The lowdown on SG Heart Map @Float

(from the press release)

From 26 till 29 November, SG Heart Map will unveil the first-ever crowd-sourced heart map of Singaporeans’ cherished places at the Float @ Marina Bay.

Inspired by the stories shared, seven artists across different creative and arts communities, have created immersive and poignant works of art for the SG Heart Map. The artists include Gwen Lee, Kenny Leck, Michael Ng, Royston Tan, Tia Boon Sim and Zaihan Kariyani, William Chan  and Zul Mahmod. Stories of Singaporeans will be told through various art forms such as prose, poetry, a film, sketches, photographs, audio installations, illustrations and animations – to be showcased at the SG Heart Map Festival @ Float.

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50 First Kisses by Royston Tan and Outdoor Cinema
50 First Kisses is an emotive anthology showcasing 50 Singaporean couples and their most heart-warming moments, which took place at cherished places in Singapore. Set against the backdrop of iconic landmarks in Singapore, the film will take the audience through time, bringing back memories of sentimental moments in the past, while celebrating the success and modernity of Singapore today.

Wordplay! A Literary Playground by Kenny Leck
Led by Kenny Leck, this playground features 20 literary art works in the form of prose and poetry authored by a team of 10 established local writers. They drew inspiration from the SG Heart Map stories relating to the theme of childhood, covering topics such as kite-flying and the all-time favourite playgrounds.

Future City Vision by Michael Ng
Just as how past city planners have shaped Singapore into our much loved city today, Future City Vision by Michael Ng, founding member of OIC Singapore (Organisation of Illustrators Council), invites visitors to immerse themselves in the imaginative future of Singapore through the larger-than-life pop-up illustrations created together with some 100 students.

Darren Soh, Punggol Waterway Terraces

HomeScapes by Gwen Lee
Five well-known photographers – Ang Song Nian, Bob Lee, Darren Soh, George Wong and Robert Zhao will present the HomeScapes Photography Exhibition at the SG Heart Map Festival @ Float. Led and curated by Gwen Lee, director of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), the exhibition presents the theme of home with many untold stories of the common and ordinary in our midst. Narrated through the images captured by the five photographers, these stories range from those of Singaporeans in their living rooms and their display cabinets that curate their personal memories and life events, to scenery and façades of flats that illustrate the progress of our living environment, and animals found in Singapore that co-habit with us in our space.

SonicMemories by Zul Mahmod
Sound artist Zul Mahmod will showcase SonicMemories, an audio installation created with recordings that reflect familiar experiences at national, cultural and celebratory events, such as the crowd’s excitement during the commissioning parade for Officer Cadets or the joyful music played at weddings. They also include personal interpretations of special occasions that have taken place in the heartlands such as the Bedok Reservoir and Whampoa. SonicMemories will feature the mailbox – key in bringing people together before the advent of email and social media – as the centerpiece and intermediary to convey these cherished stories.

Scenes of Our Hearts Showcase by Urban Sketchers Singapore
From August till September this year, Tia Boon Sim and Zaihan Kariyani (Urban Sketchers Singapore) led some 400 Singaporeans to capture the poignant perspectives of life in Singapore through sketching on location around the island. From our quaint streets to the everyday city

A Beautiful Day by William Chan at the Dome
‘A Beautiful Day’ is a documentation of Singapore from dawn to night. Featuring the 50 SG Heart Map places, it brings visitors on a visual journey of the many places that trace the progress of Singapore story. The animation projected on the dome also brings to life the 50 SG Heart Map places contributed by Singaporeans and inspires the rediscovery of the beauty of our landscape.

(All images courtesy of SG Heart Map)

Project Plug: Progress for Progress’s Sake

We spotted Shen Jiaqi‘s work at uh:Art,  an exhibition showcasing the work of 14 NIE BA students. Progress for Progress’s Sake is a reflection of Jiaqi’s experience in the Singapore Education system both as a student and a teacher. “As an artist and educator, my works explore the complexity and fragility of humanity by revealing layers that we have chosen to conceal and questioning issues that we had chosen to disregard.”

“Using the imagery of the medieval rose window, my installation draws on how success and progress through education is often a lofty ideal, whereas isolation through discrimination and fear of association with failure is ever-present in our society. This installation is an immersive experience, and visitors are welcome to complete the artwork by sitting on the student’s chair.”

Touch: īˈdentitē

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(from the press release)

Touch: īˈdentitē is an official collaboration between James Lye, Amin Farid and Fasihah Latiff that aims to explore indepth the relationship between movement and sound. This multidisciplinary production will be presented in a unique fashion through a combination of interactive installations, live performances and post-show talk.

The exploration of movement and sound will be demonstrated by fusing sonic arts with street and traditional Malay dance forms. The production offers an effective blend of experimental music technology with performing arts by empowering dancers with the ability to control and be at the helm for both movement and sound.

Throughout the entire duration of the 3 day production, fixed installations of electronics and gadgets used for the production will be up and placed around the venue for all visitors to interact and engage with. This allows all visitors to have a first-hand association of what the dancers are experiencing, by creating a personal sonic tapestry when engaging with the various technologies presented.

The performance segment of the production, which occurs twice daily, consists of three separate works each lasting approximately 10 minutes. The first work which integrates sonic arts with traditional Malay dance uses sensors attached to dancers, translating movement into an entirely independent sonic tapestry generated by manipulating sounds of traditional Malay instruments such as the rebana, biola, and accordion. In brief, the semiological context aims to present the theme of having a desire to stay connected to one’s roots despite the blurred identity fostered by a rapidly progressing society.

