Works by 17 local artists explore history, culture, environment and fiction
Singapore (11 December 2014) – Visitors to ArtScience Museum will be able to see the strength of Singapore’s current art scene as the museum presents the works of 17 artists at the Prudential Singapore Eye. Opening on 17 January 2015, the exhibition is part of the highly successful Prudential Eye Programme and a key highlight of Singapore Art Week in January 2015. Prudential Singapore Eye is also the first major exhibition dedicated to Singapore’s contemporary art scene that kick starts the celebration of the nation’s 50th anniversary.
Selected from over 110 submissions by an international curatorial panel, the 17 artists include Chen Sai Hua Kuan, Chia Ming Chien, Angela Chong, Adeline Kueh, Jane Lee, Sean Lee, Gerald Leow, Charles Lim, Justin Loke, Samantha Tio (Mintio), Kumari Nahappan, Ho Tzu Nyen, Donna Ong, Jeremy Sharma, Jason Wee, Lee Wen, Yeo Chee Kiong.
Representing a selection of the best contemporary art in Singapore, Prudential Singapore Eye aims to foster greater appreciation of Singapore’s visual arts both locally and internationally. Several notable artists including Charles Lim, Ho Tzu Nyen, Jane Lee and Jeremy Sharma not only have an international following but have also represented Singapore at numerous international biennales, such as Venice Biennale, Shanghai Biennale and Liverpool Biennale.
Curated by Serenella Ciclitira (Founder, Prudential Eye Programme), Honor Harger (Executive Director, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore), Nigel Hurst (CEO,Saatchi Gallery, London) and Tan Boon Hui (Group Director of Programmes, National Heritage Board, Singapore), the exhibition explores a myriad of contemporary themes including identity, history, fiction, as well as personal and national narratives. Sponsored by global insurance giant, Prudential, the exhibition is the latest show in the Prudential Eye Programme, an initiative aimed at nurturing artistic talent, and will be supported by a comprehensive publication.
Serenella Ciclitira said: “We are delighted to have been able to focus on Singapore’s emerging art in the year of Singapore’s 50th anniversary. Like all the other Prudential Eye projects, this exhibition aims to bring to light a new and exciting contemporary art scene. Our aim is to present a comprehensive overview of it to both local and international audiences. There are intriguing works in the exhibition and some of them by artists who often work experimentally across different media.”
Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum commented: “ArtScience Museum is thrilled to be a partner of Prudential Singapore Eye, which brings together some of the country's most exciting artists. For us, there is no more fitting way to commemorate the golden jubilee of Singapore than showcasing some of the most talented and inspiring local artists working today, and this exhibition does just that. It is a key part of our ongoing work to support the vibrancy of Singapore's visual art ecosystem, and we believe it will be an important milestone in Singapore’s impressive cultural development.”
Tomas Urbanec, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Singapore, said: “Prudential is proud to sponsor the inaugural Singapore Eye, a highlight of Singapore Art Week 2015, and an event that helps to kick off a year of celebrations for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. With the exhibition, Prudential aims to support the development of art in Singapore, and nurture talented local artists by developing platforms and giving them the recognition needed for their careers. Having been in Singapore for more than 83 years, we have grown with the nation and we want to contribute to its development in ways that we can.”
Nigel Hurst, Saatchi Gallery CEO said: “This is the fifth major collaboration between Parallel Contemporary Art, Prudential and the Saatchi Gallery. We are delighted to be working with our partners in our ongoing endeavour to provide a platform highlighting new art in Asia. This project at ArtScience Museum provides a unique showcase for artists emerging in Singapore to bring their work to the attention of a wider international audience.”
The exhibition will also be complemented by an education programme developed by the British Council in unison with ArtScience Museum. The education programme, also sponsored by Prudential, will reach out to secondary school students, teachers and tertiary education institutes.
Highlights of the artists and their practices
Adeline makes installations that reconsider the relationship that people have with things and rituals around them. Her works are modern-day totems that explore issues of sexuality, domestic objects and magic linked with personal histories, thereby bringing to fore an overlooked moment in time.
Angela has a keen interest in creating narratives in her installations, blurring between fiction and ‘reality’. Using with light and darkness in her installations, she entices her audience to question the emotional attachment between the object and its owner, in the context of history and site-specificity.
CHEN SAI Hua Kuan
Sai's art practices across a range of media and techniques including drawing, film, performance, photography, sculpture, sound and installation. His cross-disciplinary work uses wit and energy to articulate alternative ways of imagining space and time. Sai’s work is often subversively and whimsically assembled and deconstructed out of everyday objects such as earth, travelling fans and toys.
