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.

Exhibition: Path.1 by Boedi Widjaja

Opening today at The Substation Gallery is Path.1, a solo exhibition by Boedi Widjaja. Boedi’s Path proposal took the plaudits in the Visual Art category at this year’s Open Call programme organized by The Substation.

As the man gets into gear for his show, we briefly speak to him about his proposal, and what to expect at his first solo exhibition.

Who is Boedi Widjaja?

Identity is almost always tricky :-)

You are this year’s Visual Art recipient of The Substation’s Open Call programme, and you were also awarded a commendation at the UOB Painting of the Year competition. What does it mean to you for your work to be recognized in this way?

I am very happy and grateful for them. An artist doesn’t make art alone. Being the recipient of The Substation’s Open Call means that I receive tremendous support to develop, execute and present a new work to the public. I am thankful to the entire Substation team for taking that risk.

Tell us about your upcoming solo exhibition, Path.1. What is it about?

Path. 1 is the first episode of Path (Path. 1, 2, 3…), a series of works that presents drawing as live action and performance, and is an apparatus for me to uncover personal ideas of alienation in the city, spatial intervention, and home. In Path. 1, I will present frottages of the surfaces of my childhood homes in Surakarta; construct a surface-environment by lining the gallery walls with paper; invite gallery visitors to draw alongside on the surface-environment by using squash balls as mark projectiles; and record my exchanges with visitors through automatic drawings.

I understand that you will be keeping yourself very busy during the exhibition, and – as you just mentioned – visitors are invited to take part in the creation of the onsite artwork.

That’s right. Drawing and mark making in Path. 1 are methods to construct relational moments between the artist and the audience and his physical environment. The visual marks that unfold across the exhibition period are evidence of the artist’s repeated attempts at connecting with individuals and the city. To me, that is what the exhibition is really about.

Path.1 runs until 27 September at The Substation Gallery. Don’t miss it!

The Space Program by Foreign Policy Design

The creative folks at Foreign Policy Design recently launched the first insertion of their Space Program at the lobby of the New Majestic Hotel. In creating an intersection point where design, intellect and contemporary culture meet, visitors to the hotel  get to take a quiet moment to experience Singapore’s true contemporary culture right in the lobby of the hotel.

Yah-Leng Yu: “The Space Program is a location-specific project that endeavours to revitalize ordinary spaces by providing a unique experience that is part museum, store and installation. Re-interpreting and re-capturing the charm of ordinary spaces within a city, the program seeks to redefine and re-engage visitors where they can learn about local culture in an unconventional context. Intended as part museum, part retail store and part installation, it features a curated mix of objects where design, intellect and contemporary culture meet.”



Spotted! Aisya Rila

Aisya Rila is a year four Visual Communication student at Nanyang Technological University, Art, Design & Media. With a diploma in Film, Sound and video, her interests include a mixture of media and design. “I love video editing to the core, and I wish to explore into multi-disciplinary art using interactivity as a tool of communication.”

HI:SS (Hearing Images, Seeing Sounds is a real-time audio-visual installation exploring the expression of musical structures and translates them into compelling visuals. “This is my graduation project, and it aims to encourage the viewers to consider the possibility of composing with visual aesthetic rather than the customary aural one. By combining visual and musical thinking through aesthetics and tools of generative art, new improbable relationships are explored and possibilities are opened for variable audiovisual collective experiences.”


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