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Artist of the Month: Aryaman Dixit...
Technology has brought distant worlds closer to us, fitting perfectly into a tiny cup. Yet, why do we feel so alone looking at these photographs? Aryaman Dixit reveals our human condition in his 'Landscapes in a cup' series...

February 18, 2016

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'Calendars (2020-2096)' by Heman Chong...
Singaporean artist Heman Chong's work 'Calendars (2020-2096)' re-imagines the future through the idea of a fictional narrative...

February 16, 2016

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Heman Chong: 'Ifs, Ands or Buts' at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai...
Singaporean artist Heman Chong’s 2016 is off to a fantastic start, with solo exhibitions at both South London Gallery and Rockbund Art Musuem in Shanghai.   Heman Chong: Ifs, Ands, or Buts 23 JANUARY - 3 MAY 2016 THE ROCKBUND ART MUSEUM  20 Huqiu Road, Huang Pu District, Shanghai.  "One Thousand and One Nights" by Heman Chong ‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’ is Chong’s first solo exhibition at a museum in China and Rockbund Art Museum’s first exhibition of 2016. It features seven new commissions, produced specifically for the museum that investigates the relationship between image and text through the relationships formed within the works. ‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’ is a continuation of his highly-conceptualized investigations into how various groups and individuals imagine the future, which he uses to produce his multi-varied works. "Legal Bookshop (Shanghai)" by Heman Chong One of the main themes of the exhibition, reflected in the title ‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’, involves the concept of fiction. One Thousand and One Nights - a large-scale lightbox installation on the north façade of Rockbund – highlights the differences in the meaning of the title of the well-loved collection of stories in different languages. Legal Bookshop temporarily replaces the traditional museum gift shop with a bookshop that carries only fictional and non-fictional books on the legal system in China. The latter is produced as a collaboration with Ken Liu, a lawyer who is also an award-winning author and translator of speculative fiction. "The Mysterious Island" by Heman Chong Image courtesy of Aesthetica Magazine Image courtesy of the artist The work being installed Image courtesy of the artist In his mixed media installation, The Mysterious Island, Chong attempts to recreate the fictional utopia that is The Peach Blossom Spring (桃花源記) – a motif that is integral to East-Asian mythology, as well as pop culture. This installation is constructed from ready-made plastic peach blossom trees procured from the Chinese online marketplace, Taobao (淘宝), and set against a blue backdrop, much like ones used on film production sets. The Mysterious Island evokes the pursuit of an unknowable other through the idea of escape. "Endless (Nights)" by Heman Chong Heman Chong is an artist, curator and writer. He received his M.A in Communication Art & Design from The Royal College of Art, London in 2002. His work continuously interrogates the many functions of the production of narratives in our everyday lives. His work has been exhibited in various solo exhibitions internationally, and at group exhibitions at the Tate Modern, The National Museum of Art, Osaka and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona – to name a few. He has also participated in various biennales, representing Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). "Everything (Baike)" by Heman Chong Image courtesy of the artist Image courtesy of the artist   Click here to see more of Heman Chong's work. For more details on the exhibition see Rockbund Art Museum's website.   All images courtesy of Rockbund Art Museum unless otherwise stated. Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

January 27, 2016

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'My Forest Has No Name' by Donna Ong...
One could almost believe that Donna Ong's 'Forest' is real, but the shine of the plastic leaves and the empty expression of a growling tiger reminds us that it is just an illusion....

January 26, 2016

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Singapore Arts Club: Interview with Jack Tan...
In this edition of the Singapore Arts Club Series, The Artling speaks to artist Jack Tan about what he is most excited about for Singapore Arts Club and how he tackled the theme of ‘myth’ in his commission this year....

