Exhib! NYANYI SUNYI (Songs of Solitude)

hilang gemilang

Hilang Gemilang by Izzad Razali Shah (2017)

Gayong, oil on canvas 90x70cm 2017

Gayong by Khairulddin Wahab (2017)


The Sweets Left a Sour Taste by Nadiah Alsagoff (2017)


Dia-S’porean by Rifqi Amirul (2017)

Stagecraft after lake

Stagecraft (After Lake of Singgora) by Hilmi Johandi (2017)

(from the press release)

Nyanyi Sunyi (Songs of Solitude) is an independent exhibition of six young Singapore artists— Hilmi Johandi, Izzad Radzali Shah, Khairulddin Wahab, Kin Chui, Nadiah Alsagoff and Rifqi Amirul—curated by Kamiliah Bahdar and Syaheedah Iskandar.

The exhibition explores connections and misaligned relations. These disjunctures, and the concomitant articulation of differences and otherness, exert an existential shaping of experiences and relations that inform our identities and positions.

Through a series of paintings, Khairulddin Wahab investigates the esoteric philosophy and exoteric practice of silat, a martial arts form indigenous to the region of Southeast Asia. His interest in silat as the subject of his work was piqued by a chance encounter of a family photo showing a pesilat (silat practitioner) at a wedding, where silat is often performed to honor, bless and protect the bride and groom. After delving into the roots and origins of this art form, Khairulddin found in silat the embodied form of Malay mysticism. His paintings contain symbolic and abstract representations of the spiritual elements of silat, and also seek to capture the aura of mysticism through his use of a muted dark palette, which conveys a mysterious yet ominous sensation.

Kin Chui fabricated letterboxes with the address 84 Onan Road, which is located in Joo Chiat. In pre-independence Singapore, this same address was a site of gathering and where information and thoughts were exchanged by the likes of Musso, Winata, Boedisoejitro, Soebakat and Tan Malaka—individuals who saw themselves as revolutionaries in exile from the Dutch East Indies for their struggle against colonial subjugation. 84 Onan Road was just a node in the larger regional network of anti-colonial revolutionaries who influenced, inspired and supported one another. This trans-national network is now largely forgotten. Kin Chui’s installation of letterboxes and letters is part of his continuing research into anti-colonial struggles and the politics of memory, and an attempt at reflecting on the shared regional histories together.

Nadiah Alsagoff often explores themes of identity and self through the body. For the exhibition, she created paintings on fabric informed by her experiences of disconnection and feelings of perturbation stemming from her inability to speak and understand Malay and Sarawakian Malay fluently spoken by her extended family residing in Sarawak, Malaysia. The Sweets Left a Sour Taste took place in her kindergarten class, when a classmate refused to share sweets with her due to her mixed heritage. Unable to defend herself in Malay, she kept quiet so as to avoid being validated as an outsider. In the paintings, the initial layer of brushstrokes are marred and defaced by moving the tongue across the surface of the cloth, portraying the ongoing conflict between familiarity and distance, closeness and separation that language engenders.

In his works of mixed media on glass and drawings on paper, Rifqi Amirul continues his interest in transit spaces and border places that is informed by his past experience of daily cross-border commuting between Malaysia and Singapore. His new series maps a psychological space onto the architectural environment. The architectural focus is emphasised by deploying the same glass used for windows as his support medium. On these glasses, he employs both painting and printing techniques: applying acrylic and resin with brush, pouring and screenprinting enamel, spray painting and etching directly on them. Sparsely populated by silent anonymous figures, these glasses depict cold, detached and isolating spaces. In contrast, noisy lines thin and thick overwhelm his drawings, imposing a sense of movement and chaotic rhythm to these same places.

Taman Rumit Bertumit (Complicated Garden) is a series of paintings that Izzad Radzali Shah has worked over the past year. He intuitively translates not only history and culture but also his surroundings, environments and memories into symbols, metaphors and cryptic texts on his canvasses. These serve as indirect expressions of his feelings on society and urban living—from issues of power and protest, to ideas of home and feelings of loneliness and confusion. He has said that, “Art is just a tool for me to bridge the gap between what I see and feel and what other people don’t see and feel.” As such, his canvasses function like diaries, although one that undergoes constant editing and re-editing as Izzad often works on the same canvas for months, adding and taking away various elements over many layers of paint.

Hilmi Johandi explores the construction of staged sets, whether film, theatre or others. His treatment of the subject unsettles the relationship between the reality of the set and the illusion on screen or on stage. In his drawing of charcoal and acrylic on canvas, Hilmi composes the depth and dimension such that the viewer is placed on the set itself, positioned not too far behind the opened curtains, reminisced of Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (1656). His works are characterised by an openness allowing for manifold interpretations. Dioramas, sets and props are revealed in fragments as set-ups, its illusory potential lying dormant.

The exhibition opens on February 4 and runs through 25 February (Tue–Sun:11am–7pm) at Gillman Barracks Block 47 #01-25.


