Household Clouds by Matthew Sia & Emily Kwa

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© IllumiArts Village

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© IllumiArts Village

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© Singapore W.O.W.!

HouseholdClouds-Singapore W.O.W.! -2

© Singapore W.O.W.!

Household Clouds is a light exhibition conceptualised and curated by Graphic/Interactive designer Matthew Sia and Designer/Illustrator Emily Kwa.

“We used the given space at Woodgrove to create different light installations and make the space into an exhibition for the public. The installation was created out of mundane objects that are familiar through our daily connections — taken for granted and more often than not ignored. The objects were given new prominence, consideration and visibility by being elevated into the arena of art. And then, sometimes, it is really creating unexpected spaces, unexpected relationships.”

Household Clouds was part of Singapore W.O.W.! and the IllumiArts Village in 2016.

Kampung Dreamworld by Leow Si Min

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We came across Si Min’s graduating project at the ADM Show 2017. Conceived as a theme park, Kampung Dreamworld questions contemporary nostalgia in the context of Singapore and re-examines its purpose in today’s constantly shifting world.

“By bringing to light forgotten histories in a satirical manner, Kampung Dreamworld serves as a form of escapist entertainment with a very real-world sting at its core. Our modern struggle with accelerated time and rapid progress prompted a global wave of nostalgia. As a response to the fear and uncertainty of the future, nostalgia has been adopted as an individual instrument of survival and a countercultural practice. Contemporary nostalgia serves as a defense mechanism against time, providing us with comfort and allowing us to critically reflect about the present and future. However, our nostalgic tendency to romanticise the past is problematic as it neglects historical facts and realities. “

Blooming in-between Pale Partitions by Denise Yap

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Living in a pastel box

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Denise Yap‘s work revolves around social political issues and draws upon various queer theories and experiences. “I seek to explore the complexity of human desire, queer ephemera and notions of gender by employing the queer perspective as a deconstructive lens, to examine social norms within different spaces and culture. My process usually starts with brainstorming and creating mind-maps of personal observations and thoughts. My thoughts are then rendered into sketches.”

For her final year project, Denise started questioning a common mandarin idiom ‘一样米养百样人’, that many people use frequently. “I understood the gist of it as it literally translates to ‘one kind of rice can feed many people’. It refers to the possibility of diverse personalities within a social group and the multifaceted, uniqueness of a human being. However, the usage of this quote has led me to consider the consequence of this quote, as many use it as a lazy dismissal which disallows further understanding hence, acting as a closure that reaffirms the alienation as valid.

In the Singaporean society, heterosexuality is the only acceptable sexual category despite the complexity of human desires. Therefore, the topic, queer or being queer is a taboo and there are little to no education on sexuality or many spaces to help people understand it. Because of this lack, many misunderstandings and stereotypes are taken as truth/fact. Aspiration for this project grew as I wanted to highlight this aspect through my artwork by creating a space that encourages an awareness with regards to the stigma of being queer in Singapore.

However, In the words of David Birch, who said this of Singapore: ‘The challenge for civil society is to change the perception of being gay as undesirable – the challenge in order to establish any social movement interested in gay issues and promoting and achieving equality for gay people – is first to understand what constitutes gay communities in Singapore’. To further understand what constitutes gay communities in Singapore, I have interviewed and asked various queer people to write letters about anything queer. All of the replies I have are based on their queer journeys or experiences. Although these stories stem from personal matters, they are still very much influenced by public notions.

I started to consider private spaces and how public notions can exist within it. Blooming in-between Pale Partitions is a recreation of a bedroom, that attempts to examine bedrooms through the perspective of the queer community in Singapore, more specifically how the political, social and cultural confluences shape experiences. Adopting José Esteban Muñoz’s definition of proving and reading queerness ‘is by suturing it to the concept of ephemera. Think of ephemera as trace, the remains, the things that are left, hanging in the air like a rumor.’ I explore queer ephemera in my artwork through objects that act as remains. These queer traces are reactions to the consequences of heteronormativity that can take form in pressures, expectations and stereotypes. The bedroom consists of a wardrobe, bed and desk which are manipulated slightly to retain its conventional form and contain composed objects to create a narrative. There are common themed narratives present throughout this bedroom that addresses and reflects the experience of being queer in Singapore (alienation, conformity and the like.) with regards to homosexuality, and our relationship to the state’s laws and policies.”

Part of Denise’s installation will be shown at the Lasalle graduation show at ICA Gallery on May 18 at 7pm.

Images © Denise Yap. Proofread by Tiffany Ann Dass.

Kult Kollab by Kult x DPi

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(from the press release)

Kult Studio & Gallery collaborates with local production house, Design & Print International (DPi), to launch a new merchandise collection. Kult Kollab translates art from street artists around the world into wearables, pushing the boundaries of art and fashion.

The creative team headed the selection of the artworks, choosing ones that conveyed Kult’s energy and edge.

“It was intensively challenging – like making us pick our favourite kids! As our database is really extensive, with full of fresh art from urban artists all around the world, we decided to select pieces that have bold colours and imagery that really pops out. We want the art to be the first thing you spot in a crowded space,” says Kult’s Art Director, Alicia Wee.

The collection features a total of seven items – three t-shirts, two dresses and two caps showing the art of Russell Ong (SGP), Russell Taysom (GBR), Kittozutto (SGP), Lee Juyong (KOR), Mojoko (SGP), Mightyellow (SGP).

The launch will take place as part of Multiply: A Majestic Playground from 27 to 28 May at the New Majestic Hotel.

Telekinetic Playground by Angel Cheong Su Hui

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A collaboration between art, science and magic is what forms the backbone of Telekinetic Playground, the final year project by Angel Cheong Su Hui, a BFA Interactive Media from Nanyang Technological University.

“This interactive installation creates the illusions of telekinetic powers from the participant. The installation uses electroencephalogram (EEG) devices which detect brainwaves and which in turn, allow individuals to control objects and move them. The installation plays with the utopian idea of a near future whereby humans can manipulate their surroundings with just a mere thought.”

Check it out at the ADM SHOW 2017.

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