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6 Handy Road, #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234. T: +65 6337 6810 F: +65 6337 2234 E: mktg@yisulang.com Tue to Sun - 11am to 7pm / Mon & Public Holidays - Close

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CONTENTS

14 COMING UP

Mundane Ecstasy: A showcase of paintings by P. Perumal BREAKTHROUGH 2010 Singapore Art Society 60th Anniversary cum Launching of Artists Directory Parody of Impermanence: A Duet Exhibition of Art by Richard Chen & M. Siva Han Shunli Realism in Asian Art

18 SPOTLIGHT

Dealer in Focus – Y2ARTS

20 FEATURES

Choo Keng Kwang: Peace, Love and Hope

26 SITE SPECIFIC Jin Young Jhong

Lower Depths – 61 Kerbau Road Shoah Understanding Singapore Cinema by Asian Film Archive Treasury of the World Justin Lin - Cartographein Cerebrum (or, how I’d like to walk around in your mind to find the things we forgot) Masterpiece in Motion (SDT)

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CONTENTS

20.

22.

38.

31.

41.

28 REVIEWS

Staging Narratives: The work of five emerging fine art photographers A Review on the Preliminary Round of Theatre Idol by Action Theatre Looking for Fairness in an Unfair World — A piece of writing reflecting on Red Ballerina, a work-in-progress presented by Theatreworks Singapore Masquerade

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46.

64 DIRECTORIES

Singapore Art Guide / For Tourists / Malaysia Art Guide

68 CREATIVE RESOURCES

Artists Studios / Art Classes / Framing Services / Lifestyle / Photography / Transportation

Past, From the Present Tense: IMPRINTS The Street Has No Name MIYABI

INTERVIEW 48 THE PROJECT

70 POSTSCRIPT

How to behave like a tortured artist

Ketna Patel

59 SINGAPORE ART MAP

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Issue #6 (May 2010) ISSN 1793-9739 / MICA (P) 183/02/2010 www.confabmag.com

Cover Choo Keng Kwang

Editor-in-chief // Sabrina Sit / s@confabmag.com Art Director // Amalina MN / a@confabmag.com Photography Director // Michael Tan (Ambious Studio) Account Executive // Kayla Hoo / k@confabmag.com Contributors // Ivy Choo / Yvonne Low / Richard Chua / Syed Muhd Hafiz / Melanie Chua / Dr Alka Pande

Site Specific artist // Jin Young Jhong General enquiries and feedback // _@confabmag.com Submission of press releases // pr@confabmag.com CONFABULATION PRIVATE LIMITED (200906126N) 14 Robinson Road, #13-00, Singapore 048545 For advertising enquiries, please email ad@confabmag.com. All editorial, design requests, advertising bookings and materials for July issue of CONFABULATION should be received by 18 June. Printed in Singapore by International Press Softcom Limited. Copyright of all editorial content in Singapore and abroad is held by the publishers, CONFABULATION PRIVATE LIMITED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publishers. CONFABULATION cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to unsolicited material. CONFABULATION, ISSN 1793-9739, is published 12 times a year by CONFABULATION PRIVATE LIMITED. Every effort has been made to contact the copyrights holder. If we have been unsuccessful in some instances, please contact us and we will credit accordingly. Even greater effort has been taken to ensure that all information provided in CONFABULATION is correct. However, we strongly advise to confirm or verify information with the relevant galleries/venues. CONFABULATION cannot be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, alterations or errors that may occur as a result of any last minute changes or production technical glitches. The views expressed in CONFABULATION are not necessarily those of the publisher. The advertisements in this publication should also not be interpreted as endorsed by or recommendations by CONFABULATION The products and services offered in the advertisements are provided under the terms and conditions as determined by the Advertisers. CONFABULATION also cannot be held accountable or liable for any of the claims made or information presented in the advertisements.

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Published monthly, complimentary copies of CONFABULATION are available at several places around Singapore including the National Library, Singapore Tourism Board’s Singapore Visitors Centre at Orchard (junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road), MICA Building on Hill Street, leading art galleries (Opera Gallery at ION Orchard, Galerie Joaquin at The Regent and Sunjin Galleries in Holland Village), art groups and venues (The Luxe Museum on Handy Road and Sculpture Square on Middle Road), museums and lifestyle shops (STYLE: NORDIC on Ann Siang Road and Lai Chan at Raffles Hotel). To accompany your daily dose of caffeine, browsing copies are also made available at all good coffee chains in town.

For the environmentally-conscious, the PDF format of CONFABULATION can be downloaded from www.confabmag. com every month or simply flip through the magazine on the website using the online reader. Subscription price is SGD98 within Singapore and USD98 internationally. For subscriptions, renewals and address changes, please email subscribe@confabmag.com.

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COMING UP

COMING UP

This exhibition will showcase a treasured collection of paintings by P. Perumal, a much-appreciated contemporary master of South India. Perumal, a winner of the Indian National Award, is well-known for his portrayals of rural wedding ceremonies, of classic village festivals (such as bull-fights) and of families engaging in agricultural labour.

Mundane Ecstasy: A showcase of paintings by P. Perumal

Considered one of the top 100 artists at the end of twentieth century, Han Shunli was conferred the title of National First Grade Artist in 1988. He is Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region Federation of Literature and Art Circles, and of the Tibetan Artists Association; President of the Tibetan Painting and Calligraphy College; and a member of the China Art and Literature Union. His solo exhibition is presented by Yisulang and will span over two months.

Han Shunli

08.06.10 – 25.07.10 / The Luxe Art Museum / www.yisulang.com

03.06.10 – 16.06.10 / Gnani Arts Space / www.gnaniarts.com

Jointly organised by The National Art Gallery, Singapore and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Realism in Asian Art explores the impact of Realism in the development of 20th century Asian art.

fill your walls, an art gallery dedicated to promoting affordable art by local emerging artists presents “BREAKTHROUGH 2010”, an annual group exhibition that aims to develop new audiences for emerging local artists through its gallery space and online web portal.

BREAKTHROUGH 2010

03.06.10 – 19.06.10 / fill your walls / www.fill-your-walls.com

Singapore Art Society 60th Anniversary cum Launching of Artists Directory

05.06.10 – 07.06.10 / Ngee Ann Cultural Centre

A selection of 20 to 30 artists will be short-listed for the prize and included in an exhibition at fill your walls with an accompanying catalogue and high profile opening function - during which time the winner will be announced. Esteemed artist, curator, and Dean of Fine Arts at LASALLE College of Arts – Milenko Prvacki – will select the winning entry for BREAKTHROUGH 2010 at fill your walls.

Realism in Asian Art

09.04.10 – 04.07.10 / Singapore Art Museum / S$8 (ex. SISTIC fees) / www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

Unlike the way the Realist movement evolved in 19th century Europe, Realism in Asia applied the same concepts to a different context - expressing Asia’s grapple with modernity, independence and nationhood. The powerful images produced during this period often inspired and incited action, and were even at times, suppressed and banned. Through the display of a select group of paintings from ten Asian countries, Realism in Asian Art examines how this important art movement touched Asia, weaving together a fascinating tale of heroism, valour and hope, in a time of turmoil that plagued Asia during the 20th century. This show is a special research exhibition by the National Art Gallery, Singapore, held on the premises of the Singapore Art Museum.

The Singapore Art Society celebrates its 60th Anniversary at Ngee Ann Cultural Centre on 97 Tank Road. The event will be officially opened on the 5th of June at 3.30pm by Mr. Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister of Information, Communication & the Arts. This is an opportunity to see the works by many members of the Society over the two day period.

Image credit: Alfredo Manrique (Philippines) Karampot (Meager) c1978 Oil on Canvas 59.5 x 102 cm National Heritage Board Collection

In this highly unique performance, TheatreStrays, a new physical theatre group led by The Substation Associate Artist Elizabeth de Roza, explores the plight of Singapore’s poor and marginalized through the lens of Maxim Gorky’s classic play, “The Lower Depths”.

This will be a duet exhibition of paintings by China-born Richard Chen and India-born M. Siva. The enthralling collection suggests issues such as impermanence, sin, heaven and hallucination.

Reframed in a Singaporean context, this site-responsive, physically devised work – also produced by The Substation’s Associate Director Audrey Wong – will take place at Maya Dance Theatre’s shophouse on 61 Kerbau Road.

Lower Depths – 61 Kerbau Road Parody of Impermanence: A Duet Exhibition of Art by Richard Chen & M. Siva

09.06.10 – 12.06.10 / 61 Kerbau Road (premises of Maya Dance Theatre) / S$25 / www.substation.org

04.06.10 – 18.06.10 / The Gallery of Gnani Arts / www.gnaniarts.com 14 / CONFABULATION

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COMING UP

COMING UP

Join curator Nicola Kuok as she ventures into the magnificent world of the Great Mughal empire. Learn about the artistic and technical finesse of Indian craftsmen in the 16th – 18th centuries and their legendary patrons, the Mughal emperors.

Justin Lin - Cartographein Cerebrum (or, how I’d like to walk around in your mind to find the things we forgot)

Shoah

11.06.10 (Part I) – 12.06.10 (Part II & III) / National Museum of Singapore / S$8 (ex. SISTIC fees) / www.acm.org.sg

Understanding Singapore Cinema by Asian Film Archive 19.06.10 / Esplanade Rehearsal Studio / $15 www.sistic.com.sg

24.06.10 – 10.07.10 / fill your walls www.fill-your-walls.com Learn about the origins of Singapore Cinema and how it was revived in the last 20 years after a decline in the 1970s. Tan Bee Thiam, film curator and executive director of Asian Film Archive will discuss the development of cinema in Singapore and examine its national identity. What are the artistic and cultural achievements of key Singapore filmmakers? Relating these to our present day, what is the relevance of national cinema in an increasingly cosmopolitan and globalised society? Come and experience an opportunity to discover the value of Singapore’s film heritage.

Join curator Nicola Kuok as she ventures into the magnificent world of the Great Mughal empire. Learn about the artistic and technical finesse of Indian craftsmen in the 16th – 18th centuries and their legendary patrons, the Mughal emperors.

