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Reclaiming Singapore: Open House! Marina Bay

Ever engaging, at times voyeuristic, and always topical… the Open House! franchise returns in 2013 on a much grander scale, this time taking visitors through the gantries and security entrances of corporate Singapore.

Ever engaging, at times voyeuristic, and always topical… the Open House! (OH!) franchise returns in 2013 on a much grander scale, this time taking visitors through the gantries and security entrances of corporate Singapore.

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Left: :phunk Studio’s “Love Bomb”; Right: studioKALEIDO’s “Shelf Help”

An event like Open House! is (or should be) every curator’s/artist’s/art-lover’s dream – this is where Art meets Life, outside of the hermetically sealed, sterile confines of white-walled galleries, and in the real-world arena of signs and ideas.

Whilst a small handful of artworks presented could easily pass off as being part of host-venue corporate collections, all in all, the installations in Open House! move beyond being merely decoration, and instead play a more important role in generating dialogue.

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Left: Photography by Nguan; Right: Photography by Mintio

The commissioned works and their settings inform each other, adding narrative depth on a reciprocal basis. Mintio’s “Tributaries” will greet visitors at the beginning of the tour with its immersive presentation of light-information captured along the Singapore River (the original artery for the commercial pockets in old Singapore). Tan Peiling “As They Gathered Here Together in Heaps” brings a different sensorial dimension to our everyday experience of the city.

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Frayn Yong’s “Fragile Structures”

Two standouts include Frayn Yong Kian Ming’s “Fragile Structures” and Shubigi Rao’s “Blotting the Ledger”, both of which highlight the negative spaces and invisible cultures that permeate our Central Business District. While they might be the less eye-catching works of the bunch, they stand up to repeated viewing due to the power of their visual and conceptual elegance.

Whilst the tour certainly has no shortage of colour, levity, and humour (works by :phunk Studio and Spell 7 are sure to be crowd-pleasers), there also lies a not-so-veiled critique on the hidden tensions between Singapore’s public branding and its less defined national ethos. The level of discussion Open House! engenders will determine its success as being a mirror to our local society; as entertainment, the event consistently performs its role exceedingly well.

Open House! has always been a popular event. To avoid the queues, pre-purchase your tickets now at http://www.indiegogo.com/ohopenhouse. Visitors are required to bring ID (Identity Cards or passports) for access into secured areas.

Event: OH! Open House Marina Bay: The Happiness Index

Where: Marina Bay Financial Centre, Tower 3, Level 3, outside DBS Bank branch

When: January 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 (Saturdays and Sundays). Tours leave every 15 minutes with the first at 11am and the last at 3.30pm

Admission: S$20 at the door

Enquiries: If you have any queries about the event, contact the Open House team at [email protected] or +65 6338 6745.

Images: Courtesy of Open House!

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About YenPhang (35 Articles)
In spite of his legal training, Yen has chosen to pursue a career in the visual arts. Apart from being a closet-painter, Yen Phang is largely still an unknown quantity. Forever random, but always polite.
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