CHIA Ming Chien
Chia Ming Chien’s photography portrays the viewer’s way of perceiving the world as it is about the architecture that features in it. His modus as a photojournalist is that a photograph what one sees in-situ without manipulating the image. The ‘decisive moment’ is when a subject transforms from mundane to remarkable occurrence in the mind.
HO Tzu Nyen
Ho Tzu Nyen’s works examine how history and mythology is used to shape the present and shape how we understand cultural roots. He appropriates the structures of epic myths to invoke their grandeur as well as to reveal these narratives as fiction- and reality-machines. They are not merely stories, but a discursive processes.
As an installation artist, Donna is best known for her evocative and though-provoking environments made from furniture, found objects and original artwork. With a background in architecture, fine art and fictional writing, Donna uses her art to create a story where she explores issues about life and people. The imaginary space in her work creates an escape from reality; an alternative ending drawn from her imagination. Donna Ong’s new installation, The Forest Speaks Back II, commissioned for Da Vinci Shaping the Future is also showing at ArtScience Museum.
Known for her highly tactile surfaces, Jane is interested in discovering the true meaning of a painting: from what constitutes a painting, to how paintings can be constructed, to how to extract the medium’s essence and real meaning.
Lee Wen’s work is basically about making images and finding ways for these images to communicate with each other. Every object he uses, the space he walks around and the words he speaks are images that spark a dialogue.
Gerald Leow uses found objects from the cultural landscape and reworks them to shed light on the problematic nature of authenticity, culture & identity. The artist’s background in sociology plays a part in his artistic process where he questions the demerits of the seeming rise of pop culture.
Drawing his inspiration as a former professional sailor, Charles’ senses are keenly attuned to environments that people rarely see. His SEA STATE series features photographic and video works, as well as audio materials, drawn from the artist’s ongoing exploration of Singapore’s maritime geography and history. Charles offers a compelling exposure of humanity’s impact on its physical environment, highlighting the interplay between the natural and the man-made, between land and sea as well as between actions and reactions.
Justin employs various framing strategies and self-reflexive composition to explore the relationship between painting and film. The exhibition space will be transformed to reflect the scenes depicted in these oil paintings, which are in turn taken from certain key sets from the film.
Samantha Tio (Mintio)
Trained technically as a photographer, photography is a medium that Mintio has been constantly working with to stretch and extend the way people view our world. The images created, though derivative of a direct representation of reality bears a vision and an aesthetic of another world. Mintio works primarily with layering information both visual and text to create semiotic relationships and alternative spaces.
Drawing on personal memory, Kumari’s makes works that meditate on memory and Hindu, rituals. Ritual art is what inspires and energises the artist. To her, it is in rituals that works of art are created that touches all the senses.
Jeremy works primarily as a conceptual painter but his body of work encompasses video, photography, drawing and installation. His current mode of practice investigates the notion of art as a reflection of a conscious life that observes it in the age of mechanical, industrial and digital reproduction and interconnectivity, addressing our relationship to modernism and our place in time and space in an increasingly fragmented and artificial reality.
Jason’s practices pulls complex narratives out of specific events and spaces, generating an array of different, sometimes conflicting stories, objects and ways of knowing. These spaces may be an island, a school, cinema, museum or home, and the events may be a moment of personal or collective history. For him, these narratives are knotty conundrums, generative of enigma, idealism and failure.
YEO Chee Kiong
Chee Kiong is known for playful and unexpected juxtapositions in his sculptural and conceptual work that question what is commonly taken for visual perception. The artist creates an imaginary sensibility in a realistic environment to articulate the possibilities in the process of “perceiving” and “mis-perceiving”.
Sean uses deeply personal narratives to explore themes such as permanence, fragility and intimacy. He constructs and stages stories by manipulating the ambiguous relation of reality and the delusive capacity of photography.
Tickets to Prudential Singapore Eye will go on sale from 17 January 2015. Tickets are available through the Marina Bay Sands ticketing portal, ticketing hotline, box offices and all SISTIC channels. Terms and Conditions apply.
For more ticketing promotions and information, please visit www.marinabaysands.com/ArtScienceMuseum
About Prudential Eye Programme
Established in 2008 by David and Serenella Ciclitira and sponsored by the region’s leading life insurer and asset manager Prudential, the Prudential Eye Programme is an initiative that nurtures artistic talent. The programme aims to develop arts infrastructure in territories where this is lacking, in order to provide artists with the platforms, support and recognition they need to develop their careers. It works to build networks and opportunities for artists and galleries through strategic partnerships and a variety of platforms.
