FUTURE WORLD: ArtScience Museum’s Funnest Permanent Exhibition To Date

Imagine, play and explore in ArtScience Museum’s new permanent exhibition, Singapore’s largest permanent digital art gallery.

Funnest is a very troublesome superlative adjective to use, but I really can’t find a better word to describe my recent visit to the ArtScience Museum’s latest permanent exhibition. Enter FUTURE WORLD: Where Art Meets Science. The permanent exhibition which also happens to be Singapore’s largest permanent digital art gallery marks the ArtScience Museum’s fifth anniversary and runs from 12 March 2016 onwards.

True to the ArtScience Museum title, the exhibition is the culmination and interplay of art and science; despite both being commonly acknowledged as opposite ends of the spectrum. Collaborating with ultra-technologist group teamLab, the two establishments have created a massive digital playground (1,500 square metres or a quarter of the museum’s total gallery space) consisting of 15 major art installations for both adults and children to play and explore.

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The museum also sought to create an exhibition for visitors to reflect and contemplate their own position relative to the natural world, other people and the universe. I was given a guided tour by ArtScience Museum associate curator Jerry Gunn.

Unlike most exhibitions where any attempt to come into contact with the artworks warrants a boot out of the exhibition space, Future World invites the young and old to engage and even co-create art. Future World is organised into four themes: Nature, Town, Park and space.

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The adventure begins – in Nature – with a stroll through an interactive world of flora and fauna created entirely by digital technology. Once in the garden of sorts, flowers begin to form at the flooring where I stood. When I trample on the flowers, the petals begin to dislodge from the flower bud. I was also told by Gunn that any contact with the butterflies on the animated walls will ‘kill’ them. While many people simply come to the gallery to snap photos, the broader objective is for visitors to reflect on the intricate relationship we share with our surrounding environment.

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In Town, kids and adults are invited to collaborate and create their own artworks. In a fictitious town based on Singapore, we are invited to fill the landscape with cars, buildings and spaceships of our own design. The kid in me emerged and I got to work with colouring my own spaceship in ridiculous hues. Upon doing so, we can have our drawings animated on screen, and turned into paper craft patterns! How cool is that? Occasionally, a dragon pops out to destroy the city. Visitors can collaborate to defeat the dragon by touching on the spaceships.

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Moving away from the Town into Park, I was mesmerised by the Universe of Water Particles – a seven-metre tall waterfall created by digital programming. I was told by Gunn that this installation was made possible after months of programming and collaboration among physicists, programmers and artists.

The water particles are digitally programmed to produce an accurate water fall simulation that flows in accordance to the laws of physics, hence the uncannily real waterfall.

Finally, I ventured into the most-talked-about section of the exhibition – Space. In many ways, outer space has and will always be mankind’s final frontier (I quote Star Trek). Step into the heart of the universe in Crystal Universe and witness from within, the illusion of stars and galaxies in an elaborate light show. This installation is powered by 170,000 LED lights. Think Interstellar and imagine yourself in it. Thanks to teamLab’s interactive 4-D Vision technology, visitors can also ‘change the fabric of the universe’ using their smartphones.

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Standing before the artwork, I found myself drunk as I lapped up every detail in the Crystal Universe. It’s one of those moments where you feel so insignificant in the vastness of the universe, so tiny in the grander scheme of things. But I’ve never felt more alive, and filled with hope. A quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist came into my mind; “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Frankly, I can’t think of any reason to dissuade readers from visiting the Future World exhibition. Catered to both kids and adults alike, there’s something to interest all age groups. This could be the best S$16 you will be spending, but be sure to read the descriptions at each of the installations so that you can have a deeper understanding and appreciation for this remarkable exhibition.

One of my takeaways from this exhibition was also the intrinsic relationship between art and science. American playwright Wilson Mizner once wrote “Art is science made clear”. Science can be used to create art (as seen in Future World) and at the same time, there is a certain artistic aspiration in mankind’s pursuit of science. Hence, we see that both art and science have roles to play in their respective habitat – they are not mutually exclusive.

