24 hr Singapore art: Notes and Photo Gallery 2

This is the third section of a project about the Singapore Art World on June 6, 2014. Original: http://www.blacksteps.tv/?p=30258 Part 1: : #SBCTPA1 Stories/memories collected starting from June 29, 2014 Photos taken by Stephen Black, with gear from Camera Rental Centre. There are more photos in the original post. These captions are temporary. More photos and proper captioning will happen soon...  
NOTES, CHAOTIC AND INCOMPLETE

The Culinary/Performance art project presented guests with the following information:

For this evening’s performance, the artist has created a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art, good company and hopefully, good BYO beverages.

These fine ingredients are carefully selected by the artist from the history of Singapore Performance Art, in so far as she knows. Since art as we know it, is never properly documented and archived, many of the foods chosen are selected from memory, word of mouth, conversations, research online and of available private collections of catalogues, personal photographs, etc. Or the work is already prolific.

Places visited:

Clark Quay, Sound Envisioned exhibition at Camera Rental Centre, Old Hill Street Police Station,Peranakan Museum, Substation, Orchard Road, Third Floor Hermes,Vivo City, Ichiban Boshi, Gillman Barracks, CCA, NTU, L'Observatoire, NUS, SAM, SAM, SAM8Q, Bang Bang Wonderland (Kovan Bus Exchange), MAAD (Red Dot Museum,Internet Cafe on Middle Road, NAFA, LASALLE, IARC,Third floor parking garage of Textile Centre, Old Airport Road hawker center,Goodman Art Centre,Telok Kurau Studios, car ride from Thomas Yeo, Esplanade,National Gallery Singapore, APAD exhibition at National Library, Sea Gypsies Exhibition at Leica Gallery,Beautiful Stories: Chapter One at Chan Hampe Galleries, Clarke Quay

From the wide use of food items used in the history of Singapore Performance Art, the artist will serve craft-fully, a selected 10 course degustation menu.

Hope you enjoy and please make yourself at home. Relax.

Aptly named, the Unearthed exhibition was bursting with pieces and attitudes that had previously been considered underground.Bukit Brown 7:37 supernatural   An idea: The idea of the found object has been replaced by the idea of the shipped object. Whereas before th Duchamp's ready made latrine was likely made by from materials pulled from the French soil and transformed by French manufactureres, now influential art is uncrated....Art Stage, Biennale, No Country....art is imported while SAM 8Q is often empty... the shipped object...shipped object

Because it is a city-state nation well-organized and multilingual it can be an international hub. vs: Shanghai Japan Philipines India Indonesia

The number of active art professionals in Singapore is a very small percentage of the 5.3 million people who live here. The result at its best is that one constantly runs into friends. At its worst, the conservative nature of Singapore, combined with a "small talent pool" means the same artists show up again and again.This situation happens less and less as a generation of Singaporeans grows up in a culture that is more supportive of the arts than the last.
Though I been involved with the art world of Singapore since 2002, this marathon is meant to be means for me to rediscover the roots of Singaporean art. I accept the fact that politics and economics define a large part of Singapore's character, but the megaprojects rarely move me. I am ever hopeful when I walk into the gallery of an educational facility, despite the fact that I often have to crawl over the linguistic barbed wire of International Art English or shield my eyes from announcements that reference Goldsmiths or the Royal College of Art. The pedigrees seem to me to be stamps of approval from those who support a global monoculture. I love to experience art and the galleries here, like any where in the world, are often white cubes full of air-conditioned, slow motion sales activity. Fortunately, with each year, Singapore gains more alternatives. La Libreria, JDMIS, 3D design sense places where art, education and professionalism illustrate ivory towers without the ivory: they are beacons of clear thought, seemingly concerned with using materials and tools rather than "building the brand.". Naiise,Supermama shops that combine design art and commerce. JDMIS (Jewelry Design Management of Singapore) and 3D digital artists jewelry artists nail artists, floral artists trade craft Instinc Grey Projects Instinc BYOB Substation MICA One night. Earlier in the week, the BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) Perhaps a genuine Singapore aesthetic is emerging, one that may turn out to be like the shipping containers that line its southern coast. Functional, international and a container full of ideas that reflect an island trading post turned independent countrythat has retained the best of constant exposure to Easter and Western concepts Venice painting landscape portraiture or religion the idea of a REGIONAL AESTHETIC is ridiculous in the internet age. Individualism; multifaceted, tuned to niche rather than mass? Art as personal expression as commodity that likely will end up being judged by sales figures or KPI. Like anywhere in the worldm, actually, theough the KPIs-Key Performance Indicators- are perhaps uniquely Singaporean.