THOUGHT LINES An exhibition by Berny Tan


Thought Lines Study #2

Thought Lines – Study #2, 2017

Thought Lines Study #5

Thought Lines – Study #5, 2017

Thought Lines Study #17

Thought Lines – Study #17, 2017

(from the press release)

In her first solo exhibition, Berny Tan presents a new series of twenty abstract embroideries, reflecting on the medium’s obsessive nature through the repetitive motion of stitching. Each study is created by adhering to sets of written rules, based on thought patterns and mechanisms that manifest within the artist’s personal anxieties.

Rejecting the image-making typical of traditional embroidery, the artist concentrates on meticulously enacting these systems. Yet, there remains a latent tension between the mechanical and the human – the pieces are intensely structured at first glance, but closer inspection reveals how every decision, inconsistency, and workaround is recorded in thread.

The series thus seeks to inhabit an ambiguous space where the delicate and the compulsive, the therapeutic and the torturous all coexist; where the desire for control also keeps perfection out of reach.

The exhibition opens on Thursday and runs until 28 January at Supernormal.


Exhib & Auction! 80by80

Axis / by Ian Woo
Christmas Tree 2008 by Deanna Ng
Guardian Angel by Lim Soo Ngee
Let me take care of you by Susie Wong

(from the press release)

A group exhibition featuring the works of 38 Singapore artists who have journeyed with the centre over the last 15 years. The artists were invited to each create a unique piece of work measuring 80cm x 80cm.

For the first time, all the works exhibited will be up for public auction from 19 October to 19 November 2017. Your support for 80by80 will benefit Esplanade’s free programmes, including its visual arts exhibitions, and go a long way towards Esplanade’s efforts to do even more for our artists and audiences.

To view the works in detail and participate in the auction, visit www.esplanade.com/80by80 from 19 Oct onwards.

List of participating artists:
Ahmad Abu Bakar, Angie Seah, April Ng, Ashley Yeo, Ben Puah, Chen Sai Hua Kuan, Chiew Sien Kuan, Christine Lim, Chua Boon Kee, Chua Chye Teck, Deanna Ng, Delia Prvacki, Ernest Chan, Ian Woo, Jeremy Hiah, Justin Lee, Mrydette, Lim Soo Ngee, Lina Adam, Miguel Chew, Milenko Prvacki, Oh Chai Hoo, Quek Kiat Sing, Raymond Yap, Speak Cryptic, Susie Wong, Tang Ling Nah, Tay Bak Chiang, Tay Bee Aye, Tay Questal, Teo Huey Ling, Victor Tan, Vincent Leow, Wang Ruobing, Yeo Chee Kiong, Yeo Shih Yun, Yong Kah Kin and Zai Kuning (Singapore)


Exhib! Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere

Somewhere Between Here and Now-01

Somewhere Between Here and Now-02

(from the press release)

Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere is a paper installation featuring a series of linocut prints juxtaposing popular culture icons. It is Lee Rui Xiang’s commentary on contemporary humanity with spirit and savage humour.

Lee obtained his Diploma in Fine Art from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. He has showcased his works in numerous group exhibitions since graduating, and has participated in the 1st Macao Printmaking Triennial in 2012. His works are found in the collections of local and international collectors as well as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.

18 October until 2 January 2018 at the Esplanade Community Wall, Level 3.


Noise x GIF Fest 2017

Adeline Tan

Ella Zheng a.k.a ellaisweird

Aik Beng Chia

Williem Siddik

(from the press release)

Presented by Noise Singapore and creative agency Kult, Noise x GIF Fest 2017 is billed as one of Singapore’s largest GIF events to-date. The Festival which caters to today’s technology-loving generation promises to capture the richness of the GIF (or graphic interchange format), an engaging medium which loops visual data, as an artistic medium and explore its role as a form of digital art, entertainment and creative communication.

The inaugural edition themed “Spellbound” will be held from 5 – 11 October 2017 at Block 7 of Gillman Barracks. The main event will feature an immersive exhibition of over 50 original GIFs, including selected works submitted by amateurs to professionals, 35 years and under, through the Open Call held last month. These specially commissioned GIFs will be showcased through projections, large screens including a mammoth LED wall, and secret rooms, all combining to create a spellbinding experience.

Programmed to captivate a broad range of audiences, Festival-goers can also look forward to curated fringe activities including workshops, live performances, creative dialogue sessions and more. Highlights include a workshop hosted by Aik Beng Chia, one of Singapore’s most followed street photographers on Instagram, who will share how to transform photos into dynamic cinemagraphs (animated photographs). A special edition of ‘Good Times’ featuring a live set between Kiat from Syndicate and Deborah Emmanuel, Singapore’s foremost spoken word poet. A performance by electronic duo .GIF, a GIF making workshop for kids, interactive art installations and inspiring talks by industry pioneers.

Over 500 GIFs were created by professional and amateur artists from across Singapore to the festival theme ‘Illusions’ and submitted to GIF FEST curators through the Open Call. 50 GIFs have been shortlisted and will be showcased at the Festival.

Entry to the family-friendly festival is free with pre-booking required for selected workshops and talks. Refer to the GIF Fest website for more details.


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