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Time of Others

Boundaries and ‘otherness’ form the crux of the Singapore Art Museum’s latest exhibition, 'Time of Others'. Senior curator Joyce Toh lets us in on three artworks

Time of Others features artworks created in response to today's social, historical and geopolitical concerns. It tackles issues of identity, culture and society on a larger scale. A co-curatorial effort between four museums from Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka and Queensland, the exhibition will travel between the museums until 2016.

'Erased Slogans' by Kiri Dalena, 2008

'Erased Slogans' by Kiri Dalena, 2008

'Kiri Dalena is a Philippine artist who is interested in excavating memories though the act of remembering, especially as how it relates to difficult or traumatic events and episodes that have affected ordinary people in her home country. In particular, she is fascinated by the notion of how one can remember an incident if one wasn’t there directly as a witness. When I first encountered the work, I was struck by its strong social conscience and concept, as well as a certain haunting quality about the piece – when you look at these images of ordinary people to protesting and demonstrating against authoritarian rule, you can see the anger and defiance in their faces, but also hope and idealism.'

'Calendars (2020 – 2096)' by Heman Chong, 2004-2010

'Calendars (2020 – 2096)' by Heman Chong, 2004-2010

'Heman Chong is a Singaporean artist with a highly conceptually driven art practice; he often works with language and text to explore philosophical ideas, often on the subject of time. In this work, we find 1,001 picture calendars installed in a grid covering the walls of an entire room. The photographs in the calendars show spaces that anybody can access, like shops, restaurants, and halls, which are in that sense not private, but the inexplicable lack of figures in them gives them an uncanny atmosphere. Intriguingly, these are calendars for a future yet-to-come and will persist into a time long after we have left this mortal plane, prompting us to reflect on time as an abstract concept, and our personal relationship with it, and perhaps what we do, or can do, with the time that we have.'

'The Realm of Reverberations' by Chen Chieh-jen, 2014

'The Realm of Reverberations' by Chen Chieh-jen, 2014

'Known for dealing with the themes and consequences of capitalism, colonisation, and globalisation, much of Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-jen's photography and video works are intimate explorations into the psyche of exploited and marginalised communities in Taiwan and beyond. Chen’s works are frequently cited in places of social or historical symbolism, revealing how Taiwan has radically transformed in the past 30 years. "The Realm of Reverberations" is based on the Losheng Sanitorium, a hospital for lepers located in the Xinzhuang District of Taipei. It is a very moving work that explores the state of Losheng today, after it has rapidly deteriorated following the Taiwanese authorities’ decision to build a train depot on the site.'

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