For Art's Sake

Art and the question of weed

Zaki Razak's namecard, which he handed to President Tony Tan during the President's Young Talents awards night, which references Tang Da Wu's performance in 1995.
Scientist-turned-artist Isabelle Desjeux gives a lecture on weeds as part of Zaki Razak's Revising Art: The Ten Year Series for the President's Young Talents exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum.
A sampling of weeds at Isabelle Desjeux's lecture, which is part of Zaki Razak's Revising Art: The Ten Year Series work for the President's Young Talents exhibition.
Published: April 2, 12:00 PM
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Hah. Bet you did a double take there.

But no, we’re not talking about that particular plant but weeds in general, courtesy of a lecture held last night as part of Zaki Razak’s work for the President’s Young Talents show at the Singapore Art Museum.

Scientist-turned-artist Isabelle Desjeux, who’s this month’s presenter for the ongoing lecture series Revising Art: The Ten Year Series, extolled the virtues of weeds.

But first, let’s rewind a bit to last week. An interesting moment occurred during the PYT awards night, when Zaki presented President Tony Tan with an unusual namecard. Embossed in gold on the black card was the statement: “I am not an artist / I am not important”. Underneath this, he quotes the Koran: “Give your money to your parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarer.”

Done ever so casually that no one knew about it until a photo of the namecard was posted on Facebook (and when Zaki mentioned it to me that night, I thought he really just meant passing a namecard), the entire gesture references Tang Da Wu’s own presidential encounter in 1995.

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