As much of our lives is still preoccupied by the pandemic, you can expect art to reflect that.
Especially the exhibitions shown as a part of “Proposals for Novel Ways of Being“, a massive art initiative that brings together 12 art institutions across Singapore to analyse our present and dream up the possibilities of our future, post-COVID-19.
The first of these exhibitions are already on view, with more to open in September. Expect to pay a visit to the National Gallery, where two of the major Novel Ways of Being showcases will be held. Elsewhere, independent art spaces like The Substation and Grey Projects are also offering artworks that capture our strange times and are just as worthy of your consideration.
Below, we round up all the exhibitions to see and experience next month to get your fix of arts and culture.
Header photo credit: National Gallery Singapore
“Strange Bodies” is the first of four art programmes held by Grey Projects for Novel Ways of Being. It presents the possibilities of the human body, configured and combined with animals, mythical creatures and more. These chimeras, dreamed up by artists Yang Zhong Da and Jerome Kugan, offer an intriguing glimpse into a future where the human race has evolved beyond the crises that we face today.
(Photo credit: @greyprojectssg / Instagram)
As part of the Novel Ways of Being initiative, National Gallery Singapore is proposing just that with “An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season”. The exhibition, curated by Syaheedah Iskandar, contemplates the world as it is and how it can change for the better. Both social themes (think mass consumption, or redefining the Brown identity) and environmental ones (plant consciousness; the intersection of nature and technology) are touched on across the multimedia installations of 10 local artists, including Clara Lim, Norah Lea, Priyageetha Dia and Tini Aliman.
(Photo credit: National Gallery Singapore)
“Time Passes” is yet another Novel Ways of Being exhibition housed in National Gallery, this time organised by Singapore Art Museum. Helmed by curator Samantha Yap, the exhibition explores all the ways that care can be expressed in the pandemic, whether through the precise paper cuts of Loewe Craft Prize finalist Ashley Yeo, the installation of a fictional Reiki studio by Divaagar, or Diana Rahim’s photography series documenting (and “softening”) Singapore’s hostile architecture. Time Passes showcases the works of 13 artists in all, encompassing video, sculptures, paintings and more.
The pandemic has reshaped our perspectives of time (where did the year go?), and The Substation’s “Sandstorm in an Hourglass” presents a timely investigation of that. The exhibition displays the works of three homegrown artists, namely Joo Choon Lin, Jaxton Su and Sebastian Mary Tay, who employ film, sculpture, painting and more to illustrate the world from their own personal hourglasses.
(Photo credit: Jaxton Su, courtesy of The Substation)
Cuturi Gallery’s “Sneaky Treasures” will be a welcome alternative for those looking to enjoy art without the present weighing on their minds. It features the works of French artist Idir Davaine, who draws inspiration from everyday scenes, before distorting and fragmenting them for his playful acrylic paintings. What is made of Davaine’s colourful collection is left entirely to our imaginations.
(Photo credit: @cuturigallery / Instagram)
What happens when the Earth’s primordial axis, along which it rotates, is shifted? STPI Gallery’s upcoming exhibition answers that question, imagining the disorder and disquiet that will emerge when something so fundamental about the world is changed. (And it just might, according to scientists studying climate change.) The showcase is curated by Tan Siuli, formerly of Singapore Art Museum, and it presents the artistic hypotheses of regional artists such as Manuel Ocampo, Qiu Zhijie, Teppei Kaneuji and Pinaree Sanpitak, all working across various mediums.
(Photo credit: STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery)