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52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG: Week 48 with multidisciplinary artist R. Yashini

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Welcome to Time Out Singapore's 52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG – our commitment to showing you the best of what's going on in the city this week. Every Monday, a guest writer who's "in" with the scene shares a recommendation on what to see, eat, do or buy in the city. This week, multidisciplinary artist R. Yashini takes us through her experimental piece Sabaism which is on display at The MeshMinds Foundation and Lasalle College of the Arts present: Art x Tech For Good exhibition as part of Singapore Art Week. She also lets us in on her collaborated project, an interactive light installation titled Cosmic Web, that illuminates for i Light Singapore – Bicentennial Edition

1. What gets you excited about Singapore?
I genuinely get really excited about pasar malams which are not as popular these days and the scale of which has reduced notably. Those chilled night vibes with affordable comfort food and a wee bit of fun with those funfair rides are irreplaceable.

2. Singapore Art Week returns this year with hot favourites such as Artwalk Little India, Light to Night Festival and Art After Dark, as well as newcomers including Art X Tech For Good exhibition which you are currently featured in. What do you look forward to the most this Singapore Art Week?
I am definitely looking forward to catching the rest of the works that are part of i Light Singapore 2019. Another would be Adaptations, which is a group exhibition that focuses on the intersection between art and technology, and is organised and curated by independent art space Supernormal.

3. Talk us through your artwork Sabaism. What are the inspirations and artistic process behind it?
Sabaism is a pair of 3D printed sculptures that incorporate data visualisation and mapping techniques to highlight the luminosity levels of different areas in Singapore. Heavily relying on the luminosity levels from two contrastingly lit spaces in Singapore, these sculptures are crafted using a 3D modeling software. ‘Glow in the dark’ filaments have immense energy-saving potential and I've used them within the sculpture to instigate the conversation of light/energy recycling and responsible light consumption.

In 2016, Singapore's light pollution was measured at 100 percent, ranking it number one for the country with the highest level of light pollution in the world. The organic landscapes I've created thus aim to bring a physical dimension to the phenomenon of light pollution so that one can consider the adverse effects on astronomy, human beings and the environment. This work was inspired from an astrophotography trip that I had made a couple of years ago to Batu Pahat, Malaysia. I have been in search of that wondrous experience here in Singapore but to no avail due to the immense light pollution. This was also one of the main deterrents for me to invest in a professional telescope.

4. What can visitors expect at the Art X Tech For Good exhibition?
It is an amazing student-led immersive exhibition that sees global issues being brought forward in a very relatable and engaging way. I would say come with an inquisitive mind as there is a lot to discover and learn.

5. You participated in the International Virtual Art Exhibition at Grigio Art Gallery in Rome last year. Tell us about the experience and what it means for local artists to showcase their art abroad.
This was first of such an experience. It requires a different sort of navigation within the virtual gallery space which was quite investigative, and this got me really curious about the concept of an exhibition. Such platforms that takes us out of what we generally 'know', allows one to reflect on certain conditions the artist may be used to. It sheds light on some fresh and new perspective.

6. What's next in store for you?
It has been an exciting few months as I am also exhibiting in the upcoming i Light Singapore 2019 – Bicentennial Edition. Along with a group of peers from LASALLE, we developed Cosmic Web – an interactive light installation which will be located at the breeze shelter along Marina Bay waterfront promenade. I am also involved in several upcoming exhibitions at LASALLE – a work-in-progress show that showcases our developmental process as artists, and The LASALLE Show Exhibition that is my graduation showcase.

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