Lit Up Festival 2013: PROGRESSION
Aliwal Arts Centre, 19 - 21 July 2013
Festival Director: Savinder Kaur
Artistic Director: Marc Nair
Program Curator: Deborah Emmanuel
Visual Arts Curator: Joleen Loh
Artists: Bruce Quek, Gerald Leow, Hafiz Osman, Joel Yuen and Daryl Goh, Jying Tan, Lee Wen, Marc Gabriel Loh, Sufian Samsiyar, spacer.gif, WeJungle, Wu Jun Han, Marc Nair and Janette Maxey, Vanessa Ban and Tan Peiling, Bani Haykal and Geraldine Kang.
Neo-Ruins (working title)
By Sufian Samsiyar
Curated by Joleen Loh
27 September – 16 October 2013
TriSpace, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
Architecture is persistently utopic; it is always an expression of dream and function. Architects, as once described by J. G. Ballard, always design for an imagined future, one which is perceived to be a progression of the present. From this perspective, architecture is always utopian.
The work of Sufian subverts this notion. His dissolving landscapes of Singapore’s cityscapes and rubble, photographed and manipulated with solvents, reveal a sense of fatigue and weariness toward the city – a discordance of the city’s vision of itself. His work may be read as a response to the anticipation of today’s modern architectural phenomena and intensity in construction. Through his interventions, Sufian reveals urbanity as bleak, chaotic and futile, and one that is suggestive of the psychological effects of rapid technological and urban developments.
The depiction of ruins in these landscapes is also, perhaps more importantly for Sufian, a destruction of the photographic image. The process of erasure, often followed by transposition onto various support materials, speaks of his need to move away from medium-specificity. Within his works is a self-reflexive dialogue between media, a process of mutation to propose an alternative to the photographic image.
The destruction of the photographic image parallel the ‘ruins’ in Sufian’s local urbanscapes. They exist irreparably so.
Sound Art: A Singapore Survey (working title)
Curated by Joleen Loh and Bani Haykal
Earl Lu Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
INTERPLAY, Art Stage Singapore, 23 - 27 January 2013
Artists: Bradley Foisset, Luke Heng and Hilmi Johandi
Curated by Dr. Charles Merewether and Joleen Loh
Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Halls, Booth P11
This exhibition offers a snapshot of some experimental practices taking place at LASALLE College of the Arts. Presenting the works of three BA (Hons) Fine Arts students of the Faculty of Fine Arts, this exhibition explores the mobility of contemporary practices as they intersect and play off the use of other media or conventions of practice.
The paintings of Luke Heng (b. 1987) are shaped by a sense of meditation about the very approach to the practice itself. In his recent paintings, Heng uses the concept of Eastern philosophy and Chinese medicine to tackle the formal issues of painting such as harmony, proportionality and duality. Notably, he is interested in the affinities between painting and the concept of Yin-yang, a fundamental principle of Chinese Herbology. His work aspires toward monochrome painting if only to disrupt its purity of surface with subtle modulations of color and appearance of gaps, lines and discrete breaks in the surface.
Hilmi Johandi (b. 1987) explores the differences and relations between painting and film by way of their hybridization, an interplay through which he examines representation and medium. While his videos allude to the gestural qualities of painting, his paintings are informed by the filmic methods and language of cinema. These paintings become animated, entering a mobile narration of storytelling in which the human figure and space begin to merge and separate again into distinct figurations of line and color.
Bradley Foisset (b. 1979) explores the constructed dichotomy between man and nature. His recent work employs materials that are taken from the land and rivers of Singapore that are being eroded and destroyed. Drawing upon the history of ropes which were first braided from vines, Foisset’s installation constructed with both rope and vine seeks to disrupt the hierarchy between what is considered man- made and organic. Bringing these materials together, Foisset challenges the concept of nature as divorced from culture, and seeks to propose a nonhierarchical and interconnected relationship between them.
AUTOIDENTITY, Art Space at dbl O, 13 July - 4 August 2012
Artists: Davy Animas, Jason Lee, Nel Lim, Sha Najak and Ummairoh
Curated by Joleen Loh
In a world of mass migration and cultural intermixing, no longer does a simple, coherent understanding of identity describe with accuracy the texture of our increasingly diverse national makeup. AUTOIDENTITY is an exhibition of new works by five artists who, through personal experiences, seek to interpret the impact of the exclusive logic and artificial boundaries of ethnic-classifications and stereotypes.
’AUTOIDENTITY’ is both a reference to the automated, mechanical classification of people beyond their control and the act of conveying personal stories through autobiographies. The exhibition also examines the impact of stereotyping others, in order to ask how we can relate to each other beyond simplified constructions when the reality of our community is a medley of diverse, often contradictory influences and impulses.
