Urban:ness: Encountering the City
Curated by Mukta Aluwhalia
October 22nd – November 10th 2015
The work of 17 artists from Singapore, UAE and India which, together, trace the social impact of rapid Asian urbanisation. Privileging the individual over prescribed metanarratives, these are responses shaped by subjective every day experience, to produce new, personal cartographies.
Selected works from the exhbition
2008, detail, 100 books with hand-drawn content dissolved in ink, Variable dimensions, Courtesy of the Artist
2015, copper-wire, stones from Caspian Sea and coral from Khor Fakkan, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the Artist
Still, video, image courtesy the artist
Archival fine art inkjet print, image courtesy the artist
2015, Ink on rice paper mounted on scroll, 138 x 204 cm (scroll size 240 x 204 cm)
Courtesy of the artist
2015, Acrylic, charcoal, paperbacks and photocopied notes on canvas, 160 x 120cm
Courtesy the artist
2012, Digital Video with sound, Duration: 2 mins 39 secs, courtesy of the artists
2013, ceramics, wool and felt, dimensions variable, installation view, courtesy of the artist
2014, Granite Gold cemetery paint, Edition 1 of 2, 83 x 42 x 7.2 cm, Courtesy of the artist
2015, Installation view
Various media, Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, Courtesy of the artist
single channel video, still, with sound, 3mins, 2007
2010 – 2012, 42 fine art archival prints in photoframes, courtesy the artist
Ghazi Alqudcy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from film.factory, an intensive programme created by the Hungarian film director Béla Tarr. He represents the new generation of Singaporean filmmakers with his films being screened at international film festivals in Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Japan, Hong Kong among others.
Al Saadi’s work ranges from painting, drawing and the creation of lengthy artist’s notebooks, to the collection and systematic categorisation of found objects, and the invention of new alphabets. A great affinity with nature and rural life informs his practice, which explores the changing environment as well as personal and cultural history. He has exhibited internationally and regionally.
Lavender Chang has a strong interest in contemporary conceptual photography. Her artwork reflects her sensitivity towards the subtle nuances surrounding her. She hopes to focus on these experiences, to create a canvas allowing further contemplation and with the passage of time to leave behind traces of her self
John Clang is a visual artist working in photography and film. His photographs examine and raise questions of the world he lives in, providing not just pictorial documentation but an intimate reflection of one man's mind. Clang’s first exhibition, at age 20, was a duo-show at the controversial (and now defunct) Singapore art group Fifth Passage Artists. He has since participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. In 2013, a showcase of over 90 works by Clang was exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore. His artwork is also in the permanent collection of museums and private collectors from around the world. Clang lives and works in New York and Singapore.
Lucy Davis is an artist, writer, Assistant Professor, School of Art Design and Media (ADM), Nanyang Technological University Singapore and founder of The Migrant Ecologies Project (www.migrantecologies.org). Her practice encircles nature in art and visual culture, materiality and memory in Southeast Asia. Davis’ work has been featured in numerous world festivals and museums.
Hong Sek Chern worked as an art educator at NAFA for many years before practising art full time from 2007. She has won several painting prizes nationally and was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council (Singapore) in 2000. Sek Chern works primarily with the Chinese ink medium though she has also worked with oil and other media. She explores issues in the urban environment as she tries to engage with traditional painting media. She has exhibited her paintings both locally and overseas.
Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim (1962) was born in Khor Fakkan, UAE. He carries a degree in Psychology from Al Ain University, and completed a residency at Le Consortium Art Centre in Dijon, France. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Sharjah Biennial in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007, the 2009 Venice Biennale, the Kunstmuseum Bonn in 2005, the Sharjah Art Museum in 2005 and 1996, the Dhaka Biennial in 2002 and 1993, Germany’s Ludwig Forum in 2002, the 2000 Havana Biennial, the 1998 Cairo Biennial, the Institut du Monde Arabe in 1998, Holland’s Sittard Art Center in 1995, and Moscow’s 1990 Exhibition of the Emirates Fine Art Society in the Soviet Union.
Mohammed Kazem was a member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society early in his career and is acknowledged as one of the 'Five', an informal group of Emirati artists – including Hassan Sharif and Abdullah Al Saadi – at the vanguard of conceptual and interdisciplinary art practice. In 2012, Kazem studied his Masters in Fine Art at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. His works are held in the collections of, amongst others, the British Museum, London; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.
Henry Lee is a chemical engineer by training with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the National University of Singapore. After graduation, he pursued a career in publishing before enrolling in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Awarded the NAFA President Award in 2013, he went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) at Loughborough University. His most recent outing was with Galerie Sogan & Art, Singapore, with which he held a successful solo exhibition at Art Stage Singapore 2015.
Perception3 is an interdisciplinary art duo co-founded by artist/writer Regina De Rozario and designer Seah Sze Yunn in 2007. Its Singapore-based practice is currently devoted to exploring the themes of memory and loss, through the examination of relationships encountered between the self and the city landscape. The duo's works have been selected for showcases held at the National Museum of Singapore, Kulturhuset Stockholm, and the Venice Architectural Biennale.
Singapore-based Shubigi Rao is an artist and writer whose interests range from archaeology, neuroscience, language, libraries and books, cultural histories, contemporary art theory, and unfashionable branches of knowledge, to natural history and the environment. Her complex layered installations comprise books, drawings and etchings, video and pseudo-science machinery, metaphysical puzzles, ideological board games and archives, and have been exhibited and collected in Singapore and internationally.
Zaki Razak’s practice investigates human consciousness, the hermeneutics of art and its systems of circulation and reception. His interest in social languages and rituals led him to create works that take advantage of everyday situations, subject them to wordplay and humour, and involve the audience through engaging their participation in the art-making process. Some of his notable works include Death of an Artist (2011) where he declared himself dead and engaged a lady crier to cry over his death, seVen: a wedding exhibition (2011) where he made his own wedding a public exhibition of performances, and more recently, Revising Art: The Ten Year Series (2013), part of the President’s Young Talents Award exhibition at Singapore Art Museum.
Dina Saadi experienced a journey of colourful contrast between the east and the west; she was born in Moscow and raised in Syria, and in 2012 she moved to Dubai to work as an art director. In early 2015 she started her own design boutique and has been focused on her visual and street art work. Dina studied Visual Communications in Damascus University of Fine Arts and she has participated in many workshops, competitions and festivals across the Middle East, Europe and the US. She's won several awards and recognitions. Her main area of focus is street art, digital painting and illustrations.
Teo Huey Ling’s works involve intricate and laborious art processes. She believes that the concentrated activity of the art making process will uncover the responsiveness hidden within the materials, thereby opening the spirit of the labour and its energy to the viewer. Her work has taken a multifaceted direction in drawings, contemporary ceramics and art installation.
Gigi Scaria is a Delhi-based artist working in mixed media. Scaria was selected to represent India in the country’s first-ever participation in the Venice Biennale (2011). Recent projects include the Singapore Biennale (2011) and the artist-in-residence at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne (2012). Scaria’s practice – often manifesting in painting, sculpture, photography and film – explores his interest in issues of urban development, particularly issues surrounding migration, economic development and urban architecture. Recent works have been described as ‘absurdist environments of the future’.
Vertical Submarine is an art collective from Singapore. According to the artists, they write, draw and paint a bit but eat, drink and sleep a lot. Their works include installations, drawings and paintings which involve text, storytelling and an acquired sense of humour. In 2010, they laid siege to the Singapore Art Museum and displayed medieval instruments of torture including a fully functional guillotine. They have completed projects in Spain, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, The Philippines, Mexico City, Australia and Germany. Collectively they have won several awards including the Celeste Prize 2011 (Installation), the Credit Suisse Artist Residency Award 2009, and The President’s Young Talents Award 2009.
Jason Wee is an artist and a writer. His art practice is concerned with the hollowing out of singular authority in favour of polyphony. He transforms these singular histories and spaces into various visual and written materials, with particular attention to architectures, idealism and unexplored futures.
Sayam Bharath Yadav trained under eminent artist Thota Vaikuntam. He completed his Masters in Fine Art from S.N. School of Fine Arts, Hyderabad, India. His solo exhibitions include Pastoral Inspiration, Hyderabad Art Gallery in 2008; Beyond the Animal Silhouette in Shridharani Art Gallery in Delhi in May 2011, and at Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad in 2011.