Treasury of the World

22.06.10 / Asian Civilisations Museum / S$12 / www.acm.org.sg

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Justin Lin Dongrui (b. 1989) studied art at the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) under the Integrated Program and has received a scholarship from the Ministry of Education as a Fine Arts Teacher. He completed an internship with the Singapore Tyler Print Institute in 2007 and has participated in a number of group shows including Pameran Poskad at House, Dempsey Hill (2008), 1st Small Sculpture Show at Sculpture Square (2009), and The Alfresco Art Fair at Clifford Square (2009). . Lin’s debut solo exhibition features meticulously hand engraved acrylic installations. Each work is composed of several acrylic sheets stacked together and installed as a multi-layered image, constructing an illusion of depth and spatial form through the use of judiciously applied linear mark making. The works deal with human perceptions of space: how we associate abstract thoughts with physical places and in what way these thoughts affect our interactions.

Masterpiece in Motion features SDT’s premiere of Serenade by George Balanchine, and a new work by Australian choreographer, Adrian Burnett as well as A Million Kisses to my Skin by David Dawson.

Masterpiece in Motion (SDT) 25.06.10 – 26.07.10 / Esplanade Theatre / S$90, S$70, S$50 www.sistic.com.sg

Serenade was the first ballet that Balanchine choreographed when he arrived in the United States. Premiered by the School of American Ballet in June 1934, Serenade, set to music by Tchaikovsky, is now a staple within the repertoire of many companies around the world such as San Francisco Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet etc. Created by David Dawson for Het Nationale Ballet (Dutch National Ballet), A Million Kisses to my Skin is a post-classical dance work that visualizes the baroque style patterns of Bach’s Piano Concerto No 1. Extravagant and free-flowing movements constantly emerge and dissolve across the stage, displaying a virtuosic vocabulary that is elegant and refined. Stating his inspiration for the new piece, Burnett says, “This work is the gathering of several impulses inspired by Osvaldo Golijov’s exhilarating music and the inner voices that inspire his musical thoughts. I wanted to choreograph a work that translated these abstract musical ideas into visual imagery.” It is an evening of masterpieces by these great choreographs in motion that is not to be missed!

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SPOTLIGHT

DEALER IN FOCUS

Y2ARTS The date 17th of April was an important one for young Chinese contemporary artist Liu Gang as it was his debut show in Singapore. Held at Y2ARTS (MICA building), the showroom displayed a series of hyperrealistic close ups of semi-clad (or unclad, if you would like it) male bodies. The event opening was an equally important one for the dealers at Y2ARTS although not for same reasons that a commercial art gallery might have and this may include whether the collectors might take to the introduction of the new find well or if sales for the show would be brisk. The presence of the artist who flew in from China and the sound of chatter drifting over glasses of wine made the event look very much like a regular exhibition opening reception. Among the crowd of avid art lovers and collectors were sculptor Michael Ong, previous Curator of Art with the National Museum of Singapore Choy Weng Yang and Director of Singapore Art Museum Tan Boon Hui. Any gallery director would be happy. The exhibition starts near the entrance with Kindred Spirit Series — 2008 (2008), where the heavy interlocking metal chains that were corroded criss-crossed over the bodies of three men to form the shape of a star, bringing to mind the national flag of the People’s Republic of China. In Kindred Spirit Series — Serve the People (2008), stands three men with one slinging the iconic camouflage green messenger bag 18 / CONFABULATION

imprinted with the infamous political slogan popularized during the Cultural Revolution, ‘为人民服务’ (Serve the People). The iconic symbols contrast with the recurring images of the masculine handgrip in Liu Gang’s works, sending strong messages of selfdetermination and overcoming socioculture differences. However, this is not an exhibition opening and the event is not held at a run-of-the-mill art gallery. This event was staged to introduce the artist to gallery directors and instead of fussing over the number of red dots on the walls, the dealers at Y2ARTS prefer to be signing contracts for representation of their artists with the galleries. At the event, the gallery directors are given the opportunity to experience first hand how the exhibition turnout might be and find out how well the collectors take to the artist. Liu Gang is just one of the eleven Chinese contemporary artists being represented by Y2ARTS and the list of artists is growing. The philosophy behind the company is simple. They handle the time-consuming process of going through mountains of portfolios and make numerous trips overseas to eventually pick out only the best young talents. These artists are then served up on a sliver platter to the galleries and from this part of the process on, galleries will have absolute sole representation of the artist of their choice. Judging by the success of the event, galleries will be tripping over themselves to sign artists with Y2ARTS. //

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CHOO KENG KWANG

FEATURE

Choo Keng Kwang: Peace, Love and Hope Text: Ivy Choo Image: Rearngsak Boonyavanishkul

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CHOO KENG KWANG

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FEATURE

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CHOO KENG KWANG

FEATURE

Choo Keng Kwang (born 1931, Singapore) is one of Singapore’s most eminent and beloved painters. Best known for his paintings of doves as symbols of peace and his enormously popular Chinatown scenes, Choo is an anchor figure within the oil painting tradition in Singapore. A highly accomplished painter, a committed educationist, a generous donor and supporter of social charities, the artist was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1976 and numerous distinguished awards and mentions throughout his career. His works have been sold at auction houses such as Christie’s International and Sotheby’s. As a public-spirited person and philanthropist, Choo is greatly involved in community and charity work. Choo’s images of Chinatown have been reproduced on national stamps and released as first day covers for a fund-raising project in 1989 as well as on phone cards to raise funds for the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC). The sales proceeds of his paintings were contributed to St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital, Touch Community and the President’s Star Charity Show.

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As an artist, Choo is widely recognised as one of Singapore’s first generation artists, along with his contemporaries like Georgette Chen and Liu Kang. His artworks have been commissioned by royalty, dignitaries and governments. Choo is also popularly known as the Painter of Doves and Pigeons. He has since the 1980s produced hundreds of paintings and sketches of these birds. Choo’s early pigeon works were tentative and exploratory. Before long, he developed his own distinctive style and approach, and soon established a firm reputation and following for his oil compositions of these birds. Choo began to rear pigeons and doves at his residence and studios, spending many hours studying their anatomy, habits, movements and eccentricities. His doves and pigeons soar freely in secluded, protected and open areas - roosting in cliffs or tall trees. In these paintings, his birds would descend as in a spectacular vision, amidst swirling mists, to nest in foliage. The artist made clear that his paintings were not just documentations or anatomical studies of the species, but were idealized portraits that carried powerful symbolic values. Choo was fascinated

with the image of the dove as a traditional and living symbol of peace, hope, love, purity and unity. Choo Keng Kwang painted a voluminous number of works on Chinatown from the early 1970s right through to the late 1980s before extensive urban conservation and redevelopment altered these sites. He also painted scenes of the Singapore River with its bumboats and warehouses, as the Chinese Wayang staged beside the Singapore River. These paintings established him as one of the nation’s most endeared oil painters of varnishing scenes in the city. Choo perceived certain local activities and architecture as facing serious threat from processes of urbanization and modernization. Street barbers, smoked duck sellers, lantern makers, meat, fruit and vegetable hawkers, clog vendors were fluidly captured in sketches and later immortalized in oil in his Chinatown series. Choo’s paintings conveyed the bustle and commotion of these pockets of activities, with Samsui women, trishaw riders and bird-vendors milling with each other. Glimpses of landmarks (temples, mosques, or Chinese opera houses) and weathered buildings with their clotheslines hung out from their windows also appear in his paintings. //

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REVIEW

REVIEW

Staging Narratives: The work of five emerging fine art photographers Text: Yvonne Low Image: Respective photographers

Staging Narratives explores the works of five emerging fine art photographers and discusses the use of rhetorical devices and story-telling techniques in the recounting of a visual narrative. Jasper Yu, Kong Chong Yew, Cheryl Teo, Guo Yixiu and Hu Qiren employ the techniques of documentary and conceptual photography in their work, each adopting different approaches for their subject matter and making no apologies for their honest conceptions. A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE AND AN ENDING Kong Chong Yew’s Small things is a quirky compilation of short ‘stories’ that tickles our imagination, teasing us to consider endless possibilities. Each individual piece is seemingly the beginning of a story, a continuation of it or an ending. Left behind shows the lonesome back view of the Merlion statue; its gleaming white coat a stark contrast against the mellow grays of the quiet sea and towering skyscrapers. A fitting ending or a perfect beginning? In Stuck, a dog – staring into the distance - stands in the middle of a park, surrounded by foliage and sheltered by broad trees; is someone beckoning him? Why is he ‘stuck’? Chong Yew captures shrewdly the unexpected situations that one occasionally encounters, unapologetically recounting a tale with vivid imagination while inviting us to begin, continue or complete it for ourselves.

In Traded, Jasper Yu speaks up for vanishing trades in Singapore. The ‘push-cart’ trades, once a ubiquitous sight, have now been pushed to the periphery of a rapidly industrializing nation. Jasper’s character bends over his workstation, coaxing a piece of metal expertly into shape; it is 12 noon and unbearably hot but in his business, staying in sight is the key to survival. He waves at his friend, seated at his usual spot beneath a dusty umbrella and awaiting patiently for the delivery of the day’s evening papers. Occasionally, a passer-by slows down, scanning the headlines on sale; some dig for coins while others continue walking. In Traded, Jasper introduces his characters as simple, down-to-earth everyday folks making an honest living in Singapore. Is there still room for them in the next chapter?

Traded 2009 9.21 x 6.18 in

A METAPHOR

1. Left Behind, from Small Things 2009 16.5 x 23.4 in 2. Stuck, from Small Things 2009 16.5 x 23.4 in 28 / CONFABULATION

CHARACTERS

A bowling pin cuts through the surface of space and holds our gaze momentarily before plunging into the unknown. “Infinite Abyss,” Cheryl Teo muses, “is the magical act of objects falling through space and time, where there is no start and no end.” Like a child who in the midst of playing has uncannily discovered the secrets of life, Infinite Abyss places the viewer in the precise moment of that discovery. Cheryl draws a clear analogy between the mystical beauty of this revelation and the very transience of life. In arrested gaze, we see the objects – the house, the bowling pin, the chair and the kettle – at a stand still as if defying all concepts of time. Engulfed by a swirling force – gravity, perhaps – the miniature toys learn (as they fall) the futility of capturing time.