Many thanks to ArtScience Museum associate curator Jerry Gunn for taking time off to give me a private tour. I enjoyed it terribly and I’m sure everyone else would.

P.S. I got over my embarrassing post and did eventually meet Julia Vasko in person. She seem to have gotten prettier. I shall not embarrass myself further (Laughs).

Ticket Pricing:
Adult : S$16
Concessions and discounted prices available for Singaporeans, senior citizens, students and children. Visit ArtScience Museum’s official website here for more details.

 

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Singapore Contemporary Art Show: Inaugural Edition Review

PHOTO: Courtesy of Fabrik Gallery | ‘The Paradox of Beauty’ | Oil on canvas | Myoung Jo Jeong

Singapore Contemporary Art Show made its debut in Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

No, there aren’t any cockroaches or rhino installations here. But there’s Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and a whole ensemble of some of Asia’s most talented artists represented here. New kid on the block, Singapore Contemporary Art Show is no greenhorn. Having run 7 successful shows in Hong Kong, their inaugural Singapore edition themed ‘A World of Art’ presents more than 3,000 artworks and art installations from 65 exhibitors and artists.

Showcasing quality contemporary artworks and installations of successful established artists, as well as works from some of today’s most promising emerging artists in the lacking mid-tier art market, visitors can expect to find works ranging from S$10,000 to S$100,000 and up. Tickets were priced at S$30 for single day and S$54 for a three-day pass.

Despite taking place alongside Singapore Art Week anchor Art Stage Singapore and a pre-show controversy, Singapore Contemporary Art Show attracted a respectable number of attendees – more than 16,000 visitors visited over four days (The Straits Times, 26 Jan 2016).

Reuelwrites got into the thick of the action and discovered that Singapore Contemporary Art Show is more than just ‘another art exhibition’.

Artworks

Artworks by Asian artists made up about 70% of the exhibits at the show, this arrangement probably owing to its parent show, the Asian Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong. Art enthusiasts who have walked the ground in other art exhibitions would have found some familiar faces (galleries) participating in this year’s show.

In spite of this, there is a rich diversity in the artworks curated and there’s something for everyone. More than once I found myself impressed and even captivated by some of the artworks presented at the show. Below are some of the works that caught my eye.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | The Paradox of Beauty | Oil on canvas | Myoung Jo Jeong

I am a big fan of hyperrealism paintings and why South Korean artist Myoung Jo Jeong wasn’t in my radar is beyond me. Even though it wasn’t the most expensive artwork (approximately S$38,000), Myoung Jo Jeong’s artwork (the first image in the blog) left me with the deepest impression.

I absolutely love Myoung’s idea of capturing the beauty of his subject from the ‘back’. While beauty in realism is often expressed through the subject’s facial features, I like that Myoung’s painting transcended popular conventions. I can imagine this being the show piece at the dining room in my house. Represented by Fabrik Gallery, Hong Kong.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | V.Host (2013) | Acrylic on canvas | Wang Min

Morbid, dystopia, and indifference. These are the words one could use to describe China artist Wang Min’s works. Step into Wang Min’s imagination of humankind’s not so distant future where cloning is a norm and we become homogeneous as a species.

For this rather depressing artwork, I was told by the gallery representative that the artist was quite the opposite. Definitely a striking piece although I can’t imagine seeing this anywhere in someone’s home. Represented by The Dragon Year Gallery, China.

Inner Wisdom

PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | Inner Wisdom | Acrylic on linen | Simon Wee

Traditional Chinese calligraphic art is very underrated. I love this artwork by our very own Singaporean artist, Simon Wee. It’s not just a mere stroke of the brush. Trained by master painter Chen Wen Hsi himself, Wee’s work exudes unrivalled strength and energy.

