship program, I feel that we’re in constant battles with ourselves, trying to disengage from our comfort zones and our specialities. It makes us vulnerable and lost at times but that’s okay because we have one another to back each other up. I’m very thankful and humbled that the program allowed me to meet very talented people and in the process of creation, build relationships with them.”

Shackle by Kenneth Lee

The Works
“Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s The Sand Man, Shackle is a 3D printed sculptural interpretation of Man’s desire for happiness. Bound by the ever prevailing societal chains imposed upon ourselves, we constantly struggle to grasp hold of pivotal assets, only to lose oneself deeper into an abyss. All around the neighborhood To love beautifully is to see light. Nature, reduced to the element of light, takes on an abstract character creating a sense of presence in space. It is within these spaces that the brightness of light against a background of darkness enhances the physical experience. The work strives to create a space for the individual, a zone for oneself within society where the answers to life comes from within.”

The exhibition opens on Thursday and runs until  29 September at PHUNK, 118-8 Tanjong Katong Road. Opening hours: Weekdays (Tuesday to Friday) 12:00pm to 6:00pm, Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) 11:00am to 7:00pm.

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