1. Infinite Abyss, Bowling Pin 2009 2. Infinite Abyss, House 2009

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REVIEW

REVIEW

AN IRONY

A PICTURE

“They were seeking for their likeness; it was an illusion. Thus when they finally met, my affections brought death.”

Still Life depicts a series of pictures – pictures Hu Qiren hopes would free his subjects from their glass coffins. Preserved and sold for medicinal purposes, ‘exotic’ creatures from lizards to seahorses are common sights in traditional Chinese medical halls. Such practices have gradually lost their foothold in a rapidly modernized and westernized society even though the majority of the Singaporean population is of Chinese descent. Qiren invokes in his subjects a second lease of life – the seahorse resting quietly, its head and tail curved inward, its contours forming a beautiful arch and its skeletal structure a cascading swirl of intricate geometric lines. From this picture, the story of life is narrated, examined and appreciated – and while it is still.

– Guo Yixiu Vanitas tracks the premature journeys of three birds crashing to their death in the face of their own reflections. Dark enticing panes make up the façade of the Art, Design and Media (ADM) building where the incidents took place; the glass exterior reflects with deceptive clarity the brightness of the sun, the comfort of the clouds and the familiarity of the trees. Like a mirage clouding the eyes of a thirsty traveler, the cold hard surface shows a reflection of reality – one that is nothing like reality as the deceived victim soon realizes – crashing into the unforgiving concrete floor. The final narrative – 14 images laid out in sequence – was selected for exhibition. The irony should not be missed; afterall isn’t that too a fitting end to all winning narratives?

1. Seahorse 2009 23.4 x 16.5 in 2. Lizard 2009 23.4 x 16.5 in

Jasper Yu, Kong Chong Yew, Cheryl Teo, Guo Yixiu and Hu Qiren are currently second year students (photography majors) at NTU School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Their works have been selected for exhibition at the school’s inaugural group show entitled, Variegated Realities, curated by Dr Oh SoonHwa. It was held at The Gallery at Alliance Française, Singapore, in February 2010.

Vanitas Series 2009 8 x 10 in

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REVIEW

REVIEW

A Review on the Preliminary Round of Theatre Idol by Action Theatre Text: Richard Chua

Looking for Fairness in an Unfair World — A piece of writing reflecting on Red Ballerina, a work-in-progress presented by Theatreworks Singapore Text: Richard Chua

When competition comes into the picture, especially in the theatre scene, we will tend to want to win it. To win anything, pretty much is a numbers game, we will want to secure as many votes as possible, similar to that of a political election. To secure the votes, we tend to have to deliver what the audience wants. Nothing wrong with that. But more often than not, we tend to forget what the audience really needs, not just what they might want. In Action Theatre’s Theatre Idols – a play-writing competition organized by Action Theatre, of which I have caught 3 out of 5 plays on competition – the need of the audience, usually dominated by the middle-class young professionals, is a good night out and would most probably enjoy the spa voucher, more than anything else, given by the sponsor Apsara. As playwrights, if their intention were to want to win the competition, they would have to write for them. Again, nothing wrong. Plays are meant for the audiences anyway. To target a play for a specific audience is good discipline and focus, and meaningful. In this case, the possibility of winning a competition looms overhead. The intention is writing for audiences and wanting to win the competition seems rather acceptable but to any staunch good drama theatre believer, this argument does not seem to go down well with them. For they believe that in writing is to expound truth, the deepest and most profound need of the human-race. Lofty ideas, no doubt. Many might dismiss this in a reductive manner saying that serious drama people are simply taking themselves too seriously. Chill! They might say. But deep within both camps, they all long for good drama/ theatre. So what is good drama/theatre? Good drama/theatre must speak to the audiences telling them what they need. Deep within audiences in both camps there is a need to find some kind of hope, or answers, or whatever we call them. It likens to finding answers to the absurd world around us through situations and examples we go through every single day. These answers vary at different levels, some more intellectual and profound, some street-

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wise, some serving as temporary solutions to what is going on in the contemporary society. Is there a way to reconcile both? Writing a good play and yet be able to speak to audiences and get their recognition. Yes, it seems. What lies within a good play, or a good piece of dramatic writing, is the playwright’s ability to capture audience’s imagination in a deeper way. They love it, and yet hate it at the same time, for a good play challenges them to face their own problems, weaknesses and frailties. It seems easy to do so. I could write them all down in a few paragraphs. But every selfrespecting playwright will know that it is difficult to achieve what I have just laid out. For they are trapped in the technical aspects of writing, where a good piece of writing is determined by the their ability to have a good main idea, having an opening that captures the audience, an ending that will leave audiences thinking about the play, effectively “showing” the story rather than “telling” it, showing a surprise element in the story, pacing, arranging, organizing the play in a best order, spending the right amount of time on each scene, making it easy for audiences to follow from scene to scene, making sure their voice in the play is clear (apparently so, in Edgar Liao’s play Ma Goes Home), making sure that their voices are strong and honest, writing good dialogues; keeping in mind the tone, rhythm, syntax and sentence structures, according to the cultural milieu – keeping to the convention of good play writing, the list goes on. But what they seemed to have forgotten is the very fundamental reason why plays are written for audiences in the first place: to address a need, a problem, a reflection on what is going on in society, and most importantly the human condition. The very simple premise: what is in there for the audience, what problem would they expect a solution from the playwright. To the playwright – why did they write the play they have committed to write in the first place? Perhaps, when we ponder on these fundamental questions again, answers would be slightly different from those I have highlighted in the first paragraph. //

I once asked a Buddhist abbot why I was like this, so easily angered. He said that I needed to understand that there is no fairness in this world. We must somehow find fairness in an unfair world. Buddhism has taught me that Man determines the amount of fairness in the world. The fairest thing we all can do is not to hurt each other. - Goh Lay Kuan’s oral interviews at the National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

There is no such thing as a fair review. It is usually written by a biased individual, based on his/her own aesthetic taste. To review Singapore theatre company Theatreworks Artistic Director Ong Keng Sen’s newest work-in-progress Red Ballerina as a non-event is in itself an uneventful endeavour. For I would be totally missing the point by going on to talk about the execution of the work by actors Karen Tan and Lim Kay Tong. How could I review a work-in-progress? It was not even complete. Since the performance has been presented to an audience, quite many of us actually, not to mention a performance run over the next one or two days. The work did speak to us. To respond to it seems fair. Labels of “Fairness” and “Unfairness” are just binary points set out to generate discussions, or an academic term “discourse”, and more so the practice of politics in the Singapore arts scene. For the two are simply referred to (in Chinese Language) as 混沌 , loosely translated as Chaos in the English Language: natural occurrences in nature. Since Man cannot control what goes on in nature – especially so in various phenomenon in the Singapore arts scene – what can he/she control? Singapore eminent and publicly less recognised choreographer Goh Lay Kuan’s words in the above transcript in the National Archives of Singapore seems to provide an answer. Indeed Man can only control himself and try not to hurt a fellow Man. It is the fairest thing Man could do. Discourse will only be constructive when Man is able to control him/herself not to hurt others in the process of dialoguing with others. But in the words of one of my fellow colleagues in Lasalle College of the Arts, where I teach part-time, how many people could proceed from “accepting the status-quo” to “be able to transcend it” (你虽然能看得破,但有几个人能真正渡得过 ). It seems simple, but it is definitely not easy to achieve. Many a times we know unfairness in the world; how many of us could really get over it without passion and emotional burdens? To request that people get over things quickly is a tall order. Realistically we should try to understand how they have managed to recognise the harsh reality; their attempts in wanting to get over them. It is a valuable learning experience. Indeed Goh Lay Kuan’s journey in the Singapore dance scene seeing the challenges in developing modern dance in this country in the early years has given her strength, JUNE 2010 / 33


REVIEW

REVIEW

for she needs it in overcoming numerous problems. Realising that they are not going to go off at all (看得破 ), she will just have to get life going ( 渡过 ). Red Ballerina narrates just that. Whether or not Goh Lay Kuan has seen it all and managed to walk through them is least important, for she will be the only one with the answer, personally. The purpose of work-in-progress’ Red Ballerina is to promote better understanding of Goh Lay Kuan’s arts practice process. It is also a valuable referencing source for all arts practitioners in Singapore. Goh Lay Kuan’s work and achievements are recognised both in local and international dance communities alongside husband the late Kuo Pao Kun, whose recognition in the area of Southeast Asian Chinese Language theatre by international academics was vast. They have been held in high esteem. Both of them have shaped a large part of the Singapore performing arts and culture. Her life story is indeed a module of its own that should be studied in all dance schools at a tertiary level. For the value in this lesson are her beliefs in the art of dance: art not only in the technical part of the performing arts form, but the attitude and spiritual development of a dancer as well. A additional minor point: to stand strong above the cultural hegemony of the prominent dance family in Singapore at that time, not appearing in flashy advertisements that dictated what dance should be in Singapore, Goh Lay Kuan’s dance journey was in itself a life test. Despite these problems, she has emerged an important figure in the Singapore dance scene. But not forgetting, together with her, there are others – Angela Liong (Arts Fission), Lim Fei Shen, late Tony Llacer, Boon Teo (who taught ECNAD’s Tan Chin Huat), Ong Lay Kheng (whose work Where 2 Ends Meet saw local independent dancer Joavien Ng perform), Goh Soo Khim and late Anthony Then of Singapore Dance Theatre’s fame, to name a few. As seen, Goh Lay Kuan was never alone in the Singapore modern dance arts scene, for there were many who accompanied her in shaping Singapore modern dance. Hence the beginning of the process of archiving dance arts in Singapore starting with Goh Lay Kuan’s story is apt. For it would open a new page on the necessity of documenting Singapore dance history, especially for young dancers in the Singapore scene. In addition,

