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.
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