January 18, 2016

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Interview with Sookoon Ang...
Opening on the 20th of this month is Singaporean Sookoon Ang’s solo exhibition at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, entitled EVEREST. Despite her hectic schedule in the days leading up to the opening, The Artling managed to sit down with her to find out more about her project.   Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for EVEREST, and how you and the curator June Yap came together on this project. EVEREST is the title of my installation as well as the title of my solo exhibition at Objectifs. I first conceived of the idea in 2006 when I was at residency at the Rijkaakademie in Amsterdam. The title plays with the words, “Ever” & “Rest”, which conjure the ideas of the ethereal and eternal peace. It engages the present reality by calling upon the ‘unreal’; a figment of imagination that became actual, vivid and existing in an external objective space. I have been interested in making works that bring about metaphysical element to a physical presence. I naively supposed that if I take a very light fabric, starch the fabric to a 3 peaks form, place helium balloons under the fabric, et viola! I would have a floating ghost mountain. It took me the following years of technical experience to gradually understand what I have to do to produce this installation to its potential. In late 2014, early 2015, I started to push for the realisation (rebirth) of EVEREST. Coincidently, my first meeting with June also happened in Amsterdam in 2007 when she was on a curatorial visit in The Netherlands. I have always wanted to work with June and when Objectifs offered me this solo exhibition, I asked June if she’d be interested to curate it. It’s been a real pleasure working with June. It’s really great to have her collected & insightful opinions, her openness towards thoughts and ideas, and her humility in light of her many years of experience. "Fugitive Waves III" by Ang SooKoon Bronze / 2015 / 29.5 x 20.5 x 30.0cm / 11.8″ x 11.6″ x 8.1″ / Unique / USD $5,580 EVEREST is a multi-disciplinary work that features a wide variety of mediums from wax and bronze figures to sketches, and even video art. Was this as much an exploration into the concept of the monumental as an exploration of the properties and limitations of different mediums? The exhibition started by building from EVEREST, the installation. The different series of works come together easily because fundamentally they concern the idea of interior landscapes. If I remember correctly, Richard Wilbur said this about my favourite poet, Emily Dickinson: “She who contains the universe does not need the world”. Jeanette Winterson, another of my favourite writer wrote, “Against daily insignificance art recalls to us possible sublimity. It cannot do this if it is merely a reflection of actual life. Our real lives are elsewhere. Art finds them.” The motivation of my work in general and the purpose of this exhibition are about finding the sublimity in our unstable state of existence and the exploration of interior landscapes. The concept of monumental that June refers to is not about actual scale but more in terms of the grandiose of mind and spirit. And if there is any limitation, it’d be the limits of my skills and the limits of inherited thoughts, certainly not the limitation of mediums. "EVEREST" by Ang SooKoon in collaboration with Sorcha O'Raghallaigh Silk, Tulle, Plexiglass, Metal, Plexiglass, Lights / 2016 / 3 x 1.5 x 1.5m / 118.1" x 59" x 59" / 1st Edition / Price on Request The highlight of this exhibition is the fabric construction that you and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh worked on. Tell us more about how this collaboration came about and why you chose the medium of fabric of express this piece. I’m an avid Tumblr reader and I came upon an image from a random Tumblr of Sorcha’s dress from her Central St. Martin graduation show a few years ago. I save that Tumblr photo because the dress was beautiful is an ethereal way. In late 2014, early 2015, I started to push for the realisation of EVEREST, an installation I had first developed during my residency at the Rijkaakademie almost 10 years ago. And about the same time, I was offered a solo show by Objectifs who with good faith gave me carte blanche and let me do what I want for the show. I love them for this, for allowing me to realise this work that’s dormant for 10 years. I initially reached out to local bridal and gown designers but to no avail. So I thought I’ll do a cold call to Sorcha to see if she is interested. Even though, she was my last call, she is definitely my first choice. I just wasn’t sure if I am able to get her to come to Singapore. The romantic and grandeur sensibility of her work fits perfectly to this installation. Wonderfully, Sorcha was interested. Her practice is not commercially driven ready-to-wears and are not steered by the fashion trends. Her clothing are often labour intensive, one-off pieces that true to her visions. I believe it’s the nature of her practice that very easily made her interested in a fine art collaboration. Using fabric to convey the form of mountain, Everest references to stereotypical representation of ghost; it is a white hoovering apparition that is both fragile and bold. The fabric part of the installation needs to be beautifully made to be awe-inspiring. It can’t be the raggedy thing I made in Amsterdam. I am thrilled to bring Sorcha’s dress to my snow mountain form. "Real Emotions" by Ang SooKoon Inkjet Print on Aluminium / 2014 / 80 x 8 x 170 cm / 39.8″ x 22.8″ x 3.1″ / Edition of 3 + AP / USD $5,720 Although you do not have a specific focus in your general body of work, you seem to have interest in natural forms such as in the Your Love is Like a Chunk of Gold series and Higher Love (2014). Again in EVEREST, natural landforms are central to your show – is there a reason that you seem to gravitate towards these visual structures? I’m glad you point this out. Although my work do not have an apparent visual resemblance to one another, it focuses on evocative reconsiderations of the everyday. I address the unstable dimension of existence through presenting variable perceptions of reality as well as suggesting or creating alternative universes. Underpinning my work is existential anxiety and the desire to represent the fragile and ephemeral. Hence my work is produced in response to the transient and imperfect nature of things, emotions and ideas. Via multiple mediums, I stage nonlinear narratives that engage in layers of perceptions and plasticity of interpretations. Artwork is not a branding and artists are not obliged to be fixed to a certain style for quick references and fast consumerism. I want to make sculptural forms that are uncontrived, forms that are organic and have their say in how they would exist outside of my popular-culture-corrupted mind. I have to look hard and sharp to find them but they would only come unexpectedly. I apply the philosophy of Wabi Sabi to my work: nothing is complete, nothing is perfect, nothing lasts forever. "Walk" by Ang SooKoon Pencil and Pen on Paper / 2015 / 35 x 27 cm / 10.6″ x 13.8″ / Unique / USD $1,600 Finally, what is the one thing that you hope viewers will take away from their experience of Everest? Viewers are asked to traverse the boundary between physical phenomena and metaphysical projections. Everest is the experience of the ordinary with the sublime that is inextricably entwined.     Discover more works by Ang SooKoon here. 'EVEREST' a solo exhibition by Ang SooKoon is on show at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film from 20 January till 21 February 2016, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977. Opening hours are Tue - Sat 12-7pm; Sun 12-4pm. There will also be a talk by the artist on 30 January at 2pm.   The Artling is the official Online Partner for EVEREST by Ang SooKoon.    ...

January 14, 2016

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Singapore Arts Club: Interview with Sean Lee...
As part of a series, The Artling interviewed three emerging Singaporean artists specially selected to curate this year’s Singapore Arts Club (formerly known as DRIVE), a public arts project organized by Arnoldii Arts Club and Gillman Barracks. In this edition, we talk to artist Sean Lee about the creative process in producing his commission and his participation in the event.   Tell us a bit about how you became involved in this edition of Singapore Arts Club and what most excites you about the programme this year. Audrey [producer and owner of Yeo Workshop] contacted me after my friend Zhuang WuBin made a recommendation to her regarding my work. I have never really had a show outdoors, with the proportions of my artwork enlarged to such a scale before. So this is new and exciting for me. Image courtesy of the artist and Singapore Arts Club   The theme of this year’s Singapore Arts Club is ‘myth’, which seems very broad. What was your creative process in undertaking this theme and were there any challenges you faced during the conception of your work? All of my work deal in one way or another to themes that relate to intimate relationships, memory and longing. It is fortunate that the theme is broad enough to contain the kinds of work I would have wanted to do with or without the show.   An image from Lee's 'Shauna' collection that will also be on show Image courtesy of the artist and Singapore Arts Club The Singapore Arts Club is a joint project with both Gillman Barracks and Arnoldii Arts Club, the latter of which focuses on creating opportunities for people in Singapore to learn more about art. What do you think about arts education in Singapore and how do you think we can improve on our current programmes? I have never had a formal art education in Singapore. I became a camera assistant right after I left the army. I think I am not the best person to speak on the subject.   Your body of work appears to mainly focus on a sense of intimacy both in the way you select and frame your subject-matter. However, in Rooms you enlarge photographs of places where you grew up to almost strange proportions, frustrating the intimate nature of the subject through its sheer scale; what led you to this decision and how do you think it changes the viewer’s experience of the photographs? To me there are only 2 appropriate sizes for photographs. The first is that it is small enough that you can hold them in your hand. It becomes then an object, a personal possession. It finds itself in the realm of things. The other is so big that it makes the viewer feel completely overwhelmed. It becomes almost like a physical structure or a part of a building.   "Two People" by Shaun Lee Image courtesy of the artist and Singapore Arts Club As part of your Singapore Arts Club commission, Two People, strangers are encouraged to lie in bed together and take a photo in a live interactive photography set. What sort of reaction do you hope that people will have in response to this, or is the unexpectedness and the inability to control each person’s reaction the whole point of the exercise? Yes you are quite right. I think it is the unexpectedness that I am most looking forward to.     Read the other articles in this series, including our interviews with artists Jack Tan and Joo Choo Lin.   Singapore Arts Club runs from Friday, 22 January till Monday, 22 February 2016 at 1 Gillman Barracks, 1 Lock Road 01-01, Singapore 108937. For more details see their website and Facebook page.   The Artling is an official Media Partner for Singapore Arts Club.   Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

January 13, 2016

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'Imaginary Homeland' by Boedi Widjaja...
Art meets tech through Indonesian artist, Boedi Widjaja's, drawings in 'Imaginary Homeland'...