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hopefully, it will generate more discourses in the Singapore dance scene, taking stock on how far Singapore modern dance has come. Theatreworks Artistic Director Ong Keng Sen saw immediate urgency to begin doing this – ironically it should be the task of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) – setting up a “permanent repository of cultural legacy that will educate the next generation of artists and their creations.” (Programme Sheet, Red Ballerina, 2010). His ability to “go beyond” (看破) Singapore’s lack of urgency in documenting this part of Singapore performing arts, and initiating this project studying Goh Lay Kuan – and also the work of late Kuo Pao Kun – is a significant gesture in recognising the importance of this task in Singapore. Theatreworks has taken the first step. More should be done to get this project going, not only in the area of preservation but also in disseminating information to all. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder to all dancers and dance educators in Singapore that there is more to dance than just a performing arts form. For this project will encounter many hurdles. One of them is a general lack of interest in Singapore dance history, especially among young dancers of today. Most young dancers attend dance performances in support of their teachers as a form of idol worship, rather than understanding the performing arts form, both in technique and spirit. The internet has given them more information on what it takes to become an international dancer, enjoying the prestige and fame, rather than a dancer/artist relating his/her existence with the society and the world at large. We don’t see much of the latter in Singapore. In Goh Lay Kuan’s words, “to stay rooted in this soil”. To be here requires one to love him/herself as part of the Southeast Asian performing arts community. We see strong inclinations towards this value system in dancers’ bodies from other Southeast Asian countries, less so for Singaporean bodies. For one, Thai dancer Pichet Klunchun is totally rooted in his Thai culture, developing new dance vocabularies from classical Thai Khon dance. In Singapore the challenge in trying to

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achieve this proves to be greater, for the country does not have a mature people’s culture, as yet. Nowadays, travelling to New York and Spain seems to be natural progression, for to excel in the western modern dance scene is a yardstick in Singapore’s own definition of dance excellence. To acknowledge this stark reality is difficult. But to let other aspects of dance slide into disappearance proves more difficult for me to swallow. The second hurdle is the tedious task of preserving the practice of Applied Dance in Singapore, especially early childhood education as well as disability dance education. What’s lacking in Singapore is dancers/choreographers’ passion and conviction to want making Singapore society a better place to with it. Goh Lay Kuan’s past work in developing dance for disabled children is an exemplary example of an artist wanting to contribute to his/her society. Her unwavering spirit in wanting to help these underprivileged children is commendable. In addition her ability to see beyond the fairness and unfairness of life in all its permutations, and to want to make a difference in other people’s lives, making them better, is the true spirit of an artist. But honestly how many dancers in the Singapore scene would trudge the ground in this area of work giving up development opportunities in the more glamourous area of dance: becoming renowned artists and choreographers? This requires great discipline in one’s own selfcultivation: Again, his/her ability to see beyond the only one domain in dance development in Singapore and to discover other opportunities – the preliminary stage of “looking beyond things”(看得破 ).

angst – responding to the unfairness in this world, much to her detriment, health-wise. But the unknowing process of trudging through hardships by constantly reflecting upon herself the purpose of her existence has made her “see beyond things”(看得破 ). The words of that abbot Goh Lay Kuan consulted – “ We must somehow find fairness in an unfair world.” – rang clear. What’s fairer than to treat a fellow Man with fairness and love, not hurting him/her? In this, nothing matters anymore, for the world has become smaller as she travels, less things are new, wisdom accumulated. Clearly Goh Lay Kuan has seen it all. Now her challenge lies in her ability to go beyond it (真正渡得过 ). Not many people will be able to actually go “beyond it”. “Going beyond it” refers to total freedom. For it would mean even having a sense of purpose in life is also not important, fully embracing the workings of the cosmos and the universe; my effort in trying to make sense of Red Ballerina in this piece of writing will also be unnecessary. Every artistic piece of work requires the passion and conviction of an artist, for the most extreme of emotions within them will generate the energy required for the art-work to affect an audience/spectator. Goh Lay Kuan’s state of serenity and quietness did not come through a conscious process of self-cultivation, but as an after-thought. This is wisdom accompanied by history. So, in the nutshell, it is fine to not reach the level of having an absolute ability to “look beyond” things, for it will destroy art, making it ineffective and mundane, an activity of the normal Man. Constant pursuit in looking for fairness in an unfair world is the key to artistic excellence. It is an extremely difficult journey. For not everybody will end up like the Buddha, achieving nirvana. //

The ability to look beyond things requires one to exercise compassion and humanitarian love. Goh Lay Kuan’s heart in the right place. She devoted herself to loving those who are in need, to train those who might benefit most from dance, to voicing out an artist’s right in freedom of expression. Much of that was anchored in anger – or rightfully called

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Masquerade 24.04.10 – 22.05.10 / Mulan Gallery Text: Syed Muhd Hafiz

Entering the gallery, one is confronted by portraits bathed in saturated colours, staring back at the viewer as if goading him/her into confronting the uncomfortable. The ambiguous faces seem to be reaching out to the viewer yet their eyes suggest a certain restraint, betraying the brightly-coloured canvases. Masquerade is Shiew Eng’s first solo exhibition. Considering that she graduated from NAFA only last year, this represents a natural progression for the young artist. However, what is more intriguing is to chart the first solo exhibition of a fledgling artist as his/her direction and identity as an artist, is often moulded from this initial foray into the arts industry. Shiew Eng’s calm demeanour belies her impulse to create art that speaks not just to the converted but also the cynical, through her universal subject matter. Following her graduation show at NAFA where she showed a series of photographs concerning identity and family relations, Masquerade goes slightly off the familial trajectory. If there is one thing that struck the writer, it is the artist’s seemingly nonchalant attitude towards life though I am not suggesting that she is apathetic or disinterested. When asked why she embarked on this particular series of works, a series of motivations were laid out: stirring the concept of the ‘gaze’, androgyny and its perceived neutral platform for gender discussions, and children as ‘objects’. The nature of the gaze with which one sizes up, recognizes and comprehends the other person, has been a long-politicised topic. Even more so in the current context of porous borders and increased mobility, the concept of migrants or foreigners has been hotly-debated issues in some societies. Paranoid xenophobia, terrorism and the upsurge in technological advances have in one way or another influenced our ‘gaze’ on the other. Perhaps by turning towards

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portraiture, Shiew Eng highlights the everincreasing relevance of this painting genre in contemporary art. Portraiture lessons have always taught students to respect the presence of the individual in every human face. Acknowledging or respecting the ‘Other’ thus then, has become synonymous with portraiture exercises. Every portrait announces the autonomous individual, the creation of a demarcated space within the wider public. However, in Masquerade, Shiew Eng has rendered this space neutral and porous. Who are these ambiguous characters? Young children at a stage in their lives where we cannot even be sure of their gender? The artist has made them accessible without the baggage of individuality, history and location. Only their arresting gaze seems to suggest a dialogue that perhaps viewers themselves will be hard-pressed to respond to. Since there is a lack of reference to ‘read’ these human faces (even the saturated colours seem to distance the viewers further), viewers are forced to gaze at them on new terms. Do they see themselves in these faces? Or maybe these distant faces are actually sniggering at the viewer beneath their cold and sterile expressions? Questions keep reverberating within as one engages with the paintings, traversing the landscape of identity and the Other. But as all hopes diminish, the artist said, “Actually I like to paint pretty things.” Yet another trajectory and yes, the long-suffering viewer embarks on another journey. Like the saturated neon lights of advertisement boards, the paintings here might seem to have promised formulas or solutions to the viewers. I went home having more questions but at least it did not burn a hole in my pocket. //

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Past, From the Present Tense: IMPRINTS (exhibition review) 06.05.2010 – 11.05.2010 / Red Dot Design Museum Text: Melanie Chua Image: Kimberly Shen

EXHIBITION might be too banal a word to describe the memories spun at Imprints. A first-time collaboration by Yesterday.sg and Singapore Contemporary Young Artists (SCYA), Imprints hosted artworks by eight artists, each offered deep alternative insights into a past too often dismissed as bland and brief, usually reduced to three key players and three ‘big moments’1. The National Heritage Board (NHB) launched Yesterday.sg in March 2006. Three years later came a revamp, the museum blog evolved to be a social media portal, where both contributors and visitors contribute to the archival of history even as they discover it. Yesterday.sg has since become a curious synthesis of both art and heritage, nostalgia and history in a way that the 47-year-old nation has never had, or perhaps enjoyed, before. It has amassed a unique collection not to be found in any history book or official archive. This theme was brought alive at Red Dot Design Museum 2. Besides proving memories to be potent sources of inspiration, SCYA artists also revealed art to be capable, powerful keepers of history. The irony of the location was not lost on Angela Chong. Researching Red Dot Museum meant journeying into its colonial past as the old Traffic Police Headquarters. A haunting projection of the bars of an old detention cell held vigil before old documents flat-opened on a table. ‘Dog Days are Over’ is a succinct pun, alluding to an authority inherited, and sometimes contended, by her generation. Looking back meant also turning another direction for Soh Ee Shaun. Instead of the usual 40 / CONFABULATION

iconic bright illustrations, a video projected old childhood photographs spanning 1978 to 1986. Soh acknowledges the imperfection of memory. “The original was supposed to be a series of drawings, which I eventually didn’t use. It was almost as if I was trivializing history through the drawings,” Shaun said. Alternatively funny and poignant, the sequence seems a fitting for an educational tour. A couple of loops later and it becomes a searing peek into the dark halls of a very personal memory. And back at us, old manners and bygone objects cast a silent echo of recurring memories over the exhibition. The kino-eye was also a conspirator in Tay Jiun Lin’s collection of history. He photographs a handmade quilt, religious artifact, a simple bowl of sweet potato congee. These personally relate to his grandmother. However, while the style seems starkly straightforward, we are at once reminded of our ‘not knowing’. Tay explains, “I am drawn to the obscure relationship between the older generation (and ours)… Where everyone seems to be ‘futuristic idealists’, what the past offers becomes rather ambiguous.” Where do we come from? Who are we? Who were they? It takes an unabashed eye to recognize ourselves in simple inanimate objects. And ‘ourselves’ is exactly what Hilmi Johandi remembers in 2nd Hand Tearjeaker. His rich oil painting of a kopitiam (a traditional breakfast and coffee shop found in Southeast Asia) scene evokes the emotion of a moment long gone, now treasured and recollected. As poet Cesare Pavese wrote 3 , ‘We do not remember days, we remember moments’. Where Johandi was lush, personal and fluid,

