As an exhibiting artist and part of the organizing team for the group exhibition called DR/OP BEYOND BOUNDARIES, Boo Sze Yang shares, in this video, how the exhibition came about. In addition, he reveals to intersection.sg why he is uncomfortable with assuming the curator’s role, preferring instead, a system that is more unstructured and organic.
Yayoi Kusama is one of the world’s most influential artists. Known for her iconic dots, nets, pumpkins and infinity rooms, her art has captivated millions all over the world.– National Gallery Singapore
This year’s blockbuster artist at our 2 year old National Gallery Singapore is a anchored by a survey show of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Life is the Heart of a Rainbow. As concisely described, there are lots of dots, big and small and in different colours, making up nets, articulating pumpkins and filling up spaces affectionately called ‘infinity rooms’.
Look out for revealing photographs of Kusama’s time in New York in the ’60s in the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. They are not artwork per se but are important for understanding the conditions that Kusama was working in.
Particularly fun are photographs of her early experimentations in fashion design. Initially, they were made for her performances and photography. Legend says that one day she had bumped into someone wearing her stolen design on the street. She tracked the pirate dressmaker down and the incident eventually led to the establishment of Kusama Fashion Company Ltd. in 1968. Unfortunately, it is no longer in operation so we cannot buy Kusama wear anymore except at Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo and X-girl. You could get socks at Gallery & Co. on the ground floor of National Gallery Singapore, though.
Kusama’s work is not only shown in the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery but also sprawled across the Koh Seow Chuan Concourse Gallery, the City Hall Chamber and the UOB City Hall Courtyard.
The National Gallery of Singapore is the first to host a major survey of her work in Southeast Asia, a feat that can only be possible with the collaborative support of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia; David Zwirner Gallery, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Singapore; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and a significant number of Kusama’s collectors from Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia. Life is the Heart of the Rainbow will travel to QAGOMA in November.
Learn more about the exhibition on the NGS website here.
Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of the Rainbow
9 June – 3 September 2017
Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery
$15 (Singaporeans/PRs) / $25 (Non-Singaporeans)
Gallery Children’s Biennale: Dreams and Stories
20 May 2017 – 08 Oct 2017
Koh Seow Chuan Concourse Gallery
Free (Singaporeans/PRs) / $20 (Non-Singaporeans)
Yayoi Kusama: Dots Obsession
UOB City Hall Courtyard
Free for all
More information about ticketing here.
National Gallery Singapore
1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #01–01
+65 6271 7000
Sundays to Thursdays, 10am – 7pm
Fridays and Saturdays, 10am – 10pm
After Mizuma Gallery’s last Japanese exhibition, The Great Exhibition by Ken & Jula Yonetani, comes Aoyama Satoru and Ken Ikeda with The Age of Disappearance. Like the Yonetanis, Aoyama and Ikeda are dealing with concern about the state of people in today’s society. While the Yonetanis had dealt with visual symbols of a world corrupted by past our actions, Aoyama and Ikeda are taking a more activist stand, pointing out our own investment in further corrupting the present and future.
One of the first things that catches the visitor is the use of UV light in the show. The usual gallery spots switch on and off, providing 2 different views of the works on show. Both Aoyama and Ikeda use invisible ink in their works, which only shows up in the presence of UV light.
With Aoyama, beautifully hand embroidered maps of the world reveal political boundaries when the lights go off, pointing out the invisibility of the difference between people from two countries. The unmarked atlas suggests a world united while the invisible thread shows us the societal fabric that divides us all.
Ikeda also plays with invisibility, using luminous and non-luminous paint to produce documentation after musical performance. Nails hammered at random spots on wooden boards boast unique splash patterns that are enjoyable to look at twice: once in regular light and again in UV light. These modest wooden boards were once connected to a more sophisticated electrical setup to produce experimental music. Rubber bands connect the nails, producing tones when strummed. The paint is distributed by Ikeda’s fingers, which have been stained by both luminous and non-luminous paint. It is an interesting series of work for thinking about action: was it sufficient to think about music (action), or do we also think about the aftermath of music (the boards)? As an additional layer of fun, the boards are two-faced, unable to reveal itself to the viewer in a single look. You do need to look at it at least twice.
The show features many more works, including a few pieces jointly made by Aoyama and Ikeda. As an additional bonus to street art lovers, the work of local artist Anthony “ANTZ” Chong makes a special appearance in several of Aoyama’s works.
There are just 2 more weeks before the show ends. Find out more about the exhibition on Mizuma Gallery’s website.
The Age of Disappearance: Two-person exhibition by Satoru Aoyama and Ken Ikeda
1 July – 6 August 2017
22 Lock Road #01-34
+65 6570 2505
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am – 7pm
Sundays, 11am – 6pm
Enter the whimsical world of Mizuma Gallery’s current exhibition and you will find a myriad of photographs – a series of old and new, starkly juxtaposed with colour and B&Ws.
