The Visual Arts Development Association (VADA) is a non-profit arts organisation that was established to support promising up-and-coming artists in Singapore by providing them with practical experiences in their early stages of artistic career as well as a chance to meet art collectors/art lovers in the industry. Comprising of two annual juried group exhibitions, UNTAPPED Emerging and UNTAPPED Discovery, the UNTAPPED series is a platform that allows selected artists (from an open call of submissions) to have their works showcased and collected by the initiative's network of supporters.
A dinner is also hosted every year to allow artists a direct interaction with art patrons and collectors - a feature that sets UNTAPPED apart from other artist programmes. UNTAPPED Connections, newly launched this year, enables two artists from the respective exhibitions to be gifted cash reward each by two patrons as a gesture of support. Patrons are also able to collect one artwork from each exhibition, setting a record of over a third of the works showcased during the exhibitions are automatically acquired by these established art lovers.
The UNTAPPED Discovery 2017 Selected Artists. Image Courtesy of VADA and Zeharn Lim.
Be sure to catch the UNTAPPED Discovery 2017 exhibition, set to take place on 9 December - 23 December this year at SHOPHOUSE 5, featuring new works by eight exceptional budding artists.
The following are a collection of their past and present works. Keep scrolling to get a hint on what to expect!
Zeharn Lim is an artist-designer who engages with universal aspects of human experience such as time, consciousness and monotony.
Sweet Agony is a kinetic video installation of a man trapped within a confined space, constantly struggling to break out. A moving platform designed to synchronise with the video, the pushing of the frame transfers from a 2-dimensional video and into actual 3-dimensional space. The absurd situation grows in poignancy and frustration with each futile endeavour, reflecting our contemporary way of life where individuals are caged by the routines and monotony of our everyday existence.
Joshua Gomes's practice primarily engages themes of space, such as the nature of it and how an artwork functions within or affects said space, as well as the act of mark-making and leaving traces. His practice draws inspiration from his environment and the act of rationalizing or recontextualizing it.
Filament & Chamber is a progression from Void (2016), that explores the creation of space through canvas. The canvas sculptures draw inspiration from the human skeletal system and its nature as the internal framework within the body. Chamber developed from examining the cavernous nature of the rib cage and its role as a protective cavity enclosing vital organs, rigid yet flexible enough to allow for the rhythmic contraction and expansion of space. Whereas Filament inspects the idea of interlocking spaces, as well as the transmission of information through these spaces, mirroring the form of the human spine. The works of this series pair elements of anatomy and space with the textile medium to create works that evoke a sense of meditative calm and balance.
"3-hour Drawing" of "126 hours" by (2016-present) by Fiona Seow.
Image Courtesy of Culturepush and the Artist
Works by Fiona Seow are often an abstraction of elements from nature and objects around her. With a background in Interior Design and an interest in space, geometry and numbers, Fiona’s works are primarily driven by an obsession with perfection and order, coupled with a compulsion to repeat. Her works are often a by-product of various processes that she engages in to achieve a meditative state or a sense of pleasure.
A work-in-progress, 3-hour Drawing is a drawing that takes on a ritualistic process that sees the artist sitting down for 3 hours each day, drawing circles without stopping. The circle is a symbol of completion and perfection. Through this intensive repetitive process, she aims to push limits while thinking about time and infinity.
Xinwei Che works narrate excerpts of her writing; her fears, her thoughts, her feelings. They capture the essence of her memory and recollection of factual accounts of events, and reiterate them in the form of sculptures, drawings and concept designs.
Stitch Along Perforations is a work that reflects on the artist's sentiments about body and memory: "I think about the memories embedded in our muscles and bones whenever I feel lost and displaced. The body remembers old habits and movements, even when the conscious mind does not. I made this work in fragments over two years when I relocated to a new city without knowing anyone. The act of replicating familiar shapes from memory is comforting, and in the process I created a memento of the vessel I reside in."
"Acquiesce #2" (2017) by Bryan Tan. Image Courtesy of the Artist
Bryan Tan's artistic research revolves around the central theme of the relation between objects and the surrounding space. His drawings and installations seek to examine hidden energy in forms and space and explore how these elements can merge as a singular work, in both a physical and emotional dimension, bringing the viewer into a continuous reflection on space and the interaction of the material. It is the immaterial embodied in the firmness of the physical that affects the artist and indicates the key to understanding his works.
Acquiesce #2 emphasizes volume and the hidden dynamism a form can hold. Although it adopts an elementary form (as with most of his works), it is not strictly a geometrical construct, but shapes that seem to assume movement. Whether hanging on a wall unit or placed on the ground or leaning onto something, the artist tries to make his work claim their existence in space, with changes of direction that draw abstract geometries and moments of calmness.
Ernest Wu is motivated by a curiosity for mortality and the abstract nature of thought, he uses photography and moving images to explore the perception of spaces.
Black Boxes: "It towers above. 9, 10, 24 stories up. It is not land that touches the sky; it is concrete that cuts the horizon. It is lives stacked, one on top of the other, row after row after row. And I see are black boxes. Black on white on black."
Lijie Ong is interested in themes of the consciousness, corporeality and anxieties. Her work features narratives in which the notion of body is explored as a tool to depict the consequences of anxieties, desires and their interdictions and her practice reflects and investigates on the framing and nature of relations between the individual and the collective other.
Mad Laced in City is an etching print made up of 15 separate etched copper plates, forming a polyptych on its own. The motivation for this piece was derived from everyday anxieties and the artist's reflection of her personal experiences with her surroundings. Through a thoughtful amalgamation of layout and imageries, the piece strives to address the consequence and struggle of conformity demanded by the construct of culture and society.
Wu Gang Ng is a visual artist and a photographer who produces images that are mainly documentary-based, narrating a story. In the majority of his works, the artist has chronicled his father in adversity after being diagnosed with cancer.
With Endeavour, the series of powerful images not only reflects this journey but also the close relationship the artist has with his father through the intimacy of the photographer-subject disposition - capturing his father's most vulnerable moments. Although his father has passed on in November 2015, the artist plans to do a final project where he documents his father's personal belongings and how it ties in with his personal memory and emotions with the object or space.
Click here to find out more information about the showcase!
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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