1. Angela Chong Dog Days are Over, Site-specific light installation. 2. Soh Ee Shaun 我懷念的, Digital video (Shaun’s father during his army days, posing in Taiwan). 3. Tay Jiun Lin Sebastian-Mary That Abundance Photographic ink jet print. 4. Hilmi Johandi 2nd Hand Tearjerker, Oil on watercolour paper 5. Aiman Hakim Misfired, Oil on Canvas 6. Jacqui Rae 3 Sisters, Installation. 7. Kelvin Atmadibrata Hasil Ulangan, Installation. 6. Jacklyn Soo Moving Homes, Chalk Drawing. JUNE 2010 / 41


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Aiman Hakim’s Misfired is a hard, and determinedly humorous paradox. Kendolls, toy bullets, army uniforms- fragments of his youth sit uneasily in military formation- a ‘Senang Diri’ most Singaporean males would know, fondly or not, but always nostalgically. Two soldiers stand out in their red caps forming pillars of tension, while resolutely standing behind. “Almost trying to be different, yet at the same time, attempting their very best to blend in, very much a reflection of how I felt like growing up,” Hakim says. Catch yourself as you admire the fine precision of his brushstrokes and be aware; the same organizational principle still gathers all in its order, shaping lives and history. Jacqui Rae returns to the basic tangible unit of a memory. Ceramic bowls hold old contact lens, strands of hair, petals, and the once ubiquitous childhood stalwart, blood red saga seeds. Each bowl is laid a respectful distance from the other, yet forming an intimate whole. Shards of ceramic separate the viewer from the collected ‘memories’. But are we not all, separated by different thoughts and strained from different memories.

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mind’s eye, but only as imperfect fragments. “I am constantly pressured and challenged by the construction of buildings and ‘home’.” Nostalgia is secondary here to necessity. History informs the future. //

The Street Has No Name 13.05.2010 - 11.06.10 / Indigo Blue Art Text: Dr Alka Pande

1. Sang Nila Utama, Sir Stamford Raffles, Lee Kuan Yew can be seen as the three figures who heralded Singapore’s progression from quaint fishing village to bustling trade-colony (which fell to occupiers in WW2) to aspiring cosmopolitan citystate. 2. Red dot design museum was opened in Singapore in 2005. This was also when envisioned a vibrant arts culture for the city-state. 3. Brand.

His published diaries, 1935 to 1950. The Burning

Amidst the archived memories, Kelvin Atmadibrata performs a ‘tea ceremony’ in homage to the land he has called home for the past 8 years. Kelvin says he has ‘turned Singaporean’. “My earliest memory of the country is its educational system which has replaced the memory of the school I attended back in Jakarta”. Examination certificates completely soaked in a huge jar of tea, Kelvin sits back with a packet of Mamee (a childhood snack). Contemplation or irreverence, both signal a bond branded by experience and time. Jacklyn Soo holds a collective reminisce in what seems a childlike arrangement of a heart, but only at first sight. Chalk drawings hang as scratchy representations of places and objects, either demolished, obsolete, or ‘re-zoned’. Soo suggests the relics of the past live on in the

Sonia Mehra Chawla Crimson Skies No More 1 Mixed media on archival paper 76.2 x 55.88 cm 42 / CONFABULATION

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A Street is a paved public throughway in a public environment. It can become a source of great performance in an urban context in particular. However the street because of continuous footfalls automatically becomes a theatrical site. And naturally can be a great muse for artists in particular. It therefore became a natural corollary to then look towards the street for conceptualizing an exposition where collaborative work primarily with the children of the Salaam Balak Trust and visual artists would emerge. The street has always been a playground for action. In New York the first painter of African descent to become an international Jean Michel Basquiat started spray painting graffiti in buildings of lower Manhattan using the signature of SAMO. Basquiat was a rage and in 1985 he appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in a feature titled “New Art, New Money: the Marketing of an American Artist.” Banksy a pseudonym for a British graffiti artist who is believed to be a native of Yale in Goucestershire near Bristol But his identity is still not know. His artworks are often satirical pieces on politics, ethics or culture. His street work combines graffiti writing with a distinct stenciling technique similar to the Parisian artists called Bleck Le Rat who belonged to the anarcho punk band Cass. Banksy work sometimes appears unexpectedly in cities across the world. Since the street has always provided so much color and excitement the inhabitants of the Salaam Balak Trust were ideal performers in this collaborative venture. What is surprising is that in a street as diverse and energetic as the Indian one, not many 44 / CONFABULATION

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artists have taken to the street as their Western counterparts have.

journey and the art works that have emerged reflect the energies of the people.

The Indian streets are abundant with a variety of traffic. From two wheelers to three wheeler auto rickshaws to high end cars, and heavy traffic like buses and trucks a stray cow, or an elephant walking majestically on the side is a virtual theatre of t he absurd, in stark contrast to the organized streets of Singapore or the organized busy streets of London.

These twin works are very different to any kind of Street art which is primarily art developed in public spaces and can include art works from traditional graffiti to public space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism and corporate art. However there are elements of activism and subversion or urban art, some reclaiming of the streets, but there is no installing of illicit art works in public spaces, which becomes an important segment of “Street Art”.

I invited 22 artists to work in a collaborative manner with either a child or children from the Salaam Balak trust to create a set of twin art works, one by the artists themselves and the other worked upon as a collaboration between the artist and the street children. The 22 artists through their individual art practice have brought in a diverse set of art practices, from murals, drawings, paintings, photography to video. The engagement between the artist and the children became a dynamic one. Both inspired and enabled each other to create a fresh language, which is evidenced the second completed painting. The primary work made by the artist and the second painting made by the artist and non-artist developed a life and language of its own. Often the non-artist led the work In photography Enrico Fabian and Gabriella Montanari have created a set of works one as their own and the other a collaborative one, while Roy Sinai has created a more darker reflective set of images in his version of the child and self.

In 2008 at the Tate Modern in England an exhibition titled Street Art, which included the works of the street art icon, Banksy brought in international attention to Street Art. In a parallel genre Street Photography too finds resonances in public spaces, such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions, where the techniques of straight photography almost hold a mirror up to society. Henri Cartier-Bresson is a name symptomatic with street photography. The iPhone is the coolest tool for capturing the street. This exhibition however engages with the Street in a more metaphorical than physical manner. Here the artists themselves use the street more as a muse as a performative space. // Streets Have No Name will open officially in Delhi on the 28th and 29th April at India Habitat Centre. The exhibition travels to Indigo Blue Art, Singapore from 13th May to 11th June

The Street Has No Name was an exciting journey for all of us involved, from the artists, to the children and for me as the curator and Tanya Alagh the Coordinator of the Salam Balak Trust. For the last one year, we have had an incredible JUNE 2010 / 45


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MIYABI 20.05.10 – 10.06.10 / Sunjin Galleries

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The aesthetics of the Japanese, nourished by the country’s lush natural environment, dissolves into nature through a conscious sense of harmony that is evident in Japan’s temples, shrines and gardens. Born from nature worship, these aesthetics esteem overall harmony. Miyabi, also the title of the exhibition, is a word in Japanese that expresses the aristocratic elegance of Japan from ancient times, an elegance that exudes a beauty that makes one want to see more of its essence modestly enveloped within the veil. This exhibition is a myriad of artworks presented by three artists for the future from Japan, each working in different styles and media. These three very talented artists embrace their own unique sense of aesthetics, a sense that is graceful, not gaudy, which has resulted from the DNA of the Japanese. Stepping into the gallery, the pursuit of that which is beautiful and the concern for aesthetics can be seen in every artwork and it hits you at once. However, as with all good art, there is more than meets the eye at first and there is more to the superficial beauty. And this, only reveals itself after you have stayed a while in the exhibition space. The first series of works that one encounters is from Tomoko Taniguchi. Delicate handmade paper still with the raw edges intact and not cropped away is mounted on painted black canvases. She works wine, black Sumi ink and acrylic into the washi (the paper) to uncover the unfathomable bitterness of memories of post-Hiroshima period during which she grew up, with a mask, to connect with present-day people and to convey to those generations of people who came after war the preciousness of on-going life. The second series of works are by Yoichi Ogata. His works of masks, specifically focusing on the area around and above the eyes, evokes an organic movement of a living organism in the lines that look as if they might be multiplying forever. It is tricky to classify the medium of his works so it is a relief to find

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out that he has assigned the term of ‘head couture’ to the work that he does. The name embodies the inspiration that emanates from the human head in the form of a sculpture that can be worn. And opposed to a masquerade mask that reveals nothing but only the eyes, he uses his masks to draw out the parts that is not revealed on the outside, but is hidden by the veil of the skin which he eventually manifests in a 3D form. The third series of works in the exhibition are by VIWA where a variety of patterns are incorporated together on one canvas in order to capture a beauty that will stimulate the imagination of the viewer and to harmonize all the various conditions that overlap each other to create a narrative with nature. The patterns are taken from decorative arts that have been handed down from ancient times in Japan. Very seldom is one so moved during an exhibition opening reception than to venture beyond a comment or two on the artworks or to make a decision to bring an artwork home. However, as Ajuko Senga, an audience in the crowd saw more of the exhibition and Rain in the Distance by Shunsuke Mizuno (Instrument, 5-string wood bass with wood bass player Miwa Inaba) started playing in the background, she broke into a sensual dance around all the artworks in the exhibition, piecing one by one together, incorporating everything that she has taken from them and giving everything up again, only to stop when the music has, 5.23 minutes later. The crowd stood in silence, watching her move around the gallery, feeling a slight chill from the emotions stirring up from the dance and almost in tears. Although the dance was not planned for, it felt like the exhibition would not have been complete without it. And by the end of the night, it was more than a simple encounter with the artworks. One walks away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of that which is Japanese, beyond the commercial attraction of sushi chains, Uniqlo and Daiso and beyond the surface kawaii-ness of Hello Kitty. //

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THE INTERVIEW PROJECT

KETNA PATEL

Ketna Patel The vibrant collages of Asian icons, symbols and street images reflecting the resplendency of Asian life is hard to miss. Even harder to ignore is the artist behind them. Ketna Patel reveals what inspires her to make art and what makes her tick.