Previous projects from the Prudential Eye Programme include Korean Eye (2009 to 2012), Indonesian Eye (2011), Hong Kong Eye (2013) and Prudential Malaysian Eye (2014): a series of international touring exhibitions and publications providing emerging Asian artists with opportunities to showcase their work. To date, the programme has held 18 exhibitions worldwide, which have been viewed by over two million people.
In January 2014, the Prudential Eye Programme launched the Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore, honouring the accomplishments of emerging artists throughout greater Asia and launching a creative education programme with the British Council. The exhibition accompanying the second edition of Prudential Eye Awards will run concurrently with Singapore Eye at the ArtScience Museum.
About Parallel Contemporary Art
Parallel Contemporary Art is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting emerging artists across the world. It was founded by David and Serenella Ciclitira who have been collectors and patrons of contemporary art for over two decades. 23 years ago, as part of their commitment to supporting emerging artists, they founded two annual awards at the Royal College of Art, London; the Parallel Prize for painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for sculpture, both of which continue to provide valuable support and stipends for graduating fine artists. Through their love of travel and discovering new artistic talent, they realised young artists in many parts of Asia were under supported and going unnoticed. To help develop the careers of these emerging Asian artists, they launched the Prudential Eye Programme, an initiative that nurtures worldwide artistic talent.
About Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd
Marina Bay Sands is the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It features large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, 2,560 hotel rooms and suites, the rooftop Sands SkyPark, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants and an outdoor event plaza. Its two theatres showcase a range of leading entertainment performances including world-renowned Broadway shows. Completing the line-up of attractions is ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, which plays host to permanent and marquee exhibitions. For more information, please visit www.marinabaysands.com
About ArtScience Museum
ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is Southeast Asia's leading cultural institution that explores the inter-relationship between art, science, technology and culture. Featuring 21 galleries totaling 50,000 square feet, the iconic lotus-inspired building has staged major exhibitions by some of the 20th century's key artists, including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as major exhibitions which explore aspects of scientific history.
About Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last four years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted 15 out of the top 20 most visited exhibitions in London, according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international museum attendance, and is also ranked amongst the world’s top five most liked museums on Facebook and Twitter by Museum Analytics. The Saatchi Gallery’s website has become a global meeting place for people interested in contemporary art. Entry to all exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery is free. www.saatchigallery.com.
About Prudential Corporation Asia
Prudential Corporation Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc (United Kingdom)*, comprising its life insurance operations in Asia, and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. It is headquartered in Hong Kong.
Prudential is a leading life insurer that spans 13 markets in Asia, covering Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Prudential has a robust multi-channel distribution platform providing a comprehensive range of savings, investment and protection products to meet the diverse needs of Asian families.
*Prudential plc is incorporated in England and Wales, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It has been in existence for 166 years and has £457 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2014). Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.
About Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Singapore, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential plc, is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore. We have been serving the financial and protection needs of Singaporeans for more than 80 years. Our focus is to bring well-rounded financial solutions to customers through our multi-channel distribution network, with product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment. We are one of the market leaders in Protection, Savings and Investment-linked plans with over S$25 billion funds under management as at 31 December 2013.
Prudential Singapore is the first life insurer in Singapore to be named Asia's Life Insurance Company of the Year in 2000. For ten consecutive years until 2013, we have been awarded the Gold Award in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands and we achieved the May Day Model Partnership Award in 2009. In 2010, we emerged as one of the top insurers in Singapore in the Customer Satisfaction Index, which is a national barometer that tracks 104 companies from eight sectors. Since 2007, we have been conferred the People Developer Award by SPRING Singapore for our efforts in training and developing employees and in 2013 and 2014, we were presented with Asia’s Employer of the Year Brand Award by the Branding Institute and the World HRD Congress. Also in 2014, Prudential Singapore was awarded the NTUC Plaque of Commendation (Gold) Award, the Leading HR Practices Award in Quality Work-Life, Physical & Mental Well-Being and an AA Financial Strength Rating by leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
About Singapore Art Week
An initiative by the National Arts Council, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Economic Development Board, the Singapore Art Week reinforces Singapore’s position as Asia’s leading arts destination. It is a nine-day celebration of the visual arts, held at many venues across Singapore, including museums, art precincts and non-profit spaces.
Reaching out to both Singapore residents and international visitors, the Singapore Art Week offers a myriad of quality art experiences, including blockbuster art fairs, exciting gallery openings and lifestyle events, world-class exhibitions, public art walks, as well as enriching discussions. The festival covers the visual arts beyond contemporary practices, including modern and traditional visual forms. The Singapore Art Week also aims to galvanise the arts sector to launch innovative art and lifestyle concepts and events in conjunction with it. For more information, please visit www.artweek.sg
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