Sunday, April 24, 2011

I like them even if you may not. Noteworthy artworks at Singapore Biennale 2011

Following my blog post titled Noteworthy artworks to enjoy at Singapore Biennale 2011, I realised that I did not mention some of the works that I like. These works may not suit the preferences of many people, yet I have a positive response to each of them perhaps because of my personal experiences and preferences.

If you wish to take a glimpse of more of the works from the Singapore Biennale 2011, I welcome you to explore with me. You may not like any of the works that I would soon be sharing, yet I do!

Sketches of buildings galore! Fine architecture and buildings seem to captivate me, particularly after I have taken a short course to appreciate the "History of Western Architecture" a few months ago. I was immediately drawn to Charles LaBelle's Corpus, 2010 - ongoing (from Buildings Entered 1997 - ongoing).

It surprised me when I learnt that the motivation for this project was for the artist to overcome his fear for entering into buildings. It was admittedly not easy for me to appreciate the fear that a person may experience when he walks into a building since I do not have such experience on a regular basis. I am impressed and inspired by Charles LaBelle's efforts to face and to conquer his fears.

From the exhibition guide, I learnt that Charles LaBelle has been keeping records of over 12000 buildings that he has physically entered since Sep 1997. He would take a photograph of the building before entering it where possible. Then he would keep a record of the date, time and the building location. This archive became the source from his drawings.

Perhaps you may not like Corpus because it seems to lack colour. However, I like it because it is a document of an artist's attempts to overcome his fears and transform his inner fears into beautiful sketches that inspire.

Charles Lim's All lines flow out (2011) did not catch my attention immediately. However, when I sat down to watch his video recordings taken of the drain system in Singapore, the obscure passages began to bring me fond memories of a time when I walked along the Singapore river and the related drains associated with it.

I was reminded that from the ordinary things, we could find hidden realities.

I have a feeling that my parents would not appreciate why I like an artwork which seems to just make up of lots of dried and forsaken leaves. Anyway, I like them because these leaves do add up to tell a very interesting and fascinating story.

For reasons I cannot fully explain, I have a liking for the Old Kallang Airport. Life seems to be wonderfully tranquil at this venue. I could not help but to admire it as a fine piece of art as well.

Scribbles and scribbles on the window panes. You may have thought that these were works of vandalism since we are living in such an orderly Singapore. Thankfully, Gosia Wlodarczak's work involving 'frost drawings' are here to stay, at least for the Singapore Biennale 2011. She looked through as well as on the window panels and translate her experiences of the Kallang Airport into drawings on glass.

I like the maturity in her lines which are at the same time playful and spontaneous. Go and take a look at this work and you may be amazed by the sheer size of it!

I love the idea of how Gosia Wlodarczak's work juxtaposes against the beautiful spaces of the Old Kallang Airport.


At the Singapore Art Museum, Julian Gothe's work caught my eyes. I love the simplicity of the lines. It was interesting how Julian Gothe had dervied an angular sculpture from his rope drawings on the walls. I like this work for its seemingly theatrical effect. It somehow reminded me of the Baroque style of architecture.


At the National Museum of Singapore, while it was not aesthetically pleasing at first sight, after some moments of understanding the concepts behind the work, I was pretty drawn into Jill Magid's Evidence Locker (2004). Interestingly, in her performance-based practice, she uses institutional structures, rules and language as her media.

In Evidence Locker, she wrote in to request for security camera footage of her movements. Please take some time to read her letters.

I have found it thought-provoking that she could actually walk with her eyes closed through a city, led by a policeman who was watching her via the security cameras and speaking to her through a earpiece. Should we put our trust upon the security cameras to keep us safe or should we be wary that they are watching us even when we do not wish to be watched?

Our preferences and tastes are likely to differ. You may not like what I like, and this is perfectly fine.

The Singapore Biennale 2011 is held from 13 Mar - 15 May 2011 at various venues. These are the Singapore Art Museum and SAM@8Q, National Museum of Singapore, Old Kallang Airport, and Marina Bay.

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily
(Last entry 6.15pm)

Adult $10
Student $5
Senior citizen 60+ years $5
20% off adult admission for 20 or more people
Includes one-time entry to all venues, one complimentary Short Guide and one-time free audio guide rental at all venues.

FREE admission to Old Kallang Airport and The Merlion Hotel at Merlion Park, Marina Bay.

There will be free admission to the Singapore Biennale 2011 every Sunday from 3 Apr - 15 May and on public holidays, i.e. 22 Apr and 2 May.

Singapore Biennale 2011


goldilocks said...

i like the one with architecture.

oceanskies79 said...

Goldilocks: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy Birthday!