As the companion exhibition for The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) 2012 double-bill, The Singapore Show: Future-Proof is one of the biggest shows devoted to local artists in recent years. The name suggests our anticipation – Future – this exhibition showcases works of the new generation of artists who will drive the next wave of contemporary art development in Singapore.
Future Proof features 26 of Singapore’s young local talents, signalling new possibilities for the future of contemporary art here at home. The artists are set to challenge existing benchmarks and to push boundaries set by contemporary art pioneers. What you get are fresh ideas and original concepts of the next generation of local artists through over 35 artworks in the line-up.
Exhibition curators Khairuddin Hori and David Chew explain the artistic practice of these mix of new and established artists takes us from streets to galleries, addressing a wide range of local and geopolitical issues. The works are exhibited along three key themes – looking at the rise of subcultures; how elements of the performative are in contemporary arts; and how young artists today look at the landscape they are living in through different divices. The works feature artists’ take and concerns on street art and non-traditional contemporary art, including issues with the state of the country and its various social, physical and political landscapes.
Artists Grace Tan and Randy Chan speaking to the media while we observe the setting-up process of their work. Grace Tan comes from a background of fashion design while Randy Chan works in the architectural field.
LaSalle graduate Melissa Tan’s Under the Blanket of Bedrock, is a work smaller in scale compared to the others. In this work, Melissa returns to the fundamental of drawing and explore the configuration of lines within its geometrical design, injecting the accidental by creating those lines with burning incense sticks.
Ruben Pang with his work Justice, Theatre no. 12. Instead of painting on canvas, Ruben paints on the flat and cold surface of aluminium panel and employs an intuitive method of painting, where he allows the very act of creation itself determine, one brushstroke at a time, his final product.
The work Ka-Khe, featuring a variety of symbols and characters from artist Speak Cryptic’s reserach, is the result of his study of Baweanese culture and in remembrance of his initial struggle with identity.
This show also provides opportunities for the young talents to explore bigger size and scale in their works, which is lacking in Singapore. A clear endorsement of these artists, this exhibition shines the spotlight on up-and-coming talent and serves as a critical platform for elevating their profiles, providing an avenue to exhibit their works alongside established regional artists in the concurrently presented Chimera.
Take a day to walk around The Substation, 8Q and SAM to view this exhibition. Be inspired by the young talents.
There are many wonderful works featured, we wish we can show all here but the list is too long. Artitute will mention a few of our favourites here:
After the Flood #1, #10, #11, #12
52 x 77cam, 52 x 231 cm
Genevieve Chua’s works explore the fear of the unknown and often involves the appropriation of Southeast Asian horror towards new narratives. After The Flood is hypothesized as a large expanse of space that has settled after the hypothetical 50th flood that would have hit Singapore. It is an ecosystem that consists of the most resistant of plants in the secondary rainforest, the Adinandra Belukar in Singapore. The monochromatic photographs are painstakingly painted with multiple layers of watercolour by the artist, creating a haunting and unreal atmosphere in an otherwise mundane everyday scene that one commonly encounters at the margins of forested areas in Singapore.
The photographs were shot at city locations in Singapore, in case you are wondering if Genevieve Chua has ventured into thick jungle unknown to us. She said that some of them places are located in Orchard Road, Bukit Brown and Lornie Road.
Mojoko + Eric Foenander
No One Can Save Us
Polyfoam, paint & varnish
300 x 240 x 100 cm
You cannot and will not miss this work. It is located just at the front of SAM.
No One Can Save Us is the result of a collaboration between Iran-born Mojoko (grew up in Hong Kong, now based in Singapore) and graphic designer Eric Foenander. This work is inspired by the exhibition’s title Future Proof. Its visual representation transcends language barriers, admonishing an outright, crucial message – the death of the superhero or the false idol, our sense of humanity and the natural world, all due to the society’s endless strive for perfection and lust for the material. From a toy or comic character, the superhero transcends its form and is used here as a metaphor for our fascination and blind faith to phenomenas and objects that seem great. No One Can Save Us affably reminds us that the superhero is not immortal after all nor is it as ‘super’ as it is thought to be. And we should be cautious not to become the frivolous superhero toy which we worship.
Look No Further
Site-specific installation at 222 Queen Street
At the media preview, this work is still in-progress. All we could see from 8Q was 2 headless bodies on the rooftop of 222 Queen Street.
Look No Further is an assembly of anonymous and headless bodies atop a building, all looking towards one direction into nothingness. It reminds us of the hollowness of our contemporary pursuits. Here, ‘the machine’ is missing or in other words ‘lost’, just like the people who are dependent on them.
The installation reminds us of how we have become drones who latch on to technology for its temporal escapism. We are slaves that conform not to the spiritual essence of a higher power but to a force that drives technological innovation that we ourselves create. Often we are no longer able to hold our heads high.
If A Tree Falls In The Forest
Robert Zhao holds a strong fascination to the natural world, feeding this sense of wonder with the use of his camera. His photographs explore the concept of control and what happens when Man tries to control nature. Claiming that he makes sense of the world through photography, Zhao is acutely aware of photographic discourse. Photography often appears truthful. We know for a fact that the subject we see in a photograph was at some point positioned in front of a shutter. However, in the digital age, truth and fiction no longer sit on opposite ends and the line distinguishing the two has almost vanished. Thus, Zhao also questions the nature and authenticity of documentary photography. Do photographs lie?
*All descriptions and explanations of artwork from SAM’s media pack.
Exhibition Date: 14th January to 15th April 2012
– Singapore Art Museum at 8Q (8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535)
– 222 Queen Street, Singapore 188550
– SAM Front Lawn (71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555)
– The Substation (45 Armenia Street, Singapore 179936)
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