I remember accepting a consignment of Wee’s ink on rice paper paintings and having such a hard time convincing people to purchase it. It’s one of those artworks that’s perfect for the office and Wee deserves more credit. Represented by Tembusu Art Gallery, Singapore.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | March (2015) | Oil on canvas | Zorikto Dorzhiev

Back when I was working in an art gallery, one of my big ticket sale was an artwork by the young established artist, Zorikto Dorzhiev. Was delighted to find his artwork exhibited in the art show. Represented by Khankhalaev Gallery, Russia.

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Acrylic on canvas artworks by South Korean artist, Yoo Sun-Tai

What many people don’t realise is that art doesn’t just improve the aesthetics of one’s home, they can also create conversations. Such is the surrealism artworks by South Korean artist, Yoo Sun-Tai. Back in my gallery days, Yoo’s artworks were the crowd favourites. Represented by Galerie GAIA, South Korea.

Tours and Activities

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Complimentary art tours are available for art enthusiasts and members of the public.

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Indonesian artist Awiki doing a live painting.

Hats off to the entire Singapore Contemporary Art Show team for putting up such a pleasant, family-oriented show. There are so many activities going on for the four-day art show to which all guests and ticket holders get to enjoy. Get up to speed with the rising stars in the arts world by joining the many art tours, or get inspired by live painting demonstrations by the artists.

Visitors with children could also sign up for the complimentary kids art tours and art studio workshops.

Meet the Artists

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UK artist Jeff Murray introducing his artwork to members of the public. Murray also

One of the things I enjoyed most about the art show was being up close and personal with the artists behind the artworks. Beyond simply enjoying the intricate paintings and sculptures, what completes an art show experience is hearing from the artists themselves on their inspirations and their stories, et cetera.

Singapore Contemporary Art Show trumps Art Stage in this regard. The art show – which took place at the spacious 6,000 sq/m Suntec Convention Centre – is not overcrowded and there are ample opportunities for members of the public to interact with the artists many of which are present at their booths.

Overall, to term the Singapore Contemporary Art Show experience as mere pleasant is an understatement. Singapore Contemporary Art Show is for the art collectors who wants to acquire more art but isn’t ready to move into the top-tier art market, and for art enthusiasts who value an enjoyable art expedition without being overwhelmed.

If you are feeling gutted for missing out on the show, mark it down on your calendar and don’t miss next year’s show. Singapore Contemporary Art Show will return with its 2nd edition on January 19 to 22, 2017. For more information, visit their website here. RW

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Singapore Contemporary Art Show on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

Art Apart Fair: Supporting Local, Celebrating Diversity

PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Photo from last year’s fair

This year’s fair, the largest ensemble of fresh & emerging Singaporean artists features 40 local artists and final-year NAFA students.

Hotel-based boutique art fair, Art Apart Fair returns with its 7th edition turning the spotlight on local artists, featuring 20 final-year students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The fair was held in its ‘home ground’ at PARKROYAL on Pickering from 22 to 24 January 2016 with an entry fee of $10.

Other participating artists hail from Iceland, Japan, Korea, America, France, Thailand, and Malaysia.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Turnout from last year’s fair

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Photo of last year’s fair

While ‘rival fairs’ like Art Stage and Singapore Contemporary Art Show the new kid on the block sought to excite visitors with its impressive assembly of artworks by emerging and established artists from the region and beyond, Art Apart Fair would have none of that.

Artworks from local and foreign artists were housed in hotel suites on the 14th floor; promising a good sky view, intimacy and allowing visitors to exercise their imagination on how these artworks would look like on the walls of their own homes.

While international artists and big names like Yayoi Kusama were also represented there, the highlight was without a doubt, on our local Singaporean artists. I was delighted to find emerging artists Andy Yang and Valerie Ng’s works on display. Visitors and art connoisseurs can find artworks priced anywhere from S$300 to $50,000 with the majority between S$2,000 to $3,000.