While several of these artists have crossed borders or have a history of borders crossed, their work is not specifically about migration, at least as that word is conventionally understood. Nor is it about what migration “looks like” in the early 21st century. Rather, it is about personal experience of cultural difference and displacement.
From installations that trace the often-undermined mixture of heritages when forming a Singaporean identity to poetry and mixed media photographs that examine the experiences of migrant workers after crossing borders, this exhibition dwells on the ongoing search for a sense of personal identity in Singapore, reminding us that the stains of prejudice are not just a burden for its victims but for all of us.
Action Parties #3, Art Space at Dbl O, 7 and 8 July 2012
Curated by Joleen Loh in collaboration with Khai Hori (Wunderspaze)
More information at http://actionparties.wordpress.com
CALL FOR PROPOSALS:
From Wonder to Ruins, Fehily Contemporary
8 - 17 December 2011
Artists: Ash Keating, Karri Cameron, Sam Fagan and Tristan Da Roza
Curated by Joleen Loh
with essay by Dan Samitisirisuk
Opening celebrations: Saturday, 10 December 2011, 3-5PM
From Wonder to Ruins investigates the physical and metaphorical collapse embodied within urbanity to comment on our contemporary structures and systems of control. Through installation, sculpture, photography and collage, the four artists in the exhibition will engage with the state of collapse to expose the imbalances in our contemporary paradigm. Unpicking the hidden fragility and contradictions within the sites and infrastructure that surround us, they reveal a failure within these marvels of humanity’s progress.
Tristan Da Roza will explore the inherent flaws in the notion of human progress. He orchestrates and stages sculptures of failure to allude to unexpected and unavoidable accidents. For Tristan, the residue of accidents within our built environment is indicative of the negative growth of technological progress and social positivism, for which the logic of capitalism does not account for. Raw materials and technology, which are historically symbolic of human advancement, become mechanisms of our degradation. In early 2009, Ash Keating intercepted and repositioned industrial waste to create a disruptive presence in Penrith, NSW that encouraged the public to consider our hyper-exploitative systems of production and consumption. He will present an image photographed at the site of the interception in relation to the excesses and unsustainable practices of contemporary society.
The possibility of collapse is ever-present in the exhibition. Karri Cameron employs a diverse and lateral array of manufactured materials that she has accumulated to create a consumer detritus. Slouched and precariously held together by string, her installation suggests exhaustion and disintegration. This possibility of collapse is also pronounced in Sam Fagan’s heavy suspended sculptures. Employing sculptural configurations as metaphors for our current economic and environmental systems, Sam queries its sustainability and threat of destruction. These proposed systems function with time as prolonged accidents, a delay that reveals each structural component’s dependency on another for survival. Together, the exhibition becomes a collective detritus that explores the reality of our contemporary condition.
Dan Samitisirisuk’s essay will offer an empirical view on capitalism’s lack of consideration for our natural and built environment. The essay is concerned with the questionable drivers of unfettered urban sprawl that are symptomatic of deeper problems beyond the shortages of living space. Drawing from local and international precedents, Dan reveals this as a global phenomenon that has been largely overlooked.
Featured in: The Age, The (Melbourne) Magazine, Issue 86, Penny Webb, December 2011
Looking at the Overlooked, George Paton Gallery
26 July - 5 August 2011
Artists: Mia Kenway, Brooke Williams, Leah Williams
Curated by Joleen Loh
Wherever we go, there will always be invisible dimensions impinging on our bodies and our thoughts, which by nature we cannot help but be swayed by. Looking at the Overlooked will explore the undermined and seemingly insignificant details in the constructed sites around us that, despite being unnoticed, shape our contemporary moment. The three artists in the exhibition draw attention to the particularities of objects and spaces usually glimpsed but avoided, provoking in viewers an awareness of the nature of our visual perceptions and bodily experiences within our built environment.
Their hyperawareness and visual sensitivity to the structures, objects, and materials provide perspective to the spaces in which we inhabit, and invite new and unanticipated ways of looking. Notions of the ‘lesser space’ is an underlying current in their works, each making undeniable what is overlooked: the immobilized
- Engaging Perspectives: New Art from Singapore, curated by Eugene Tan, Gillman Barracks, 2013 (Curator’s Tour and text)
- HAO Summit 2012, the Substation, conceptualised by Khairuddin Hori and Audrey Wong (Media coordinator)
- Lee Wen: Lucid Dreams in the Reverie of the Real, 2012 (Curatorial assistant)
- Artist in Residence, Okto Channel (Speaker, installation art)