The exhibition ‘Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia' opened to the public earlier this month at the Singapore Art Museum. The exhibition has run dates from November 17, 2017 and will remain on view until March 2018. The exhibit is a showcase of artists and artist collectives whom are currently living and working in Southeast Asia from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines, among others. These artist’s recent works utilize the mediums of film, animation, and mixed media which include installations that incorporate moving image. The exhibition consists of ten artists and eleven works total; these artists employ the medium of film to depict contemporary narratives that range on a multiplicity of topics. These preeminent artists have strong voices that actively contribute to the momentum seen in the contemporary film and video works today. Their aim is to discuss the present issues through a medium that itself is undergoing continual changes. This is addressed in terms of making video material accessible to larger audiences than ever before, quality of image, dissemination of thought, among others.
Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic, ‘There’s a word I’m trying to remember, for a feeling I’m about to have (a distracted path towards extinction)’ (2016-17). Courtesy of: the artists & LUXUO
The exhibition, noted as one of the smaller shows in the history of the Singapore Art Museum, is curated by John Tung. The number of works and clarity of the curatorial vision is successful in the transference of thematic takeaways for the audience. With less works on view, there is more potential for full engagement with what is there and seeing video works through their entire run time. Included in the show are diverse works that survey and begin to address components of a wide range of concerns. These include, but are not limited to personal to societal. It is clear that traditional boundaries that are often used to categorize art are challenged in this exhibition. The viewers are invited to further see the potential from breaking down boundaries whether in art, or in life.
The Propeller Group, ‘AK-47 vs. M16’ (2015). Courtesy of: City Nomads
Audience in front of 'AK-47 vs. M16' (2015). Courtesy of: Singapore Art Museum & Hanoi Grapevine
Hollywood is referenced in some of the works because of the irrefutable influence that the industry continues to have, and how that plays out in many works realized in them medium of film. It also speaks to intent that the material is created for, which is mass media consumption through dissemination in popular culture outlets such as video and written publication, social media, among others. Today there is a normalization of violence present in the media, both in manifestations that are subtle and those that are overt. The artist’s works apart of ‘Cinerama’ works aim to address a multiplicity of issues, among which is to get the viewer to question ‘why?’
The Propeller Group, 'AK-47 vs. M16', The Film (2016). Courtesy of: Singapore Art Museum & Hanoi Grapevin
One artist group on view, The Propeller Group, based in Ho Chi Minh, presents a work entitled AK-47 vs. M16 (2015). The work depicts two bullets, one from an AK-47 and the other from an M16 encapsulated in a forensic ballistics gel brick. The position of the bullets implies their movement, their use, and the gel brick offers the viewer a moment to see the objects suspended in time. Additionally, The Propeller Group also has a film on view entitled ‘The Film’ (2016) which utilizes footage from: the internet, hollywood films, and documentaries. The pieces are pieced and weaved together to form the narrative.
Jeremy Sharma, ‘A White, White Day’ (2017). Courtesy of: the artist & LUXUO
Jeremy Sharma, an artist living and working in Singapore, presents A White, White Day (2017). The work is playing with light in phases of brightness and shadow. Visually, the viewer is confronted with a stack of lightboxes, affixed together with precision. The work is against the back wall of the gallery space and the size is evocative of a large scale static TV screen. However, there is no noise of static, no ability for the viewer to cause a shift on the work such as switching channels, among others. If patient, the viewer can see a video play of different strengths of light coming out from the lightbox structure. The overall image is one that possesses a range of tonality in grays to whites, and clarity from sharpness of focus to blurred exposure. The work is reminiscent of the quality of light on a cloudy day. The subtly in the range is celebrated in their quiet work.
Amy Lee Sanford, ‘Scanning’ (2013). Still from single-channel video: 41 min 56 sec. Courtesy of: the artist, Singapore Art Museum, & ArtAsiaPacific
For information on exhibition hours, additional programming, accessibility, and ticket inquiries among others, please visit: https://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/
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.
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