Our memories can transform, fade or be erased, allowing a new version of the truth to be created. There may be many details which go unnoticed in our fast-paced lives.
What if these invisible fragments are the missing pieces which complete the puzzle of life?
The NPE Art Residency at Kallang may have the answer, contained within the brand new NPE Gallery, which launches in Singapore this Thursday. Artists Hélène Le Chatelier and Deusa Blümke will exhibit with works which have been produced during their time as artists-in-residence, tackling ideas of perception, memory and the unspeakable. Through their art, they invite us to take a closer look at the the discarded, the unseen, and the unspeakable.
The residency has been established since 2015 in Kallang, and is now opening up its doors to public to come visit it’s massive studio space and plethora of art fabrication tools, machines, materials and wonderment. So this opening is a double-whammy for us art-curious folk: See this exciting new body of artwork, not in a shiny CBD gallery but in the creative spaces where it is born. The artists will be present to further enhance your behind-the-scenes experience at the public opening this week, and by appointment during the course of the exhibition.
In this exhibition both artists examine the processes of construction, deconstruction, and transformation. Traces and details have been expanded and brought into focus. Deusa’s layered surfaces draw our attention to the small details that can get overlooked: flecks and gestures of paint become the focal point in her Second Chances series. The edges, creases or ends of her paper are revealed as the subject in her Wonder Woman pieces made from coiled paper strips. Found objects and discarded materials are given a new identity throughout her new body of artwork.
In the Heliocentric series Hélène uses photography to highlight the unseen. Her delicate black circles are reminiscent of planets, but in fact they are micro details of her working table after a painting session: “The traces left on the table were sometimes telling more of me and what I wanted to express than my artwork itself”. Observing this, Hélène further enhanced the marks on her work surface by adding ink, graphite and chalk: scratching, erasing, wiping and skin printing. She makes these transient imprints permanent through photography and digital fine art printing.
The artists also question the recording of memory. Hélène’s Missing Parts series expresses the nature of the human mind when recalling unspeakable memories difficult to share with others. Hélène erases or cuts out sections, transforming handwritten letters, memories and words into something that is lighter, no longer painful, and possible for the mind to process.
Through a similar action of deconstruction and reconstruction, Deusa manipulates her materials, inspiring the viewer to see new possibilities whilst also noticing what might have been lost in the folds. By layering and creasing discarded paper, metal and plastic, she creates a new identity for the materials. When we look closely we can discover hidden marks and forms appearing as her materials are transformed into art: “I am redirecting their purpose and creating a new destiny for them…The same happens in human lives and relationships. We are always changing, struggling and making great discoveries.”
Both artists have experimented with new techniques informed by the environment at NPE, in Deusa’s case incorporating found objects such as ink from discarded printer ink cartridges used in the printing process at NPE’s print workshop, in Hélène’s case experimenting with a new digital fine art printing process and using her time at NPE to create two projects which she has been wanting to realise for some time.
The residency itself was founded by Singaporean art mastermind Daryl Goh. We can look forward to an exciting roster of Singaporean and local based artists from NPE Gallery. The current artists are both based in Singapore: Deusa Blümke was born in Brazil and graduated with Masters of Arts Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2016, her work was invited by the Brazilian Ambassador to Singapore to inaugurate the first solo show of the Brazilian Cultural Centre, at the Brazilian Embassy. You will have seen this prolific painter’s works at Singapore’s art fairs and exhibitions in ION Art Gallery. Hélène Le Chatelier currently lives and works in Singapore but studied art in Paris where she specialized in Fresco painting, and has since embraced various artistic modes of expression (chinese ink painting, sculpture, photography, installation, writing and more). You can currently see her work at Intersections Gallery as well as NPE Gallery.
Since establishment in 2015, we are told that NPE Art Residency has hand- selected contemporary artists, inviting them to expand, nurture and develop their skills, whilst collaborating with other creatives and NPE’s fine art digital print and paper experts. With the 2017 addition of the public gallery they are opening up an incredibly exciting, creative, exploratory space to a wider audience: enabling artists to showcase their resulting works, the new directions of their artistic practice, as well as give insight into their creative practice.
Event on Facebook: RSVP here, free exhibition
Opening Reception: 22nd June 2017, 6.30pm, catered by our sponsors Pastamania
Exhibition: 23rd June – 23rd Aug 2017, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm.
Address: NPE Gallery (Level 2), 39 – 41 Kallang Place, Singapore 339169