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KETNA PATEL

CONFABULATION:You recently collaborated with international fashion label alldressedup for their Spring/ Summer 2010 collection. Tell us more about it.

Ketna Patel: Fashion is self-expression. The Global shift from the West to the East will inevitably herald new directions in how consumer articulation and cultural identity overlap. For Singapore, this project was quite a breakthrough in that it is the first time such a unique ‘rojak’ narrative has been transmuted onto fashion. This collective identity, and its myriad of visual narratives is what excited Tina Tan Leo and her husband Lionel more than three years ago when they saw my ‘ASIA POP!’ work in a local exhibition.

What are you most passionate about right now? Life, in all its contemporary, daily bewildering aspects, is so astonishing, that I end up being either fierce, or merciful, but rarely indifferent. So, passion is by default! ‘Capitalism’ as a construct or system is showing alarming symptoms of long-term damage. Even our journalism seems to be largely market driven. Global Capitalism has found a way to commodify identity by enslaving the populous with millions of ever shifting configurations of the symbol led ‘requirements’ of this identity. So, perhaps in an effort to rescue myself, I am passionate about any possible way in which we can hold onto ‘individualism’. Can ‘Art’ and

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‘Philosophy’ be worth as much or more than ‘market forces’?

Who or what has influenced you the most? Anyone who offers ‘original thinking’. The less conditioned, the better. Thoughts that do not have an ‘educational’ underpinning, but melded out of keen and authentic observations of ‘life’, and the human condition. One such person is ‘Osho’, also known as ‘Rajneesh’. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is another one. She is controversial for proposing that both assimilation and holding to ethnic traditions are the ways to contribute to creative culture and to a soul-based civility. Everyday people inspire me. I love taking my daily 6 am walks around the Commonwealth HDB estate and running ground, watching people doing Tai Chi and back-walking exercises, seeing the camaraderie between all the neighbours as I have my fishball mee and condensed milk tea. I care deeply about - Street children, Popular culture and the contemporary phenomenon of New Asia. I feel that when it comes to understanding contemporary society, or the living system(s) it occupies, the most transparent evidence is in the ‘condition of street culture’. This is the most un-self conscious expression of a people. Its ordinariness cloaks many truths! I have always been interested in ‘communication devices’ between the ‘first’ and ‘third’ worlds. The mediums of cable TV and Hollywood often misrepresent realities far away, as all these subjective renditions of how others live is always wrapped up

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KETNA PATEL

in their subjectivity. Today, the so-called Third World is metamorphosing into a new animal. This New Asia embraces differences and diversities, challenging often out-dated attitudes of how we view each other. By giving birth to an expression, the personality and life of the expression can live on and converse with other such expressions, and take on newer meanings and forums. Subjects that are hidden can come up to the surface, and we can tweak the lenses through which we perceive things.

What is your biggest roadblock when it comes to working?

‘ASIA POP!’ kitchen, Jan 2006 Esplanade, Jendela Gallery. ‘Pop Puri Singapura’ Group Exhibition

‘Jalan Asia Rickshaw’Nov 2007, Singapore National Museum Exhibit of Commisioned by IMG Artists for the Sun Festival. Now permanent exhibit at the ‘Majestic Hotel’, Chinatown

OK – this is a bit of a winge… I would say my biggest roadblock is to have to put inspiration and creativity aside for practicality. We all have to do this, but the compromise is getting larger, as it is a real struggle to be a practicing artist in Singapore. We lack long term representation, mature patronage, and an inherent understanding / respect of the cultural and social VALUE of Art. There is a lack of affordable, physical space in which we can explore and make work. Too much seems to have a ‘financial’ underpinning. We have to pay ‘market rentals’, and end up having to represent ourselves in Art Fairs because hardly any local galleries are representing local artists. So the rest of the world seems to use Singapore as a sophisticated supermarket, to sell furniture, art, financial instruments, etc, but how many ‘Singaporean’ brands are leaving this island? It’s not like there isn’t any talent here. There are loads! But we seem to only validate our own only if they have

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been successful abroad. Do we not have the insight to nurture and celebrate what is right under our own noses? I wish I could be wilder, more experimental. I wish there was more of a dynamic art community here that could debate and exchange and argue to provide the necessary fodder for creative tension, rhetoric, criticism etc. We all live and work in our own mental and physical spaces, and I miss ‘community’. We are not a mature country as far as art patronage is concerned. We are a first world country with a second third world wage structure. Our history has had to be very practical one as we have had to make a transition from kampong to first world, cosmopolitan urban slick. The growth has not been organic. Art appreciation, education and patronage have not been organic. That now leaves us with a society that is obsessed with status and ‘investment’ art, and all the symbols that are associated with success. In the process, authentic art making has often fallen by the wayside. We seem to have all the sophisticated, flashy props and theatres to woo the visitors, but the homegrown art scene definitely needs a leg up!

What do you hope to do in the future? A lot of my energy this year is going to go towards making my work ‘travel’ outside of Singapore. My project ‘ASIA POP!’ is drawing to an end, and I am looking to delegate its commercial potential onto other people. So if anyone is interested, get in touch!

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The future? I would like to spend more time travelling, living in rural communities, and building bridges between cultures and geographical zones via new forums. Himachal Pradesh in India is one such place I hope to explore very soon. To see what comes out of me when I am in a still, green, cool environment, far away from the white noise of city living, at least for a couple of months. The world is morphing so fast…as long as we regularly tune into this changing world with sensitivity and intelligence, and then also step away from it for reflection and repose, there will never be a shortage of stories to tell.

What antagonizes you the most? Short sightedness borne out of Self interest, Injustice, unfairness, the great disparity between rich and poor, Chauvinism, Mediocrity, the moving away from ‘natural’ to ‘synthetic’, and for us to be duped into thinking that it’s actually better! The systematic dumbing down of movies (to get most profit out of the popular masses), etc etc. We waste so much. Why do perfectly good buildings have to be torn down to make way for more of the same but smaller and more expensive? I have a long list, but your magazine is not going to big enough to go on!

Does your work fulfill you? What is your working space like?

Coffee table + Rojak sofa, Aug 2008 Ritz Carlton Hotel Singapore. Stage set commission by The ‘GLOBAL BRAND FORUM’ featuring ‘Spike Lee (Hollywood), Jimmy Wales (Wikepedia), Joanne Ooi (Shanghai Tang)

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Most of the time! I have ants in my pants…a never-ending, obsessive feeling of urgency. A pressing need to document the world, tell stories, before it all starts evaporating and fading away. I need to record, record, record! That seems to be the instruction manual I came to this planet with. With me, there is no separation between my private and working life…Somebody wrote this about me recently, and I quote: ”Ketna’s own cultural background is unsurprisingly schizophrenic, with equal parts of Asia and Europe and a childhood in Africa thrown in. She has made a career out of not-belonging: as a resident, a frequent tourist, and as a perpetual observer, she distils her travels through a soul itself displaced. And there’s nothing clinical or distant about it - this is unmistakably joyous work, by someone who loves being in the thick of things; she revels in and often manufactures the chaos”. Hmmmmm……

We live and work in two houses; one being the studio and office. There are little garden areas everywhere and all the spaces flow from one to another. It’s a very chameleonlike space, much like me. It changes its personality depending on who or what is in the space… At present, the studio is a bit mad, like me. I am not very tidy, but it’s organized, rather of a colorful chaos… and very cozy! Thousands of photographs, paper, old calendars, paint, glue, brushes, cameras, computers, a well-stocked fridge, loads of books is in this space. I could easily survive here for months without the need to venture out! It’s a perfect nest to come back to after travelling. My studio is my home and I absolutely love it here. Please, please do not tear this estate down. This is the longest I have stayed anywhere I my life. I know every plant, every squirrel and every frog that lives in my garden. JUNE 2010 / 55


KETNA PATEL

What makes you do what you do? My art has always contained a consistently strong narrative of time and place, from Singapore to India, from the countryside to the city. I felt compelled to find out who I really was and what my opinions were outside my educated conditioning. But I did not have the confidence to articulate my way out of it. I needed to see more, to question more. On a personal level I wanted to move my thinking from the left side of my brain to the more creative and emotional right side. My work not only helps me make sense of the world, it also helps my audience as we are all in transition. Over the past decade I have been changed as a person, my relationship with the world I occupy has changed as a result. Many times I only understand aspects of myself once I catch myself reacting to situations. I think this has been reflected in my work and methodology. Increasingly, my objective is for the artwork to have the ability to tap into a larger, collective memory back so that art might help to become an extension of an individual’s identity honoring their memory of habitat and space. If I can do this, then some sort of communication is taking place.

is too late to ‘send it back’. So, often, the thought or singular stroke grows, layer upon layer, into a complex, plural story, with texture and narrative and eventually personality! I am attracted to whatever it takes to give voice to individuals who have been marginalized, or made increasingly invisible. They have many stories to tell. I wish to help in facilitating that story through images and words, and then finding a way of making this available to many people. //

Explain a formative moment or idea for you. To be touched or moved by something I see, a story I hear, or even a collective societal plight I feel…This ‘emotion’ builds up, often unknown to the ‘logical’ me, until it feels the need to come out somehow. When the ‘birthing’ is happening, via a sketch, or painting, or a thought spoken out aloud, it 56 / CONFABULATION

