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.


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.


Event Highlight! On Sonic Art

Intergenerational bonding is a rising social issue in Singapore today because of the lack of communication and age segregation between the different generations. Hence, people see the importance to further boost the amicable relationships between the different generations. There are efforts in the society to forge intergenerational bonding, but there is one event that hopes to address it by using sound – an unconventional medium – to improve interpersonal relationships and to connect memories of different generations as one.

(from the press release)

On Sonic Art is a live sound art performance that takes a less familiar art form and introduces it to a wider audience. Through this performance, Singaporean sound artists Hector Lee (26), Charlene Looi (30) and Jon He (27) aim to challenge the audience to look at everyday sounds and art in a different way by presenting them with new ideas.

The performance will be conceptualized through online audio submissions that are contributed by the public through an open call, utilizing new media technology and social networking platforms to engage the public. The sounds that they submit can be an intimate sound such as the voice of a parent singing a lullaby or popularized sounds such as the polyphonic ringtone of an old Nokia mobile phone.

Through this showcase, On Sonic Art seeks to create a collection of sounds that define each individual in Singapore and what sounds mean to them. The live performance will present a hybrid installation that features a multi-channel surround sound system that organizes and spatialize the contributed recordings.

The performance will be followed by a post show talk with the artists, where they will shed light on their thought processes when they were creating the works. The session is also aimed at educating the public about sound art and letting them have an intimate experience with a unique art form.

On Sonic Art is part of the i-AM 2013 Festival and will take place on March 2 at the Play Den (The Arts House) from 8pm to 9.30pm. Click here to book your ticket.


British Council launches Singapore Musicity

Launching today in conjunction with Archifest is Singapore Musicity, a programme of curated music that sits at the intersection of sound, architecture and experience. Musicity is an ongoing, city-by-city project by The British Council which brings a new dimension to architecture though the experience of music.

After six months of production, two UK recording artists and seven of Singapore’s homegrown recording artists have completed original tracks inspired by some of the city’s most iconic locations. Each track is inspired by its corresponding location’s famed history and artistic value.

The recording artists and their corresponding locations are: sonicbrat – Gardens by the Bay; Jason Tan (Octover) – The ArtScience Museum; KOFLOW – School Of The Arts; I Am David Sparkle – Asian Civilisations Museum; Muon – The Esplanade; The Analog Girl – Hong San See; Cosa Nostra – Singapore Art Museum.

As part of this international music exchange, two acclaimed UK recording artists worked with two Singaporean artists to produce special collaborative tracks – English songstress Mara Carlyle, known for her melodic tunes with critically acclaimed albums, “The Lovely” and “Floreat” worked with sonicbrat to produce a track for Gardens by the Bay; while UK music producer and musician Jon Hopkins, nominated for the Ivor Novello Awards and the Mercury Prize, and Jason Tan (Octover) composed a piece for the ArtScience Museum.

All tracks will be available through the Musicity mobile site. For more information about the project, please visit the site or the Facebook page




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.”



Exhib: The Hall of Mirrors by Bruce Quek

Opening today at The Substation Gallery is the Visual Art Open Call 2011 exhibition, an annual showcase initiated by The Substation in 2008 to support strongly artistic, critical and rigorous visual arts proposals. This year’s winning proposal is ‘The Hall of  Mirrors’, submitted by local artist Bruce Quek.

Bruce is a young artist who works with whatever seems appropriate at the time, often producing things which don’t seem to mean anything. This tendency might be traced to his training in sculpture at LASALLE, which often saw him scrounging for serendipitous pieces of scrap metal like some sort of deranged beachcomber.

The Hall of Mirrors is an installation that resembles an echo-chamber. Exploring the relationship between infrastructure and information flow, the project explores how conveyed information is often devoid of meaning and personal relevance. Situated in the gap between information and meaning, The Hall of Mirrors constantly changes and highlights the inexorable nature of time and the unpredictability of the environment. The installation uses publicly available and socially relevant statistics. The occurrence and reoccurrence of these statistics, measured in seconds and in minutes, are synchronised to clocks that constantly alert the viewers of their frequency and reality. The installation aggregates this information and ‘humanises’ these statistics by letting viewers experience them on a personal and individual level. Offering ample opportunity for reflection and self-examination, the work also asks the audience to consider the implications of the ways in which information is packaged and presented.

The Hall of Mirrors runs through 30 September at The Substation Gallery. Admission is Free.


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