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Artworks by Andy Yang | Acrylic on Canvas

 

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Screengrab from valng.com | Rocks Water Marks 1, 2015 | Watercolour & Pencil on Paper 31 x 23 cm

What I love about this year’s Art Apart Fair was meeting the young artists from NAFA and seeing them in action. Members of the public can also support these budding artists by ‘adopting’ an artist through Art Apart Fair’s Adopt-an-Artist initiative. The initiative allows these Patrons of the Arts to financially support the budding Singaporean artists’ ventures into residencies, art exchange programmes, and other exhibition.

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Final-year NAFA diploma student Casey Tan sharing the inspiration behind his work with fair visitors

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Final-year NAFA diploma student Ang Kian Hoe doing an acrylic painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger live at the Art Apart Fair

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Final-year NAFA student Geraldine Lim doing an alla prima painting of the Capitol Theatre front

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Chiew Niing | Titled Big Girls Cry (2015), oil on board by final-year NAFA diploma student Chiew Niing

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(From left) Final-year NAFA diploma students Yang Xiao Yun, Geraldine Lim, Chiew Niing

Unlike the bigger art shows, hotel-based fair such as Art Apart Fair presents visitors with the rare opportunity to engage the local and international artists in longer dialogue and deeper conversations. I met Icelandic artist Sossa Björndottir from Iceland with whom I enjoyed a hearty conversation with and whose artwork I warmed up to. It is Björndottir’s first time (and first exhibition) in Singapore and she told me she loves our local cuisines.

Gifted with the palette knife, Björndottir paintings transports viewers into her world back in Iceland – the source of her inspiration. Partnering with Icelandic poet Anton Helgi Jonsson, Björndottir creates artworks that are both whimsical and tranquil. Learn more about Björndottir and her works here.

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Overall, I had a great time at Art Apart Fair. While you won’t find hundreds of top international galleries and artists represented here nor ‘showstopper’ artworks found in Art Stage et cetera, Art Apart Fair allows you to breathe, relax, and connect with these artworks at your own pace.

Perhaps even more supportive of the local arts scene than the anchor exhibition of Singapore Art Week, I like the idea that the head honcho, fair director Rosalind Lim decided to make this edition all about supporting and giving fresh and emerging local artists extra exposure to the commercial arts world. All these are invaluable to the artists’ development – which in turn improves the local arts scene in the long run.

I was also surprised that I would discover other international artists to which I will be an instant fan of – such as Sossa Björndottir and Suzume Uchida to name a few.

The not-so-good: What I didn’t really like about the fair was the presentation of the artworks. For many of the artists sharing a hotel suite, visibility was priority. As a result, one finds artworks on the beds, pillows, everywhere. While there is a space restrain, I do wish that there is tighter quality control on the part of the curatorial team to up the already-pleasant viewing experience at Art Apart Fair. The curatorial team can also afford to be more picky with their choice of artworks to be displayed at the fair.

Nevertheless, I would like to raise a toast to Rosalind and her amazing team for their dedication to the local arts scene but it seems that they have their hands full with the 1st edition of Art Apart Fair New York (Oct 2016) and 2nd edition of Art Apart Fair London (Oct 2017). Congratulations on breaking through to foreign markets, you guys deserve every credit and success. RW

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Art Apart Fair on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

The Deep: A Whole New World Beyond Your Wildest Imagination

Bioluminescence, Gelatinous and Gigantic fang creatures? 10,000-year-old deep sea fauna? Satisfy your curiosity and get acquainted with a world you never knew existed at The Deep exhibition. 

The world just got bigger. For a long time, biologists have unanimously claimed that there is ‘no life’ at the bottom of the sea in the absence of light. Yet recent deep sea explorations has proved otherwise. Teeming with life in the seemingly barren abyss are bioluminescence sea creatures that glow in the dark, gelatinous transparent creatures, reefs and creatures that thrive at inhabitable volcanic vents and toxic methane seeps, in unimaginable diversity.

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According to the ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition The Deep, the deep sea is the Earth’s largest reservoir of life, yet only 10 percent of the seafloor has been mapped out so far. This brings “We have only just scratched the surface” to a whole new level. The Deep opened to the public on the 6th of June. I went in there a ‘clean sheet’, armed with deep sea knowledge that was close to non-existent and boy was I blown away.