JUNE 2010 / 57


R SA BE N LA JA

PEN

SOTA

AD

PR

The Picturehouse

N OO

R SA BE

T

LASALLE

EY IN

FO

RT

CA

NN

ING

BE

NC

O

O

L

ST

EN

RE

NO

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Gnani Arts Space Eagle’s Eye Art Gallery

Sculpture Square ET

O

S

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AM

ED

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DBS Arts Centre Singapore RepertoryTheatre

RI

VE

VA L

LE

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City Hall Station

RD

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ST

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OS

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Chinatown Station

TO

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TIONG BAHRU ROAD

PH

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Jubilee Hall

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Promenade Station

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Pan Pacific Singapore Public Art Space (Pan Pacific)

FF

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The Arts House @ The Old Parliament

Asian Civilisations Museum

artcommune

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Victorial Theatre

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iPRECIATION

EAST COAST PARK EXPRESSWAY

H

IL

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Esplanade Station

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Victoria Concert Hall

instinc

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The Esplanade

ES

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Marina Mandrin Singapore Gallery NaWei

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Clarke Quay Station

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Ode to Art

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Peranakan Museum

MICA Building Art-2 Gallery, Cape of Good Hope, S.Bin Art Plus, Y2Arts, Gajah Gallery, Tembusu

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Tiong Bahru Station

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

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National Museum of Singapore

BR

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RA

RA

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Nicoll Highway Station C

RO

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59 / CONFABULATION

R

ND

AD

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MINT Museum of Toys

GE

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AY E

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Artfolio

ST AM

72-13 Singapore Tyler Print Institute

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Bugis Station

ID DL Young Musicians’ E R Bras Basah LO O Society AD Station ER Singapore T A W Calligraphy Centre 8Q SAM Action Theatre Singapore Art Museum

ROAD

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TIONG BAHRU ROAD

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NAFA, Art Galleries @ NAFA

Dance Ensemble Singapore

Art Tree Gallery

LL

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AV E N W O SD RT PO

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Redhill Station

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TRE AN S

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- The Luxe Art Museum, Yisulang Art Gallery

LEM

AD

A RO AD

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CO

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ANDR

NG

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DR OAD

Dhoby Ghaut ROA Station D

ND

MAD Museum of Art & Design

FOST Gallery

NG

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AY

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ANG

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Fort Canning Park

SE

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Impress Galleries

AD

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Xuanhua Art Gallery

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M T K IA

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D Somerset Station

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Istana Kampong Glam (Malay Heritage Centre)

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Sinema Old School, - Osage Gallery, 2902 Gallery

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AD N OO NG RA SE

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HAR

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Your MOTHER gallery

Lai Chan

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Queenstown Station

NG

BI

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Post Museum

NI

*Scape Youth Park DEV ON S H IR

AD

ET

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P S TR

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CE D OA DR OR EF BID

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NW

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GRANGE ROAD

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Night & Day

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Orchard Station Opera Gallery

T

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Heng Artland

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Lavender Station

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Third Floor Hermes

Little India Station

Kelly Reedy - Studio Arts

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ST

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- Sealey Brandt Photography Studio - Geeleinan Art Gallery & Studio

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- Antiquaro, HaKaren, Kwan Hua, Li Fine Art, MULAN Gallery, Peter’s Frame, Sun Craft, Yang Gallery

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The Peach Tree

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PORTSDOWN R O AD

- Galerie Joaquin - The Gallery of Gnani Arts

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Artspace @ Royal Park Hotel

RO G L IN

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Commonwealth Station

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CAIRNHILL ROAD

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Papa Palheta

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Linda Gallery

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SINGAPORE’S ART MAP

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Farrer Park Station

MEN

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Ketna Patel

NA

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Benaka Conservation

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LI

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Newton Station

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Sunjin Galleries, TAKSU

ND

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SINGAPORE’S ART MAP

JUNE 2010 / 62

AY


DIRECTORIES

DIRECTORIES

SINGAPORE ART GUIDE 8Q sam 8 Queen Street 33 Auction www.33auction.com 72-13/TheatreWorks 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road 2902 Gallery 11 Mount Sophia Block B #B2-09 Alliance Française de Singapour 1 Sarkies Road AndrewShire Gallery 5 Swiss Cottage Estate Antiquaro 19 Tanglin Road #02-42 Asian Civilisations Museum www.acm.org.sg Aratong Galleries 26 Mount Pleasant Drive Art Forum 82 Cairnhill Road Art Galleries at NAFA 80 Bencoolen Street Art Glass Solutions 30 Kuo Chuan Avenue Art Retreat (Wu Guanzhong Gallery) 10 Ubi Crescent #01-45/47 Art Seasons 7 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #02-12 Art Tree Gallery 333A Orchard Road #04-11 Art-2 Gallery 140 Hill Street #01-03 artcommune 133 North Bridge Road #02-77 Artesan 793 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 Artfolio 328 North Bridge Road #02-25 ArtGoGo 402 Orchard Road #02-08 ARTSingapore www.artsingapore.net ArtSpace at Royal Plaza Hotel 25 Scotts Road Arty Art Gallery 686A Woodlands Drive 73 #15-52 Aryaseni 10A Bukit Pasoh Barrosa Studio 4 Woking Road #01-02 Black Earth Culture Arts Center 352B Joo Chiat Road Bhaskar’s Art Academy 19/21 Kerbau Road Borobudur www.borobudurauction.com Cape of Good Hope 140 Hill Street #01-06 Changi Museum 1000 Upper Changi Road North Collectors Contemporary 5 Jalan Kilang Barat #01-03 COMBINART 27 Woodlands Industrial Park E1 #01-08 d’Art 5 Westbourne Road #02-03 D’Peak Art Space Kaki Bukit Road 1 #01-07 DLR Gallery 22 Marshall Road Dynasties Antique & Art Gallery 18 Boon Lay Way DaTang Fine Arts 177 River Valley Road #02-09A Esplanade 1 Esplanade Drive Eagle’s Eye 39 Stamford Road #01-01 Echo Art Galerie 19 Tanglin Road #02-59 Emily Hill 11 Upper Wilkie Road fill your walls 21 Tanjong Pagar #04-02 Fortune Cookie Projects www.fortunecookieprojects.com FOST 65 Kim Yam Road Gajah Gallery 140 Hill Street #01-08 Galerie Belvedere 168 Robinson Road #36-01 Galerie Joaquin 1 Cuscaden Road #01-03 Galerie Waterton 39 Keppel Road #02-01 Gallery NaWei 6 Raffles Boulevard Level 4 Geeleinan Art Gallery & Studio 1 Whitchurch Road #02-03 Give Art 65 Spottiswoode Park Road Gnani Arts Space 190 Middle Road #02-30/31 HaKaren 19 Tanglin Road #02-43 Heng Artland 290 Orchard Road #04-08 Indigo Blue Art 33 Neil Road Impress Galleries 1 Kim Seng Promenade INSTINC 12 Eu Tong Sen Street iPRECIATION 1 Fullerton Square #01-08 Jalan Bahar Clay Studios 97L Lorong Tawas JENDELA (Visual Arts Space) 1 Esplanade Drive Level 2 Jeremy Ramsey Fine Art 16 Bukit Pasoh Road Kelly Reedy - Studio Arts 27 Woking Road #01-01 Ketna Patel 35 Jalan Puteh Jerneh Kwan Hua 19 Tanglin Road #02-09 La Libreria 50 Kent Ridge Crescent Level 3 Larasati www.larasati.com LASALLE 1 McNally Street Li Fine Art 19 Tanglin Road #03-32 Little Red Shop www.littleredshop.org

64 / CONFABULATION

Linda Gallery 15 Dempsey Road #01-08 Lukisan 110 Faber Drive M Gallery 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #03-19 MAD Museum of Art & Design 333A Orchard Road #03-01 Marisa Keller 28 Woking Road #03-05 Masterpiece www.masterpiece-auction.com Mercedes-Benz Center 301 Alexandra Road Metakaos 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #03-22 MINT Museum of Toys 26 Seah Street Momentous Arts 20 Lor Telok #02-01 Mulan Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 38/80/151 Bencoolen Street National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Road Ngee Ann Cultural Centre 97 Tank Road Night & Day 139 A/C Selegie Road NTU (School of Art, Design & Media) 81 Nanyang Drive NUS Museum 50 Kent Ridge Crescent Ode to Art 252 North Bridge Road #01-36E/F Opera Gallery 2 Orchard Turn #03-05 Osage 11B Mount Sophia #01-12 Peter’s Frames 19 Tanglin Road #02-02 Peranakan Museum 39 Armenian Street Post Museum 107/109 Rowell Road Public Art Space (Pan Pacific) 7 Raffles Boulevard ReDot 39 Keppel Road #02-06 Red Dot Design Museum 28 Maxwell Road Red Sea 9 Dempsey Road #01-10 Renate Kant Studio 8 Shrewsbury Road S.bin Art Plus 140 Hill Street #01-10/11/12 School of the Arts 90 Goodman Road Sculpture Square 155 Middle Road Sealey Brandt Photography Studio 1 Westbourne Road #01-02 Sinema 11B Mount Sophia #B1-12 Singapore Art Museum 71 Bras Basah Road Singapore Art Society 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore Coins and Notes Museum 2 Trengganu Street Level 3 Singapore Contemporary Young Artists www.contemporaryart.sg Singapore Philatelic Museum 23B Coleman Street Soobin Art International 10 Ubi Crescent #04-90/92/93/95 Sotheby’s Institute of Art 82 Telok Ayer Street Sun Craft 19 Tanglin Road #02-08 Sunjin Galleries 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 TAKSU 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-72 Telok Kurau Studios 91 Telok Kurau Lorong J Tembusu 140 Hill Street #01-05 The Art Gallery 1 Nanyang Walk The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane The Gallery (SMU) 90 Stamford Road The Gallery of Gnani Arts One Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Peach Tree 129 Tanglin Road The Picturehouse 2 Handy Road The Republic Cultural Centre 9 Woodlands Avenue 9 The Substation 45 Armenian Street Third Floor – Hermès 541 Orchard Road Utterly Art 229A South Bridge Road 2nd Level Valentine Willie Fine Art 39 Keppel Road #02-04 Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall 11 Empress Place VITRIA 17 Chee Hoon Avenue Xuanhua 70 Bussorah Street Y2ARTS 140 Hill Street #01-02 Yang Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-41 Yisulang 6 Handy Road #01-01 Your MOTHER gallery 91A Hindoo Road

