(Click to enlarge)
SATURDAY, 7 JULY 2012
Note to self: It’s about time you got that Leonora Carrington book, it’s probably on the discount shelf somewhere now. Oh, and fix that light bulb too … when you have the time. Father-daughter duo Carol and Y.K. Chan invite the public to submit any request during Action Parties #3: whether it be errands that need to be completed, or philosophical questions (existential despair, anyone?) that need to be answered. They will then attempt to meet these requests. For tasks that they cannot accomplish, the endearing pair will pray that they be fulfilled by divine, spiritual aid. If religion of choice is left unspecified, these prayers will be made at the Waterloo street temple. In return, participants are asked to be open to a friendship with them.
And that’s not just all. Fellow procrastinators are also invited to check items off their to-do lists. Members of the audience can also offer to complete tasks that the Chan team has offered to take on.
Carol Chan is Singaporean, and author of The World Must Weigh the Same (2011, Math Paper Press). Her writing has been performed and published in various cities and spaces, including Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Softblow Poetry Journal, Ceriph, Meanjin, Cordite Poetry Review, Lilliput Review and Coast. In 2006, she was part of a performance collective, Sprouts. She currently runs Strangeposts (http://strangeposts.tumblr.com) with Dawn Toh, which seeks to facilitate and encourage alternative interactions and intimacies between strangers and urban spaces. She is also editorial assistant at Mascara Literary Review.
Y.K. Chan is a retired planning engineer, curious about people who would respond to this call for free services. “Who are you, who do not have time to change a lightbulb?” He spent more than a decade chronicling his life as a civil servant and family man. He believes that buildings, houses and homes are living beings that need constant care and attention.
Is English the sine qua non language of Singapore? For Post-1970 Singaporean babies, it does seem so. Growing up in an education system emphasising the importance of English, ‘Mother Tongue’ (MT) lessons have been relegated to a few periods (25 minutes each) a week, resulting in a chronic lack of practical MT language application in daily life for some.
Yet, beyond the school grounds and into hawker centres, clinics, HDB estates, and wet markets, one can see society’s response to the straightforward English/Mother Tongue dichotomy in the form of teeming diversity. The languages spoken in these arenas concurrently reveal Singapore’s history and that of those who speak it. That uncle there, for example, fluent in Mandarin and Malay, tells of a time when a kampung was site of daily interaction for everyone he knew.
Kisha & Kamiliah hope to use this space to get in touch with this existing diversity and celebrate it with all who share our Singaporean society. They’re inviting you to partake in a social experiment where you converse with them in your Mother Tongue (you’ll draw a topic) to see if Singaporeans share more than just English as a common language. Do we share a similar cultural framework that perhaps, extends to something common, like body language? Have we been so unconsciously immersed in our diverse environment that we subconsciously culturally negotiate our way through another language so as to fill in the meaning of whole sentences?
They hope you’ll help them discover this! Plus, a cozy place and some drinks to boot awaits, so do join them!
Kamiliah Bahdar graduated from Monash University, specialising in Anthropology. Her eyes light up whenever nationalism and identity politics are mentioned in conversation. It took a three-year-long stay in Melbourne, Australia, for her to rediscover her Malay heritage after she felt ashamed at being unable to converse in Malay with her ang moh supervisor who speaks it fluently.
Tamara Kisha Tan is a final-year Political Science major at the National University of Singapore. Politics scares her, but she’s learned how to deal with it both practically and academically. Born to a Spanish-Filipino mom and a Singaporean-Chinese dad, Kisha is no stranger to identity politics and is always up for opportunities to learn more about any part of her heritage.
For Action Parties #3, Reef, Lee Wen, Dennis Tan, and Jason Lee will be collaborating for a sound and performance piece where audience participation is key to their ‘action’. The collective will improvise with sound and physical actions, and you’re invited to interact with the artists, their electronic instruments and curious noisemakers, and get involved.
Arif Ayab (Reef) is a Singaporean performing artiste of Malay descent who has been active in both the local and regional arts scenes for the past decade. A graduate of the University of Bradford (MDIS) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management, he is also the holder of a Diploma in Mass Communication University of Oklahoma (MDIS). His immersion in the arts scene spans across a range of genres, media, artistes and causes. Reef is now the programme manager for The Artists Village’s Pulau Ubin Residency Program funded by the National Arts Council. Reef is a member of The Artist Village.