January 13, 2016

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Artist of the Month: Raintree Chan...
Artist of the month, Raintree Chan, likens himself to Victor Frankenstein, which seems perfectly apt given his chosen technique of collage. Chan painstakingly hand-cuts various images from print sources such as magazines and flyers, and sorts them into stacks of trays brimming with cut-outs. This facilitates the instinctive, almost automatic compositions that characterise his collages, which are scanned and printed. It is thus unsurprising that Chan cites Surrealist painter René Magritte as one of his influences. Surrealism was a movement that embraced the uncanny in the everyday through unusual visual juxtapositions, and to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Similarly, Chan’s collages evoke an alternate universe, comprised of objects and figures familiar to us, but in new and unexpected ways. "Encounter 24" by Raintree Chan Digital Print / 30cm x 30cm x 2cm / 11.8" x 11.8" x 0.8" / Edition of 6 / US$ 600 The worlds that Chan creates seem immediately absurd, but on further observation is based on the idea of memories hidden deep within our subconscious. His works seem to inhabit a world of contraditions, with a child-like sense of innocence to his work that is tempered by a dark and alternative undertone; he presents an environment that we only see in our dreams, in our conscious reality. "2 Cuts/ 3" by Raintree Chan Digital print / 23.5cm x 30cm x 2cm / 9.3" x 11.3" x 0.8" / Edition of 6 / US$ 600 Chan has a powerful command of colour relationships as well as composition, which give his works a strong presence and imbue the flat cut-outs with a sense of dimensionality. The visual effect of collage and photomontage - used extensively by the Berlin Dadaists such as Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch - is given a light-hearted treatment in Chan's pop cultural references to David Bowie, Liev Schreiber films and The Wizard of OZ, just to name a few. Image: Courtesy of the artist    A self-taught artist, Chan spends most of his time at his studio in Taipei. He has worked on projects in New York and Hong Kong, as well as had his works exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Taiwan.     See Raintree Chan's works here   Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

January 07, 2016

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Artist of the Month: Madhvi Subrahmanian...
December's Artist of the Month is Mumbai-born, Singapore-based sculptor Madhvi Subrahmanian. Madhvi's works are currently exhibited at Gillman Barracks (22 Lock Road, Singapore 108939) until 11 December 2015, in collaboration with Platform Projects and the launch of Art India in Singapore.  Madhvi breaks away from the traditional notion of ceramics. Her works expand into the sculptural pushing from a vessel reference to the large scale, affecting and altering the space they occupy. Having lived in three continents and in four countries, she belongs to a world where change is the only constant. Inspired and affected by the challenges of new opportunities and limitations brought by new circumstances, incubation, growth and movement find repeated expression in her works. Organic, earthy and sensual, Madhvi’s work balances between disparate ideas of fragility and strength. Built with coils that cradle and encircle one another, that are supportive and emergent, relaxed yet taut the forms seek to address issues of opposing forces. They contemplate and question the dual nature of existence.   Born in Mumbai India, Madhvi Subrahmanian started her career with Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry. Golden Bridge is a production pottery and a clay art center where students from all over India come to learn the craft of clay. "Floating Belly pod installation" by Madhvi Subrahmanian Stoneware / 18cm x 182cm x 18cm / 7.1" x 72" x 7.1" / Unique Work / US$ 5,200 After her training in Pondicherry, Madhvi set up her own studio in Mumbai and later attained her Masters in Fine arts from the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas Texas .   Madhvi has had several solo and group exhibitions around the world and has also participated in several residency programs. Her residencies include Watershed in Maine USA, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan, FLICAM museum in Fuping China and Naori Eco Art Festival in South Korea. Madhvi has won several grants and awards over the years and has also been selected to participate in several competitions and biennales most recently the ASNA triennial, Karachi Pakistan and Indonesia Contemporary Ceramic Biennale, Jakarta Indonesia. "Cornucopia" by Madhvi Subrahmanian Stoneware / 40cm x 33cm x 33cm / 15.7″ x 13″ x 13″ / Unique Work / US$ 1,200 Madhvi’s work can be found in several public and private collections, such as the Mumbai Airport Authority in India, Jindal Art Foundation, India, Lohia Foundation, Indonesia, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan and East Coast Park in Singapore.   Her work has been covered in several magazines and books like Contemporary ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper.   See Madhvi Subrahmanian's works here   Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

December 09, 2015

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