We were aiming to break out of the market-driven art scene and also respond to a postcolonial urge for identity formation. Not all of this was done consciously. Looking back, I think we were sometimes naive, but this risk-taking attitude made us edgy. Although there is more acceptance of unconventional art these days, there is less risk-taking because artists are more aware of boundaries and reluctant to defy the status quo. I’m afraid of the return of the Singaporean ‘kiasu’ tendency as complacency sets in and artists protect what has been gained through past battles.

The two panels will feature 89plus practitioners from Singapore and Southeast Asia and commentators from earlier generations. The first panel, Local/ Knowledge, investigates how the 89plus generation produces knowledge around the local within and against a globalised world, while the second panel, Commentary, considers the new forms and avenues of socio-political critique and intervention that have developed within contemporary networked environments. Participants for Local/Knowledge include Grace Teng (SG), Brigitta Isabella (IDN), Matthew Claudel (USA), Amanda Lee Koe (SG) and Lee Weng Choy (SG). Participants forCommentary include Raksha Mahtani (SG), Tan Zi Hao (MY) and Fahmi Reza (MY).

On the following Saturday, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets will be giving a talk on the 89plus Generation.

Isn't 89+ comparable to trying to identify something like a national character, only using a concept of chronology instead of geopolitical boundaries? If I use this, must go back and find source:

Curator Susanne Gaenscheimer, who won the Golden Lion at 2011’s Venice Biennale, announced her program for the 2013 German pavilion on Wednesday. In a nearly unprecedented move, Gaenscheimer will present a show of four artists, none of whom are German: Ai Weiwei, Romuald Karmakar, Santu Mofokeng, and Dayanita Singh. The Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt (MMK) curator explained that, at least in terms of ideology, the 2013 pavilion will be a continuation of her transnational approach from last year’s posthumous presentation of Christophe Schlingensief, challenging the traditional formulations of national presentations such as the biennale.

from http://singaporebiennale2013.tumblr.com/post/40748017499/of-bean-sprouts-and-biennales
  • Accordingly the dominant art and culture of Singapore can be said to have been native Southeast Asian until the mid 1800s at which time the Nanyang school of painting was started by Chinese artists escaping the turmoil of their homeland.After World War II, Singapore born Chinese painters began to develop a style that acknowledge Western trends like Impressionism as well as Chinese pictorial techniques. Social realism sprouted simultaneously with the region's independence movements. In 1965, the year Singapore became a independent country, the Beatles, Andy Warhol and happenings were shaping Western culture. Singapore, however, clamped down on anything thought to be "escapist". Long hair was officially discouraged, musicians like Jimi Hendrix were banned from the airwaves. The government did its best to shape young minds into becoming become academics, engineers and lawyers. Contemporary was an extremely low priority., often considered to be anti-governmental and vulgar. In 1994, a performance art piece sensationalized by the state-run media triggered the equivalent of a ban on performance art. This bleak environment did produce two flowers, however: The Substation, set up by Pao Kun in xxxx and the Artists Village established by Tan Da Wu in 19xx.The Substation is now an established art center for the region and Artist Village affiliates like Amanda Heng, Vincent Leow, Zai Kuning and Lee Wen have received local and international recognitionNo Country proposes a reevaluation of the region and its countries based on its cultural relationships, influences, affinities and negotiations.

    Challenging romanticised perceptions of the region, the artworks in No Country lay bare a complex set of conditions that resulted from the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires, and which bear the historical traces of colonization and the often-traumatic birth of nations.

    The events of this time could be interpreted in such away that Singapore is moving onward. Getting beyond the baggage of postcolonialism, studying and learning from the events of 1965 to the present, understanding the possibilities of a world in which everything is connected.The Unearthed Show at SAM as well as the 2013 emphasized the region and Singapore itself.
If the Singaporean identity is defined by planning and efficiency are there artists who play with that concept? Certainly there are artists who play with that concept, sometimes ironic, mocking or bitter. The conceptual work of certain would seem to represent both a loss of individualism and a belief in authoritarian concepts, whenther they be made in the Singapore Parliament or Goldsmiths College of Art. Turner Prize

Hub, is by definition identified by that to which it is connected. What is the heart of the hub?