The second work which is designed to succeed the former with the theme of “state of exploration” fuses sonic arts with street dance by using concepts of radio sound transmission and electrical contact controlled by a group of three dancers. Electronic and heavily synthesised sounds will be the primary musical source used, therefore reflecting the aesthetics of the street dance art form.

The final work is a thematic development of the production which drives home the message of “self-discovery”, realised through the transition of the preceding thematic phases. This finale piece attempts to juxtapose and hybridise traditional Malay dance with street dance whilst encompassing it with sonic arts. Three pairs of dancers, each consisting of a traditional Malay dancer and street dancer, will face their counterparts. Separated by a piece of glass or clear plastic, which symbolises a mirror, their various intensity and strokes on the “mirror” surface will trigger an assortment of musical and sonic elements, which are both traditionally influenced and electronically generated.

A post-show talk will commence upon the completion of the performance segment. A facilitator approach is used to conduct and direct the talk, with the occasional appearance of prominent Singapore artists and practitioners as guest facilitators.

Show Dates

Performance & Post-Show Talk
25 July, 7:30pm – 26 July, 1:00pm and 7:30pm – 27 July 1:00pm and 7:30pm
Interactive Installation
25 July, 1:00pm to 10:00pm – 26 July, 10:00am to 10:00pm – 27 July, 10:00am to 10:00pm

Venue: Aliwal Arts Centre (Multi-Purpose Studio)

Project Plug: Let’s not be Sentimental by Li Shan

They are Frankie and Jane, both born on November 22nd. Frankie calls himself  a collector, but according to his sister Jane, he is a hoarder. Jane is an artist and decides that Frankie should get rid of some of his stuff. Frankie agrees on the condition that Jane creates an installation piece using his possessions.

Let’s not be Sentimental is the graduation project of Li Shan, a Surface Design graduate from the London College of Communication. “The project documents Frankie’s possessions and records what each item means to him. In my  book, each object is photographed and comes with short paragraph on the memory that the object holds.”

 

Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century

(from the press release)

Entitled Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century, Sculpture Square‘s sixty-nine-day multi-disciplinary exhibition showcases seminal moments at the turn of the century, and looks at how representations of the Body in the arts and other burgeoning counterculture movements reflect new cultural moments in Singapore. From photography, films, music to performance arts, the Body becomes a central artistic medium.

Curated by Sculpture Square’s Artistic Director, Alan Oei, this wide-ranging show draws a common thread through different art forms in the last twenty years. Alan says, “We tend to look at the life of different disciplines separately. Instead of looking at how each discipline evolved in relation to its predecessors, why not reframe that discourse and look at how our artists respond to the larger milieu. So much of their art uses the body as a medium or motif chafing against the paternal authority of the state. The representations of the body, both in popular media and in anti-establishment art forms – tell us so much about who we are, as individuals, as a nation.”

Ghost locates the artists’ practice within Singapore’s cultural representations of the Body, and how they use their bodies – unmediated, unscripted, ephemeral, and most of all, visceral – to counteract popular notions and stereotypes engendered by society. In addition, Ghost features new and younger artists, such as Choy Ka Fai who creates an almost sinister dance project to record and control the body, and Esther Lowless, whose music is driven heavily by her schizophrenia and the subjugation of her rational self to the body.

This exhibition is especially important as the Internet and global capitalism has brought about a paradigm shift of both physical and social relations. Oei suggests, “We can see a countervailing effort in this show. At the very moment where physical geography seems to matter less and less within the new global order, the Body emerges as a central artistic medium across different genres and art forms.”

The artists exhibiting are:

Singirl by Amanda Heng  at the Chapel Gallery – Project to amass a collection of women’s gluteus maximus, with a future view to a parade contingent. Singirl is an ongoing series on cultural commodification and national marketing. Prospectus for a Future Body by Choy Ka Fai at the Gallery Block – An installation that showcase a memory bank and system that duplicate, reproduce and control dance choreography. New Commission by Esther Lowless at the Gallery Block – Performance-sound installation to recreate the experience of hypochondriasis, anxiety disorder – the destabilization of the body. Mee Pok Man by Eric Khoo at the Chapel Gallery – Selected footage of the film, with original painted cinema banner and an installation of a scene. Street art on Chapel by Jahan Loh & Mazlan Ahmad at the Chapel Gallery (exterior) – Full building mural by street art pioneers incorporating SSQ and cultural history. New Presentation by John Clang at the Front Courtyard – A billboard and horizontal presentation of John Clang’s Beon’s series. New Commission by Lee Wen at the Chapel Gallery – A negative sculpture / cast of Lee Wen’s back. New Presentation by Li Xie at the Chapel Gallery – Approximation of The vaginaLOGUE through its set, objects, audience drawings, in addition to one to one encounters, in the form of an installation. Ray Langenbach’s Archive by Loo Zhihan at the Chapel Gallery – An archive presenting the 7 days of Artists General Assembly in 1993. Torso to Face (Female) by Ng Eng Teng (b. 1934 – d.2001) at the Gallery Block – An enclosed presentation to focus on the sensual, material presence of the sculpture. Stompin’ Ground by Suhaimi Subandie at the Chapel Gallery – The struggle of a Malay artist in Singapore presented through his music, memoirs and artifacts. The Professor Speaks by X’ Ho at the Chapel Gallery – Pseudo documentary account of Singapore and Woodstock.

Ghost: The Body at the turn of the Century opens today and runs until 31 December at Sculpture Square, 155 Middle Road. Opening hours: 11am – 7pm (closed on Mondays). Admission is free.

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