Into its 4th installment, minimART is a platform dedicated to young contemporary artists, to showcase original fine art works ranging from paintings, sculptures, photography, installation, performance and other forms of contemporary practices.
In response to an Open Call, artists present their themes through interpretation and expressions of their ideas in contemporary art form. Each artist filled a 1m x1m x 3m space with his/her exploration of any chosen topic.
The works include visual interpretation, paintings, videos and performance art. The interesting part of this idea is that visitors get to talk to the artists, chat or discuss with them on the presentation, or simply to get more information from the artist himself/herself about the work. In a way, the artist not only had to present an idea, create an artwork, answer visitors’ questions, but also to present himself/herself. It is a challenging and exciting experience for both artists and visitors.
I like to watch the artist at work and seeing the process coming to an outcome. Artist Rachel Jordan was just seated under the spotlight, dwelling into her doodling creation and talking to someone when I walked past. You cannot miss her as she was literally under the spotlight, seated at a long table that was filled with tools and materials. She has transformed the 1m x 1m x 3m space into a work-station. Some works were put up on the wall just behind her. Noticing my gaze, she looked up with a big smile and was delighted to explain her work to me. It is a warm feeling to be able to speak causally and freely with an artist and listen to the ideas, and watching them work.
Artist Terry Wee also shared with me about his concerns and thoughts of art-making being too political or getting too much involvement with the religious context. Despite these serious conversations, I was simply mesmerised by his washed newspapers creation. The description of his newspaper washing may sound strange to some, but I feel that it is really important that the visitors get an insight to the actual process and concept. I appreciate how he has pointed the details of the water texture to me, and sharing with me the washing method. By the way, the classified pages are the best, according to Terry, as they have lesser coloured pigment. He was looking for jobs at that time, thus the reading of the classified pages. I am not sure if he has found his ideal job, but he has become quite an expert in newspaper washing nonetheless.
There were performance art and videos presentation at schedule time; there were visual, live and sound experiences to fulfil one’s artistic weekend. Artist Nicola Anthony was clever to execute her work not just using visual presentation, but also ‘moving images’, ‘sound’ and audience participation – both online and live! Nicola presented her Word Collection where she invites anyone to share words of “I feel/I think / I am”. The words are written on tags and displayed at her corner. The tags are also worn by a performance artist who walked around the gallery to invite visitors to share their words. As for ‘sound’, when you stood closer to these tags, you can hear the whispering of other people’s words and thoughts.
Some works speaks for itself, or maybe for the artist too. I did not get to speak much to artist Calvin Pang but his piece ‘Time’ speaks loud and clear to me. Only the seconds hand was found on the little clock. The ticking sound of this little hand can be so loud in my ear even though the gallery was rather noisy. I hear the time passing more clearly, thus I feel the time moves, and then I feel my life moves. Ironically, I had to rush off at that moment, otherwise I would have stayed on to experience Calvin’s work – I already had the vision of the clock in my head, I just want to close my eyes and listen to the seconds hand tick, and feel the anxiety, or the calmness within. I hope to do that one day, when I have more time. Before I left, I shook hands with Calvin and took his namecard. There was a link to some photos on the card. I asked if he does photography too, he answered with a humble smile,‘ I used photography to document my research, my work, but I’m not a photographer’. It is rare to get that nowadays as there are many people who think that they are artists just because they paint. I love Calvin Pang’s true answer.
minimART 4.0 happened on 23 March (2 to 8pm) and 24 March 2013 (12 to 6pm) at The Substation Gallery, 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936.
Lee Lip Jiang
Joy Ho from School of the Arts
Martin Hong from Nanyang Technological University
Vivien Koh from Lasalle College of the Arts
VIDEOvoiddeck is curated by Wesley Leon Aroozoo
For more information on minimART4.0 programmes and participating artists: www.minimartsg.com/programme.php
Find out how you can support the artists :
For enquiry, please email [email protected]
minimART 4.0 is co-presented with The Substation and supported by National Arts Council.
The organisers of minimART are grateful to all who showed up in support.
Written and photographed by Karen Mitchell