Featuring the largest collection of over 40 deep sea creatures and images of fauna captured for the first time, The Deep is the result of hours of research, hard work (and ‘pleading’ biologists from all over the world to give away some of their rarest specimens for public education) put together by exhibition curator, Claire Nouvian.

The exhibition is presented in a pitch-black environment thus emulating the absence of light in the deep sea, and organized into eight zones each revealing findings at different sea depths. The final zone is dedicated to Nouvian and her efforts to raise public awareness of the urgency to protect and preserve the fragile ecosystem of the deep sea.

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I was fortunate enough to join the curator tour conducted by the very passionate Nouvian. Curator tours are one of the best ways to appreciate and understand the minds of the curators behind the exhibition conceptualisation. Unlike space explorations, deep sea exploration only really took off in the 1960s, making this breakthrough exhibition even more exciting (they are discovering new species and learning new things every year!). It’s truly amazing how there is even life to begin with under such harsh and uninhabitable conditions, yet we find such unusual, frightening and stunningly beautiful creatures at the bottom of the seas.

Even though the 40 extremely rare specimens on display are taxidermied (difference in environment, temperature, pressure and oxygen levels make it impossible for them to surface in the surface), it still doesn’t take away the thrill to know that you are in such close proximity with creatures that exists some 4,000 metres below sea level.

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The Deep exhibition makes one marvel at how these deep sea creatures can survive in such extreme, pressure-filled conditions in absolute darkness. Beyond simply educating the public, the exhibition also seeks to reveal how we need to protect these deep sea creatures and their habitats. Towards the end of the tour, Nouvian reminded that highly endangered Bluefin tunas who were once undesirable bycatch (unintentionally caught marine species) are now served all over the world. When the tunas run out, nets will be dropped even deeper into the sea to bring in other marine species to the dinner tables. Question is, which bycatch will end up on the plate then?

All in all, the exhibition was a visual spectacle and I really respect Nouvian for her efforts to educate the public on the spectacular yet mysterious world within the deep oceans. I hope the photos below will intrigue you to visit the exhibition. Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring your spouse, bring your girlfriend or boyfriend. I promise you, you will be amazed. This is one exhibition you wouldn’t want to miss. RW

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The DeepThe Deep, Jelly Benthocodon sp., © 2002 MBARI

ArtScience Museum, MBS

Opens 6 June 2015

Ticket Pricing: $14 / $12 (Local – flash your IC and purchase at counter)

Web Link:

Writer’s Note: All rights belong to the photographer (me). Requests for commercial use of photos will not be entertained. For requests for editorial use, kindly email me at kairoscommsg@gmail.com. 

After Utopia: Challenging Idealistic Perspectives on Utopia

What is your idea of Utopia? This is possibly one of the few questions you would ask yourself at Singapore Art Museum’s latest exhibition, After Utopia: Revisiting The Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art. Directly translated as ‘no-place-land’ in Greek, the fictional word first coined by Englishman Sir Thomas More in his book with the same title, was defined as (an unattainable) ‘perfect society in law, governance and politics’.

Four centuries on, mankind continues our humanist endeavour for this idealised society conjured by the Englishman which till this date, proves to be ‘fundamentally phantasmal’. Predicated on a sense that the world is not enough, utopian principles and models of worlds have been perpetually re-imagined, and continue to haunt our consciousness through the centuries. After Utopia questions, explores and documents these stories through thought-provoking exhibits and artworks. Ultimately, the exhibition seeks to enlighten patrons that we must decide for ourselves what is our own idea and concept of Utopia free of other’s ideological philosophies and such.

The exhibition is separated into four different sections, namely Other Edens, The City and Its Discontents, Legacies Left and The Way Within. I will try not to reveal too much because this is really a very well-curated exhibition with many intriguing and thought-provoking exhibits. Plus, it’s free for Singaporeans and PRs while foreigners pay only $10. You got to visit it. Viewer’s discretion is advised if you are intending to bring kids to the exhibition.

