Living in social isolation has forced us to reckon with ourselves, from the way we live to the work we do.
In the world of art, which often confronts such existentialist topics, those questions have become more pronounced through the many exhibitions now popping up in response to the pandemic. Lasalle College of the Arts has launched its own on a new digital platform, Image and Sound In Spite Of (IASIPO).
Bringing together over 40 artists across different disciplines, IASIPO showcases creations made over the last four months, as Singapore underwent its Circuit Breaker and enforced strict social distancing measures. The digital platform highlights how artists, including lecturers and graduates from Lasalle, turned their homes into studios, where they experimented with the different (and often digital) mediums available.
For example, Dinu Bodiciu, the lecturer-in-charge at Lasalle’s School of Fashion, created a collection of hats from found materials around his studio. One particularly inventive design is presented on IASIPO. Dirk Stromberg, an audio production lecturer at Lasalle, produced a video performance made entirely with latency and induced feedback sounds from Zoom. Fine Arts graduate Khairulddin Wahab, meanwhile, delved into digital paintings in response to physical space constraints.
IASIPO also features works that allow the audience to contemplate reality in a pandemic. A short animation by Ang Qing Sheng showcases an empty road in Singapore, with its traffic lights still functioning. In his short film, Lasalle President Steve Dixon reinterprets T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, The Wasteland, highlighting its themes of isolation and alienation — and its resonance today.
The very existence of IASIPO, is, after all, a response to the pandemic. Or more specifically, the cancellation of Lasalle’s Tropical Lab art camp, which gathers over 200 postgraduate art students from around the world every year. Milenko Prvacki, the artist behind Tropical Lab, launched IASIPO to keep artists and the camp’s past participants connected — even if they are as far apart as New York and Hong Kong.
IASIPO can now be viewed at the Tropical Labs website. It marks Lasalle’s second major digital venture this year. Earlier this year, as a result of Singapore’s social distancing measures, the school held its annual graduate showcase, The Lasalle Show, entirely online as well.
Header photo credit: Lasalle College of the Arts