Lee Wen (Singapore/Tokyo) Born in Singapore, Lee Wen now lives and works extensively on a global circuit and based between Singapore and Tokyo. His performances and installations often expose and question the ideologies and value systems of individuals as well as social structures. His work attempts to combine Southeast Asian contexts with international currents in contemporary art. Lee emphasizes versatility in strategizing and establishing visual language, meaning and message through live performance work. He is also interested in developing new possibilities of performativity and interactivity in art. His early practice was associated with the Artists Village, an alternative art group in Singapore and later forged a more individuated artistic career. Lee has presented at the 3rd Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (1999), the Sexta Bienal de La Habana, (1997), the Kwang Ju Biennial (1995), the 4th Asian Art Show, Fukuoka (1994) Sea Art Festival, Busan Biennale (S.Korea, 2004), National Review of Live Art (Scotland, 2004, 2005, 2007). He was awarded the Singapore Cultural Medallion award for artistic excellence in 2005. http://infinitenada.weebly.com/index.html /
Jason Lee Born in 1985, Jason Lee graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 with Diploma in Visual Communication, specializing in photography design. In 2010, he obtained a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from the University of Huddersfield, UK. Although his primary medium is photography, he also works with installation and performance. His current works deals with wide issues that revolve around the urban environment and contemporary society that inspires him. His artistic interest lies in the areas of urbanization, abandoned traditions, and sub-cultural lifestyle. Art to him is a platform to explore issues that are being misunderstood or overlooked. He has participated in group exhibitions and collaborations. He is based in Singapore and is a present member of The Artists Village.
8pm – 10pm | One/self in Conversation
by Daniela Beltrani and members of SPAM (Vincent Chow, Li Cassidy-Peet, Chand Chandramohan, Farah Ong and Natasha Wei)
The artist is often thought of as highly individualistic. Together with members of S.P.A.M., Daniela will invite as many audience members as possible to walk with her in the space, regardless of direction or pace, to test this notion. When people begin to cross the respectable boundaries of personal space into a oneness, each person as much a part of the artistic process as Daniela, does the artist get lost and undistinguished from the audience who came to watch her? Come join Daniela and SPAM and be a part of this performance! We hear she’s got plenty of bubble wrap and peanuts in store for this one.
Daniela Beltrani Classically educated in Italy, a doctor in Law and a docent for the Singapore Art Museum, Daniela gained her Master of Arts in Contemporary Asian Art Histories in 2011 from LaSalle CIA, Singapore.
Since 2010 Daniela has curated several exhibitions and written for art publications and catalogues.
In June 2011 she set up a performance art platform by the name of SPAM.
Her interest in performance art both as spectator and performer allows her to explore the Self and its different levels of communication.
SUNDAY, 8 JULY 2012
1.30pm – 3.30pm | The First Singaporean Hero!
by Miho Iwaki
Exactly how many Singaporean heroes can we identify? Someone who Singaporeans of all backgrounds and ages look up to? Not many people immediately come to mind. We’re smart, savvy, and some might even say shrewd, so why can’t we create our own hero, together? “The First Singaporean Hero” will help us do just that.
As described in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the hero’s journey has a familiar structure in myths from disparate times and regions, the fundamentals of which is,
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
A beginning paragraph placed on a wall in the dbl O art space will set the scene. Strips of paper and writing material will be provided, and one by one, participants will help write our hero’s tale by adding a sentence each. Helping words and thematic pictures will be provided in boxes for those who need some added inspiration. At 15-minute intervals, the artist will make a nudge to steer the hero in his journey towards completion. Who knows, we might even end up with bona fide local hero.
Miho Iwaki A copywriter by trade and maverick by thought, she has had no experience whatsoever at exhibitions or galleries. Armed with only lady-balls and a slight terror at waking up wishing she’d at least tried, she sticks fingers that do not belong in pies everywhere, cheerfully aware that quite often, pies are booby-trapped with incredulous laughter. Her fingers are itchy anyway.