LIFESTYLE Lai Chan 1 Beach Road #02-10 STYLE: NORDIC 39 Ann Siang Road Papa Palheta 140 Bukit Timah Road

FOR TOURISTS Armenian Church 60 Hill Street Battle Box 51 Canning Rise Buddha Tooth Relic Temple 288 South Bridge Road CHIJMES 30 Victoria Street +6336 1818 Chinatown Heritage Centre 48 Pagoda Street +65 6221 9556 Chinese Garden 1 Chinese Garden +65 6261 3632 Escape Theme Park 1 Pasir Ris Close +65 6581 9112 Fort Canning Park 51 Canning Rise +65 6332 1302 Goethe-Institut Singapur 163 Penang Road #05-01 Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Gardens) 262 Pasir Panjang Road +65 6872 2780 Johore Battery Cosford Road +65 6546 9897 Jurong Bird Park 2 Jurong Hill +65 6265 0022 Kranji War Memorial 9 Woodlands Road Lim Bo Seng Memorial Esplanade Park Malay Heritage Centre 85 Sultan Gate +65 6391 0450 Malay Village 39 Geylang Serai +65 6748 4700 Mandai Orchid Garden 200 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 1036 Marina Barrage 8 Marina Gardens Drive +65 6514 5959 Marina Bay Sands 10 Bayfront Avenue +65 6688 8868 Masjid Sultan Kampong Glam Merlion Park Fullerton Mount Faber +65 6270 8855 National Archives of Singapore 1 Canning Rise +65 6332 7909 National Library Singapore 100 Victoria Street +65 6332 3255 National Parks Board 1800-471 7300 Night Safari 80 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 3411 Parliament House 1 Parliament Place +65 6336 8811 Raffles’ Landing Site North bank of the Singapore River Reflections at Bukit Chandu 31K Pepys Road +65 6375 2510 Resorts World Sentosa 39 Artillery Avenue +65 6577 8888 St. Andrew’s Cathedral 11 Saint Andrew’s Road Science Centre Singapore / Omni Theatre 15 Science Centre Road +65 6425 2500 Sentosa 1800 736 8672 SIA Hop-on +65 9457 2896 Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road +65 6471 7361 Singapore Cable Car +65 6270 8855 Singapore City Gallery 45 Maxwell Road +65 6321 8321 Singapore Discovery Centre 510 Upper Jurong Road +65 6792 6188 Singapore Expo 1 Expo Drive +65 6403 2160 Singapore Flyer 30 Raffles Avenue +65 6734 8829 Singapore Turf Club 1 Turf Club Avenue +65 6879 1000 Singapore Zoo 80 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 3411 SKI360° 1206A East Coast Parkway +65 6442 7318 Snow City 21 Jurong Town Hall Road +65 6560 2306 Sri Mariamman Temple 244 South Bridge Road Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall 12 Tai Gin Road +65 6256 7377 Supreme Court 1 Supreme Court Lane +65 6336 0644 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve 301 Neo Tiew Crescent +65 6794 1401 Taxis - Comfort/YellowTop +65 6552 1111 - CityCab +65 6552 2222 - Premier +65 732 2516 - Smart +65 6485 7777 - Tibs +65 6555 8888 - Transcab +65 6555 3333 Thian Hock Keng Temple 158 Telok Ayer Street Touristline 1800 736 2000 Underwater World 80 Siloso Road +65 6275 0030 War Memorial Park Bras Basah Road & Beach Road intersection

Art Salon @ Seni www.theartgallerypg.com Artseni Gallery www.artseni.com CHAI (Instant Cafe House of Arts and Idea) www.instantcafetheatre.com Edi.A Art Gallery www.ediarts.blogspot.com Galeri Chandan www.galerichandan.com GALERI PETRONAS www.galeripetronas.com.my Galeri Shah Alam www.galerisa.com galleriiizu @ Shangri-La Hotel www.galleriiizu.com House of Matahati (HOM) www.matahati.com.my Islamic Arts Museum www.iamm.org.my Lookiss www.lookissgallery.com Lost Generation Space www.lostgenerationspace.blogspot.com Malaysia National Art Gallery www.artgallery.gov.my MERAH: Mansion for Experimentation, Research, Arts and Horticulture www.facebook.com/pages/MERAH/148050170487 Metro Fine Art www.metro3gallery.com NN Gallery www.nngallery.com.my Pace Gallery www.pacegallery.net Pelita Hati www.pelitahati.com.my Pinkguy Gallery www.pinkguymalaysia.com Richard Koh Fine Art www.rkfineart.com Rimbun Dahan www.rimbundahan.org RougeArt www.rogueart.asia Shalini Ganendra Fine Art www.shaliniganendra.com The Gallery @ Star Hill www.starhillgallery.com Valentine Willie Fine Art www.vwfa.net Wei-Ling Gallery www.weiling-gallery.com Y 2 S Art Space www.y2sart.com.my ZINC www.zinc.com.my

MALAYSIA ART GUIDE +Wondermilk Art Gallery www.theclickproject.com 12 (Art Space Gallery) www.12as12.com A2 Gallery www.a2artgallery.com Annexe Gallery www.annexegallery.com Art Case Galleries www.artcase.com.my Art Expo Malaysia www.artexpomalaysia.com Art House Gallery www.arthousegallery.biz Art Loft www.artloftgallery.net

JUNE 2010 / 65


LISTINGS

LISTINGS

Venues / Associations / Groups

Galleries Cape of Good Hope 140 Hill Street #01-06 MICA Building Singapore 179369 +65 6733 3822 www.capeofgoodhopeartgallery.com

Sunjin Galleries 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 Work Loft @ Chip Bee Singapore 278115 +65 6738 2317 www.sunjingalleries.com.sg

DaTang Fine Arts Singapore 177 River Valley Road, Liang Court , #02-09A Singapore 179030 +65 9846 2098 / +65 9721 3718 www.9911art.com

The Gallery of Gnani Arts 1 Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Regent Singapore 249715 +65 6725 3112 www.gnaniarts.com

fill your walls 21 Tanjong Pagar Road #04-02 Singapore 088444 +65 6222 1667 www.fill-your-walls.com

Xuanhua Art Gallery 70 Bussorah Street Singapore 199483 +65 6392 2556 www.xuanhuaart.com

Galerie Joaquin 1 Cuscaden Road #01-03 The Regent Hotel Singapore 249715 +65 6725 3113 www.galeriejoaquin.com

Yisulang Art Gallery 6 Handy Road #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 63376810 www.yisulang.com

Impress Galleries 1 Kim Seng Promenade #02-07/08 Great World City Singapore 237994 +65 67362966 www.impressgalleries.com

Dealers / Consultants Y2ARTS 140 Hill Street #01-02 MICA Building Singapore 179369 +65 6336 8683 www.y2arts.com

Auctioneers

S.Bin Art Plus 140 Hill Street MICA Building #01-10/11/12 Singapore 179369 +65 6883 2001 www.sbinartplus.com

66 / CONFABULATION

Black Earth Auction 367 Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427559 +65 6346 3767 www.blackearth.com.sg

Conservation and Restoration Benaka Art Conservation Private Ltd 64 Taman Warna Singapore 276386 +65 9105 4377 / +65 6100 2707 www.benakaartconservation.com

The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 6338 2234 www.thelam.sg

Art Services Ray’s Transport & Services Artwork Installation & Delivery Services All other Art related services +65 91522511 artswithray@gmail.com

Artists’ Studios Framers

Lukisan Art Gallery 110 Faber Drive Singapore 129421 +65 6774 1609 www.lukisan-art.com

Mulan Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6738 0810 www.mulangallery.com.sg

Gnani Arts Space 190 Middle Road #02-30/31, Fortune Centre Singapore 188979. +65 6339 1230 www.gnaniarts.com

Impress Galleries 429 East Coast Road Singapore 429016 +65 64404533 www.impressgalleries.com

Peter’s Frames 19 Tanglin Road #02-02 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6737 9110 petersframes@hotmail.com

Antiquities and Furniture

Chieu Sheuy Fook Studio Studio 102 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985 +65 96690589 chieusf@gmail.com Ketna Patel 35 Jalan Puteh Jerneh Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village Singapore 278057 +65 6479 3736 www.ketnapatel.com

Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore 417774 +65 9671 2940 www.yessy.com/koehsiayong www.koehsiayong.artfederations.com

Antiquaro 19 Tanglin Road, #02-42 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6737 4822 www.antiquaro.com

JUNE 2010 / 67


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CMY

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68 / CONFABULATION

JUNE 2010 / 69


POSTSCRIPT

How to behave like a tortured artist:

Jirapat Tatsanasomboon

1.

As a tortured artist, you need a signature look so that people can easily pick you out from the exhibition opening party crowd. It could be a dramatic hair color (keep the hair messy) and a generous amount of eye make up.

2.

3.

Hide away from the crowd but make sure that people can still see you looking forlorn, sullen and cynical.

Act like people don’t ‘get’ you and do not accept any compliments people give you on your art. Reply along the lines of ‘You’re missing the point’, ‘It’s a horrible interpretation of how I feel’ or ‘You don’t even understand’.

4.

Look through the list of signs and symptoms of psychotic diseases and personality disorders and pick 3 that you think you can pull off. This could be attempts at suicide, severe mood swings and feelings of victimization.

*5.

Watch the series of Saw movies for inspiration. Severed limbs and overdose of black and crimson red paint in your artworks is recommended. *optional for painters.

70 / CONFABULATION

Captain America vs Mari, Acrylic on Canvas, 100 x 100cm

MULAN GALLERY 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 T: (65) 6738 0810 | E: enquiry@mulangallery.com.sg | www.mulangallery.com.sg JUNE 2010 / 71


72 / CONFABULATION


32357718-CONFABULATION-June-2010