Spotted! Dzaki Safaruan

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Dzaki Safaruan received his Bachelor’s (Hons) in Fine Art from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in partnership with Loughborough University, UK. His art is a constant exploration of the “deconstruction of the mundane which involves a mix of spirituality, comic book culture and wordplay.”

“As Malay Muslim, I use my recent body of works to deconstruct the legacy of heritage and spirituality while examining my own faith and practice,” Dzaki tells us. “Symbolic objects from my faith are physically dismantled, reduced to their basic elements and then reinterpreted in different forms. This is the crux of my practice, choosing to break apart everyday subjects and objects.”

“In Tabula Rasa (Tak Boleh Rasa),the Islamic holy book, the Quran, has been ‘reconstructed’ into a blank book”, Dzaki explains. ” I sought to question the physicality of this religious object and what was more important: its mere physical form or its content (which transcends its physical existence). In essence, the ‘physical content’ of the Quran is still present in the work.”

View more of Dzaki’s work at the RUANG exhibition which opens today and runs until 21 September.

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Ning Chen’s Uniman

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Ning Chen creates bubbly illustrations that see her depict the little adventures of a happy flabby blob, all captured in vibrant pastel hues.

“It’s a Uniman!” she tells us by way of introduction. On the topic of what exactly a Uniman is, the icecream-R&D-by-day and illustrator-by-night explains that the idea came when she and her partner were racking their brains to come up with a new character to draw. “As you know pretty much every single animal or being have been converted or drawn into a character. Not till we came across a Sea urchin! We decided to use the innards of a sea Urchin, and it has been quite a fun and challenging to try to give a seemingly lifeless creature a form , its own character and also emotions. Upon first glance it is hard to tell that he is a Sea urchin, Uniman has been mistaken as a corn cob, a starfish, and also a lump of fat !?!?! . But when they finally realise Uniman is in fact a sea Urchin, hilarity and laughter ensues.”

What’s up with the Uniman character? “Basically, he’s the sole sliver of Uni that escaped from his shell, due to his overwhelming sense of curiosity. He approaches the world with naivety and a willingness to try everything, and he is truly comfortable in his own skin (being flabby yet flaunting it at the same time) #bodyconfident. So expect to see Uniman in plenty of new – slightly awkward – situations.”

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Exhib! Creativity in Pulses

The Identity Gyroscope by Fiona Tan

The Identity Gyroscope by Fiona Tan.

Flow by Ong Kian Peng (Supported by Modular Unit)

Flow by Ong Kian Peng (Supported by Modular Unit).

In Between by Zulkifle Mahmod

In Between by Zulkifle Mahmod.

(from the press release)

Held in conjunction with the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s (SCCC) official opening, Creativity In Pulses aims to bring fresh perspectives to the way we look at Singapore Chinese culture. The theme evokes a culture that embraces both newness and tradition, showcasing fresh perspectives yet acknowledging a deep rootedness in our culture and heritage.

The 21 works by 19 artists speak of new interpretations and perspectives of seeing and understanding our culture, values, traditions and history through the “lenses” of the various artists.

The exhibition draws from a wide spectrum of artists at the cutting edge of Singapore’s creative scene. From filmmakers, product designers, graphic artists, photographers and installation artists, the works displayed at the exhibition hope to provoke thought and conversation through each artist’s unique parsing of aspects of local Chinese culture.

The exhibition runs until 30 September at SCCC Gallery (Level 2). There are complimentary Guided Tours on week-ends: at 2pm inEnglish) and at 2.30pm in Mandarin. Free admission (Last admission to the gallery is half an hour before closing).

Images © Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.

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Banner Shuffle! Yanyun Chen

Yanyun Chen-banner 2017

Flower XI, 2016, charcoal on paper

“追花. Chasing Flowers. Chasing Flowers is a series of drawings investigating light and atmosphere through floral still-life. It began in 2014, with a question: “I wonder what flowers — if drawing in charcoal — would look like?”

The flower motif has been part of Memento mori paintings, and the vanitas still-life tradition since the 16th Century. It added a vibrant palette to the sombre theme, representing a kind of transient beauty, which was followed by a blooming, erupting, luscious decay. As a gesture and a tribute to this particular history of floral paintings, these flowers were drawn without colour, and not from photographs, but while bearing witness to its withering. Still-life drawings that are no longer still, but in the midst of dying.

To be with, in death, is perhaps the only way to remember that we are always, already, dying.

in memoriam mortis.” – Yanyun Chen.

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Spotted! Charlotte Lim

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We learned of Charlotte Lim at The New Now, a show at Gajah Gallery exhibiting the work of seven emerging artists.

Speaking to Culturepush, the Fine Arts Diploma student explains that her work revolves around the human body, its ornate form, its placement, its existence in a space shared amongst other matter.

“As an art form, I believe the human body and its different parts can be dismantled and remodeled; and be grounded in new meaning. The themes my works revolve around are space, power, and conversely, vulnerability and fragility.

All my works are derived from personal experiences, such as addiction, mental illnesses, being institutionalised – and thus attempts to physically manifest individual solace.”

The New Now runs until 17 September at Gajah Gallery. Check it out!

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