In Other Edens, the exhibition drew its association with the Garden of Eden, a biblical paradise where Adam and Eve was said to inhabit. The Garden and all of its accompanying creations of fruit and creature are often described as a Utopian symbol of paradise and perfection. It is also mankind’s fascination with the perfect paradise that drives them to explore, discover and colonise. This segment of the exhibition seeks to recreate humanity’s ideals and endeavours to explore and return to the namesake.

Adam & Eve Indonesian artists Agus Suwage and Davy Linggar’s Pinkswing Park depicting an imagined Eden filled with representations of an Indonesian Adam and Eve was so controversial, it was banned in its home country in Indonesia during the 2005 Jakarta Biennale.

 

IMG_9987 Don’t understand art very well? Docents and curator tours are available at SAM to help you understand the artworks better.

 

IMG_9970 Visitors getting up close and personal with Indian artist Jitish Kallat’s Annexation. Using the predatory relationship of animals and their prey, Annexation symbolises our own struggle for survival, setting into motion our relationships with other people.

 

In The City and Its Discontents, the exhibition looks at the city; the primary site of utopian pursuit with its spectacular infrastructure, alluring peoples with the idealised promise of paradise only to find that it was all too good to be true. Over-population, environmental degradation, and isolated living even in communal spaces challenges the concept of city as the fabled ideal destination. This segment of the exhibition looks at cities and its Utopian fallacies.

 

hdb2 Look into each cabinet, what do you see? Cabinet is a clever and thought-provoking installation by Chinese artist Gao Lei. The artist portrays the ‘concealed’ living spaces (HDBs) of Singaporeans through twenty-four peephole boxes each containing images from Gao’s earlier works. The voyeuristic experience of looking through each of these peepholes suggests the texture of urban living which is far from communal as each inhabitant has their own skeletons in the ‘cabinet’ that is kept out of sight.

 

IMG_9940 Paper planes.  Indonesian artist Yudi Sulistyo takes a look at the history of his country’s aerial military might whose glorious past was more feared than its present condition; paper planes and a toothless tiger.

 

In Legacies Left, the exhibition gives viewers a glimpse into the ironic, often bitter aftermath of broken social contracts and political promises. Fuelled by the euphoria of self-determination and the intoxication of revolution, these visions of a better tomorrow ran the gamut from socialism to multiculturalism, from dreams of social equality to the desire for economic parity. Today, however, the underside of those early aspirations haunts these modern and once-communist nation-states. The artworks in this gallery address the reality of these fractured dreams in surreal and sometimes satirical forms.

 

communist leaders Perhaps the most powerful rhetoric in After Utopia, Chinese artist Shen Shaomin’s installation, Summit features 4 Communist leaders in their coffins and a ‘sleeping’ Fidel Castro. While the effects of its policies continues to be felt by generations after to this day, the ideology of Communism today seems to hold out only the promise of ultimate failure like its human representatives laid to rest in glorified coffins.  
 
Don’t worry, they are made of silicone gel and will not get back up, although it is said that Castro is still ‘breathing’. Can you recognise all of the leaders here? IMG_0308 Shen’s art installation reminds me of another art installation in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Thailand drawing on a totally different theme but in similar fashion (image above).

 

In The Way Within, the artists contemplates the last century that was marked by conflict on an unprecedented scale. The betrayal of ideologies by political leaders, and dwindling hopes in real reform have led many to turn away from sweeping notions of changing the world or society on a grand scale. Instead, artists Svay Sareth and Kamin Lertchaiprasert, looks into how ‘Utopia’ can be found within oneself. Their works express their individual search for inner sanctuary – a reconciliation of self with the world at large. IMG_9993 A pilgrimage in kind, Cambodian artist Svay Sareth makes his own journey of self-discovery by walking from his home in Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia and the site of harrowing purges during the reign of the Khmer Rouge over six full days in 2011. Svay hauled with him a metal sphere 2 metres wide and 80 kilograms in weight. On his journey, he ate only food offered to him by strangers and slept on a blue tarpaulin, commonly used as shelter by refugees worldwide.