Black Zentai, collaborative performance of Yuzuru Maeda and Kai Lam in conjunction with opening of
Tang Dawu’s “First Arts Council” exhibition, Goodman Art Centre, Singapore, April 2012. Photo by: Michael Tan
5 – 6pm | Untitled (Isolation)
by Yuzuru (Japan) and Kai Lam
This is an ongoing collaboration project between Yuzuru Maeda and Kai Lam where the artists investigate into the notion of time in spatial contexts and exploring social isolation of the human body that intensifies into a soundscape of hacked circuitry and body works. The artists will present an array of wearable and stand-alone instruments that are made out of modified consumer products.
In this age of social media and mass communication, we are connected globally yet our excessive need towards technology dehumanizes the very human relationship it was supposed to perpetuate. Technological advancement has produced the mentality that we expect to find happiness and the quality of living through the intertwined processes of technology and human life. The global demand of mass consumption standardizes the human condition, from the agriculture of natural resources to consumer goods production of the multinational corporations in developing countries; the global protocol corporatizes the food we eat, the way we live and quality of life we seek. The more we are engrossed into the supposed technological advancement, the more isolated we feel. In this context the body metaphors these social contradictions into paradigm of the living, deliberately altering the media technology as a means to re-examine consumerism and a challenge to the disposable nature of current media technology, re-utilizing its limited shelf-life and intangibility as an alternative perspective towards our digital media-fixated society.
Yuzuru Maeda has been making video-based works under the title of Zentai Art Project. These video and performance art works are visual explorations that are extended from her practice as a contemporary musician and movements of the body. In Zentai Art Project, the artist uses the ‘Zentai’ sub-culture as the site of the body for a physical and psychological search for the self. Maeda equates her video works as a close-up, intimate theatrical space for face-to-face confessionals and actions.
Kai Lam is a multi-disciplinary artist. The influential, provocative and often radical unconventional art practices of Lam have earned him international recognition. He has been a vital presence in contemporary art since the late 1990s; the artist’s search for the human condition and ultimately social-political works has evolved from installation and sculptures to sound art and body works.
We are all clowns in the circus of life. Fools in love; melancholic beings; wistfully nostalgic; longing for some innocence that has passed. 2012 is akin to a freakshow where meditation, silence and magic are hidden somewhere, in a space where we can connect again with what it means to be in touch with the universe. In Wishmoon, a reinvented Pierrot and Pierrette, the forlorn clown lovers of European yore, act first as unlikely teachers, silently interacting and guiding seated audience through their enigmatic wish-making ritual. Join them in this eccentric journey and melodious exchange.
Singapierrot In every one of our little souls there is a clown breathing in the dark- innocent, delirious, wistful, nostalgic. Singapierrot is a soulful mobile caravan developed from two Singaporean clown-hearts. Roy Payamal, grotesque creature from the soil, is a performance artist, circusboy, mime and busker. Mary-Jane Leo, nature-loving elf, mucks in poetry, film, installation and performance to create intimate, cosmic experiences. This eccentric and sorrowful outfit traipses in with interactive work that invites the modern man to explore whimsical and dark corners of our souls- back to the primitive and playful, to the strange circus of life. As they say, ‘I’m going to the moon; wanna come?’
Drawing inspiration from Dune and Raby’s Huggable Atomic Mushrooms, this project explores our relationship with the bathroom scale. Some are obsessed, yet some fear standing on it. As beauty is socially derived, the concept of what is seen as beautiful is always changing and cannot be measured. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that is quick to judge and difficult to please. Through the interaction, these bathroom scales hope to amuse, but at the same time, alter one’s experience with the weighing of one’s self.
Vanessa Yeo As a graphic designer specializing in Interaction, Vanessa has a keen interest in people, their environments, the way they engage with others and the things and spaces around them. She loves to fiddle with and dismantle objects, see how they work and put them back together again, not necessarily in their original form. She also has a passion for photography, both as art and as a means of constant documentation. Interaction design fosters the ability to evoke emotion in people and the creativity it stimulates in a world of ever-changing technological platforms. Her projects revolve around what already exists within the human sphere, around human identity and ubiquitous objects. Exploring beauty in the everyday, interaction design can help people to appreciate and understand the world around them.