Of All Things I Choose To See

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We came across Chong Ying Ying’s work at Undescribed #2, DECK’S annual platform conceived to present the next generation of local emerging image-makers.

Her series titled Of All Things I Choose to See is about “urban spaces that are often overlooked or may not be immediately registered – such as liminal spaces – are revisited, and reformed to be experienced with more care and observance. To reconnect with a physical space that is so alien yet familiar at the same time. A space that many pass but never linger. Its presence slowly reduced with every passing, to nothing but an echo, so subtle. Living on quietly, in the back of your mind.”

Ying Ying is a Fine Arts graduate from LASALLE, and her practice mainly builds around her encounters and fascination of the undefined spaces of the urban environment. “I seek to reconcile with these spaces, spending time at these places and reforming them through my works.”

More amazing work on Ying Ying’s website. Check it out!

The Never-Ending Search for the Edge of the Universe

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Visual Artist Aida – aka Yellow Mushmellow – and architectural graduate Frederick Low have collaborated on a self-published art book titled The Never-Ending Search for the Edge of the Universe. The book, launching on 17 March, is a collection of comic-style illustrations, accompanied by poetic musings about the Universe.

“The book follows a spaceman’s adventures on a never-ending search. It uses fantastical imagery inspired by the ‘experiences of the Universe’ to articulate introspective and very personal themes such as the complexities of human emotion (“very much like the incomprehensible nature of space, the heart travels to places the mind cannot fathom”).  As the spaceman navigates his way through the vast expanse of the Universe, coming to terms with its twists and bumps or even grappling with the possible futility of his explorations, the audience is also brought on his own journey of self-discovery, making his experience with the book a personal, or even cathartic, one.”

For Aida, the decision to embark on this project follows the questions and the infinite “what’s-next?-ness” that she and Frederick were confronted with while dealing with a tragic experience. “As an artist, a lot of my ideas draw from everyday encounters — whether unfortunate, delightful or even mundane — and the drawings in the book are expressions that stem from a desperate attempt at making sense of the workings of the Universe, forces way beyond our mind’s grasp. I’ve always believed that art and poetry are a dreamer’s coping mechanism for the perplexing realities of life, and I hope that its universality and human-ness can be appreciated in a society like Singapore that prides itself on pragmatism.”

The book launches the week of 17 March 2017 online and in selected bookstores.

Lost in the Midst of Time by Kayleigh Goh

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On her website, Kayleigh Goh posted that she is interested in the psychological and poetic implication of place, a specific locale or environment that has a character on its own. “Looking at how places constitute different experiences and evoke different emotions, I am informed by my everyday experiences of everyday places,” she writes. “With outputting the collected information into my paintings, I turn the intangible into tangible. I see my artworks as capsules of these experiences. With everyday construction materials as my paint and canvas, alongside my soft palette, my works often speak more about the quiet places.”

Clicking on the Artworks tab on her site takes you to 3 projects. Here, Kayleigh tells us about Lost in the Midst of Time, an installation that presents the viewer with her experience and perception of the older buildings tucked within an overwhelming city environment.

“These quiet, slow-paced spaces are slowly left behind by time. Visually inspired by the cracks and peeling paint around Waterloo Centre, this painting installation incorporates construction materials and debris as both canvas and paint. Adopting the language of aging architecture, combined with a soft palette, I contemplate the impermanence of the structures around us.”

 

Spotted! AMIEN

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As the founder of creative studio AMIEN, LASALLE graduate Damien Soh has worked on all sorts of commercial projects. Aside from that, Damien runs workshops with a focus on the traditional medium.

About the importance of process and the idea of unravelling abstraction, Damien says: “The truth of the matter is, not everyone knows what to create until they actually get into the process of creating. It might sound a little oxymoronic but for me an idea begins like a random set of tarot cards, Scenario like, “A girl, Pale, in a pool of milk” “a goat with a set of ornate horns” Each of these elements seemingly random held no immediate meaning on its own. The process of painting fleshes out both the narrative and emotionality of the piece, often the symbols begin to make sense organically at this point. However for the most part there is just this sense that you are really just translating from a sub-conscious place. At the end of the day, I step back and become a spectator unraveling the meaning at the same time as the others.”

Exhib! Stored Value by L*L

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For Singaplural 2017, L*L duo Matthew and Zhide have created Stored Value, a piece that discusses Singaporean identity in the everyday sounds that we hear, mediated through an experience familiar to Singaporeans – tapping EZ-Link cards on public transport.

(from the press release)

Stored Value is inspired by the humble EZ-link cards that we use every day. We are intrigued by how the EZ-link card not only stores money, but also our trips around Singapore. The exhibit explores the transience of a Singaporean identity. It is a snapshot of everyday sounds of Singapore that we pay little attention to because of how ordinary it is, but yet evoke specific encounters and memories that tie us to shared experiences. Would these sounds, like artefacts and architecture, eventually change and become unfamiliar to future Singaporeans? Stored Value is also a reminder that from our individual journeys and daily lives adds up to something larger than ourselves – a collective memory and collaborative creation of Singapore.

Backstory

Stored Value has gone through several iterations before we arrived at the current version of the concept. The theme for this year’s Singaplural is “Stories – A New Perspective”. Upon reading the prompt, we were interested in creating a surprising, delightful experience for viewers. Since the exhibit is part of the Singapore Design Week, we thought that the work should be familiar to Singaporeans. The initial inspiration for the project came from one of our friends. She posted on Facebook saying that she thought that the EZ-Link card readers at Dhoby Ghaut MRT were playing piano sounds instead of the familiar beeps. We realized that the beeps reinforces a sense of place – that we are travelling within Singapore. We thought it would be quite fascinating if we replaced the familiar sounds of EZ-Link card readers with other sounds. At the same time, we were also thinking of participatory, interactive orchestral experiences where viewers can play combinations of different sounds and help co-create the work. At this point, our ideas seemed to be diverging and we were not sure how we would bring everything together.

We decided to dig deeper. We realized that EZ-Link cards store not only money, it also keeps a log of places that people have travelled to. At the same time, another friend of ours reminded us about sounds unique to Singapore, things like the koel bird, mrt announcements, singlish spoken at kopitiams. We began to weave together a larger narrative, of individuals going about their daily lives that accumulate into the larger hustle-and-bustle of Singapore. Everyone hears these sounds in their daily journeys, but few actually stop to listen and appreciate their relation to our collective Singaporean identity. By bringing these familiar sounds into an exhibition context, we hope to raise the everyday into consciousness. Together, these threads combine at the intersection of individual journeys, collective identity and an inquiry into the co-creation of a nation. Stored Value merges all of these ideas into a cacophony of sounds that are at the same time familiar and unfortunately, too easily neglected and forgotten.

Stored Value will be shown at Singaplural 2017 between 7–12th March, F1 Pit Building.

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