Si This history is relevant to contemporary art. Art reflect the power of the state as well as the thoughts of the individual. The government hopes that art will be a tool for nation-building; as well as a profitable cultural asset that outshines those of Hong Kong, London or New York. We exit the AYE   Singapore got money lah. Buy its way into Cannes? Can! Rent a space at Venice Biennale? Can! Send smart ones off to big schools overseas? Also can! If money is what it takes to succeed in the world of market-driven art, the Singapore will succeed-but on what level? Marketing and hype can be purchased, but integrity and soul are cautious entrants. Perhaps the idea of integrity is no longer important in the world of art: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Superflat. Venice, once a wealthy city-state developed a distinctive style, but that was when painting and sculpture were the rule and themes rarely went beyond portraiture, landscape or religion. Has art really moved beyond these concepts? Or has the necessity of marketing art, including its educational institutions, resulted in self-referential codes, categories and buzzwords that give a sense of legitimacy and refinement to what is basically a sales pitch. Following is an art project proposed on Facebook by "an artist, curator and writer whose conceptually-charged investigations into how individuals and communities imagine the future generate a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts."   Between 26 July to 30 August 2013, a poster of Wong Kar Wai's 1997 film, 'Happy Together' hung on a wall in Future Perfect at 47 Malan Road, #01-22, Singapore 109444. The poster has been torn into two equal parts, which has since been reunited with the use of masking tape by the artist. This work will be exchanged with an individual who is willing to part with the exact same poster in its original condition.

This poster, along with the action of the tear and patch, the exchange of it with the exact same poster in its original condition and two copies of this certificate will constitute the entirety of this work.

I love the piece described above; it demonstrates the cult of personality,  the importance of context as well as the "must have" of an art university degree. I scoff at those who cannot tell the difference between this piece and something posted on Craiglist or a movie memorabilia trading website. I scoff, scoff, scoff.

Artist/writer Stephen Black's explored the art world of Singapore, then wrote article. The article is now being rewritten, dissected and rebuilt for purposes related to conceptual art, poetry, self-expression, network art and book production.   24 Hours in the World of Singapore Art   Possible taglines Stephen Black's marathon to discover the artistic heart of the island nation aiming to be Southeast Asia's cultural hub.   Forget economics, tourism and what you've heard about the government. Singapore's art world as seen by Stephen Black.   As Singapore turns 50, its artists and art institutions explore the idea of self-identity in relation to Southeast Asia. Stephen Black spends 24 hours in the Singapore art world to learn more.   Better known as a tourist destination with a solid economy, Singapore's art world is becoming internationally prominent and influential. Stephen Black undertakes a 24 hour marathon to learn more.   24 Hours in the World of Singapore Art by Stephen Black   3:30 PM, June 6: Ayer Rajah Expressway   http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/art/feature/lee-wen-on-singapores-evolving-art

We were aiming to break out of the market-driven art scene and also respond to a postcolonial urge for identity formation. Not all of this was done consciously. Looking back, I think we were sometimes naive, but this risk-taking attitude made us edgy. Although there is more acceptance of unconventional art these days, there is less risk-taking because artists are more aware of boundaries and reluctant to defy the status quo. I’m afraid of the return of the Singaporean ‘kiasu’ tendency as complacency sets in and artists protect what has been gained through past battles.

rewrite About Stephen Black With over half of his life spent in Asia, Stephen Black has an extensive record as an artist, writer, videomaker, producer(music, 3D game production and theatre). He has worked with Japanese movie legends, Iranian sax players, Australian molecular chefs,Singaporean choral singers and poets, Indian guitarists and international television companies based in Hong Kong. He once played in a band in New York and co-managed an experimental art space in Tokyo that focused on post-butoh dance. His last major exhibition was at domine gallery. His latest book, I Ate Tiong Bahru was released under the Book Merah imprint. Other books by Black include: Obama Search Words, Furikake, Bus Stopping and Bali Wave Ghost. Contact With Shadow entered into an ungluing campaign in June, 2014. www.blacksteps.tv and BookMerah on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Disclaimer: Having been an active member of the small but growing Singapore art world since 2002, Black has collaborated with or documented several of the artists mentioned in this story. He and Eugene Soh are curating the next edition of gallery.sg. The starting date of June 6 for this piece was chosen arbitrarily.
 

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