A type of performative art in kind, Svay journeys through war-ravaged Cambodia – his own rite of passage having been raised in refugee camps during the country’s tumultuous years. The performative art references from the traditional Asian practice of ‘coining’ – scraping the skin on the human body with an object to expel toxins, balance energy and hence achieve healing. The metal ball, dented and scarred by its journey and etched with questions scratched into its once polished surfaces by passers-by, now rests in the gallery, a moving testament to Svay’s unconquerable human spirit.

After Utopia

Singapore Art Museum Now Showing until 18 October 2015 After Utopia seeks to ask where have we located our Utopias, and how we have tried to bring into being the utopias we have aspired to. By turns, these manifestations serve as mirrors to both our innermost yearnings as well as to our contemporary realities – that gnawing sense that this world is not enough.

Ticket Pricing: $10 / Free (local)

Museum Exhibition eGuide: Link here

Imaginarium: A Fun-filled Art Exhibition for You and Your Kids

“CANDY HOUSE~~~~~!!!” shrieked an excited young girl when she saw the fabled stuff of legends; a real life ‘Candy house’. The mixed media installation titled ‘Dream House’ is a work by South Korean artist, Lee Jeeyoung and part of a greater exhibition collective, Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas.

A contemporary art exhibition centered around children (and the young at heart) as their main target audiences, Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas invites adventurers, dreamers, sojourners and today’s young explorers on a journey of self-discovery.

Imaginarium is the new edition of SAM’s much-loved annual contemporary art exhibition for children, begun in 2010 and now in its fifth year. In the spirit of SG50, this year’s exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, a symbol of a young nation on the rise with the capacity to dream big and think large. What might we be able to envision and aspire to? What worlds could we imagine for ourselves and create for others?

– Singapore Art Museum

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Create your own work of art. The embroidery installation is the brainchild of talented Singaporean artist, Izziyana Suhaimi. Using embroidery as meaningful way of expressing creativity, the installation invites visitors both adults and children to get their hands on creating their own works of art. Over time, the artwork occupies a space on the installation, adding to the installation’s tapestry of dreams and weaving together the makers’ shared future.

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Plant your own desire and let it grow. Visitors, both adult and child are invited to take a candy – symbolic of one’s wishes and desires for the future – from the Dream House and plant it in the adjacent garden. With every candy planted, the garden takes shape, eventually transforming into a garden in full bloom and shared dreams.

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Find a spot and watch local short films and international feature films together with your family and friends.

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Doodles from Singapore’s folklore by the ‘Band of Doodlers’ fill the walls of the 4-storey SAM 8HQ stairwell. Parents, look closer. You might recognise a few of these doodles from your childhood days.

Other exhibits include Chang Yu Xiang’s We Built this Estate!, Vincent Twardzik Ching’s Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive, Takashi Kuribayashi’s Trees, and Kumkum Fernando’s Kiko’s Secrets. Other activities include educators’ tour and talks, keeping yourself occupied in a ‘moonroom’, activity sheets for both children and adults, and more.

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While not exactly the type of exhibition that will satisfy the curiosity and inquisitiveness of adults, Imaginarium promises to be a fun-filled museum experience for parents and their children. Overall, the exhibitions gives children the opportunity to experience art in an interactive way, and adults to reminisce on past dreams and aspirations. I would like to think that the exhibits establishes in our children – and invokes in the adults – a sense of hope and optimism of one’s future, something all our children and we ourselves can do more of.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas is one of two exhibitions put together by the Singapore Art Museum. Locals get complimentary access to both exhibitions (please bring your identity card) while foreigners pay a nominal $10 entry fee for both exhibitions.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big IdeasImaginarium

Singapore Art Museum

Now showing until 19 July 2015

Ticket Pricing: $10 / Free (local)

Exhibition eBrochure: Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas