For Art's Sake
S’pore art: Top picks for 2014
2. NAMELESS FORMS by Latent Spaces / Chun Kai Qun (curator). Instead of passively bemoaning the ever-present crunch on available gallery space and platforms for presenting contemporary art, Latent Spaces took it upon themselves to transform a dilapidated room in Haw Par Villa into an art space, with their first exhibition taking that same transformation as its subject and material, providing a perspective on heritage and history not bogged down by misty-eyed nostalgia.
3. THE PRINTER / THE PAPER / THE LAYER / THE THING’S RIGHT(S) / THE LITTLE FAT FLESH by Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan. If you think the Singapore Tyler Print Institute show’s title is a mouthful, wait till you get to grips with the conceptual depths mined by the artist duo — encompassing such varied notions as mystic geometry, the civil rights of inanimate objects, map-making and ecology.
4. MACHINE FOR (LIVING) DYING IN by Michael Lee. If life could be reduced to a series of mechanical operations, would it be a life worth living, or simply a slow, steady state of awaiting death? The show at Yavuz Fine Art asked these and other questions, examining matters ranging from dying alone to the common experience of inhabiting HDB flats.
5. PARABOLA by Genevieve Chua. It’s easy to forget just how much can be extrapolated from a single point of data — in the case of Parabola, which was shown at Tomio Koyama Gallery, the show begins with the humble human pelvis, and goes on to explore our evolution (with some presentiment of our eventual end) through formal extrapolations of the complex topology of the pelvis.
Honourable mentions: Medium At Large at the Singapore Art Museum, XXII by Joshua Yang (Sculpture Square), Time Travelers Chronicle (Doubt): 2014 – 802,701 A.D by Rirkrit Tiravanija (STPI), Requiem by Jason Wee (Galerie Michael Janssen Singapore), Sound: Latitudes and Attitudes (ICAS), Of Indeterminate Time Or Occurrence by Heman Chong (FOST Gallery).