The showcase is put together by seven contemporary artists exploring the creative art form of photography questioning the technical aspects, methodology and subject matter. In today’s era, taking a photo with various devices such as a smartphone or smart tablet is no stranger to our practices. In fact – the exhibition aim to highlight our progress in photo taking techniques that have ensued with the rapid development of the internet and technology. This, in turn, changes the way we distribute our photos and also how we receive, consume and distribute photo materials.
Issues centered around contemporary art photography is addressed by the works and creative practices of Agan Harahap (ID), Angki Purbandono (ID), Iswanto Soerjanto (ID), RongRong & Inri (JP/CN), Usami Masahiro (JP), Yamamoto Masao (JP) and Robert Zhao (SG)
The exhibition is held at Mizuma Gallery, 22 Lock Road #01-34, Gillman Barracks, will run until 30 Oct.
Exhibiting hours are from 11am-7pm, Tues-Sat, and 11am-6pm, Sun.
Find out more here.
Although young, Zestro Leow is fast catching on to the art scene here. Joining 3 other emerging artists from Japan, this Singaporean artist will showcase his artworks in Dawn of Youth, an exhibition by budding and well-established artists in Kato Art Duo. With his eyes set on ceramic art, he is currently under the pupilage from master ceramists Peter Lo Hwee Min and Alvin Tan Yuan Keat. We interview Zestro to find out more about his artworks and technique behind his craft.
The exhibition also features work from young Japanese print artists: Nakazato Aoi, Tomone Sano and Miyuki Takashima. Scroll down for more information on the exhibition.
1. How would you describe the “Dawn of Youth” exhibition and how do your art pieces fit in.
Dawn of Youth is a debut stage and, as the name suggests, it is also the start of a brand new journey – not just for myself, but also for my fellow young artists from Japan. The term, “Dawn” itself refers to the rise of the sun. To me, this symbolises Japan – the land of the rising sun.
Thus, I believe that my artworks fit in the part where cultures from Japan and Singapore meet.
2. What is it like, working alongside Japanese artists?
The young Japanese artists in this group show have really inspired me with their creations. The different mediums and techniques that they used were amazing, carrying the strong culture & identities at the same time.
3. Where do you think your creativity comes from?
I would say that it comes from the inner-child of me. Until now, I still take in ideas inspired from toys and sometimes, from fashion as well.
4. What art movement or artist would you say influenced your work most?
One artist, I would say that I draw inspiration from is Duchamp. I love how he challenges the value of art – often found in his “ready-made” (an ordinary manufactured object designated by the artist as a work of art) artworks. One example of this is the iconic Fountain, which was one of his most famous works in the twentieth century. In this work, he portrayed the identity of a commonplace object differently – and it was one that tested the conventional aesthetics of art at the time.
Riyoo Kim, a Japanese ceramic artist also connects with me. He is an artist who lives in our era as a contemporary ceramic artist – and, with his practice, comes and infusion of the idea of creations and aesthetic that uses techniques which carry heavy individuality.
5. Are you inspired by anything new?
Yohji Yamamoto. The Master of Shadows is known to be an uncompromising and non-traditionalist sculpture designer with contemporary designs. He is well known for building a ‘masculine armor’ – a shield for the woman’s body. Yamamoto believes that life and creation are inseparable and this has inspired my desire in practicing the Japanese culture of meticulous workmanship.
6. What are your thoughts on being an artist in Singapore?
Being a local ceramic artist, I would say that ceramic arts is really finding it’s foothill in Singapore. If not, there wouldn’t be someone like me – a young man who is able to take part in the art form. There were the people who created a beginning for ceramic arts, and there are also those who will come forward and challenge what we see today.
I only got into the local art scene in early 2015, after my graduation – and I feel that generally, the audience here has been pretty receptive. The increase in the number of art festivals here, show the amount of enthusiasm found in art consumers that are drawn to my work. I started by selling handmade ceramic wares at art markets. Apart from people appreciating my work by bringing them home, one of the greatest joys is when they acknowledge me as a young art practitioner. They recognise my concepts and relate to me – having this connection with my audience is probably my biggest takeaway in the field.
7. If we were going to talk about your art, where would you start?
My current art practice is about exploring and attempting to challenge the idea of functionality within ceramic pieces. Each physical feature of functionality is made obsolete. I’ve been studying my audience through art armets and fairs by selling both art pieces that are functional (like plates and bowls) and non-functional sculptures. From there, I learnt that my audience is mostly drawn to how each ceramic piece can be used in their daily lives. This urges me to make pots and dishes, which are stacked up like sculptures, questioning if their function still remain.
8. What is one word that describes your work?
Details of Dawn Of Youth Exhibition:
Kato Art Duo
Raffles Hotel Arcade
328 North Bridge Road #01-26
6 Oct – 3 Nov 2016
11Am – 7PM