Saturday, April 05, 2014

Latent Spaces

'Ground Inclination' by Yunrubin.
Of newly-made asphalt and original mosaic tiles from the venue.

On a cool afternoon with a happy light drizzle, a bunch of us went to view Latent Spaces' installations at the former Jade House at Haw Par Villa. Curated by Chun Kai Qun, and themed 'Nameless Forms' as a study of material culture, there're 11 installations by five artists displayed in the small-ish space. The theme invites artists to create works that "relate to the ghostly presence of that has been freed from signification."

A video projected onto a wooden board by the curator titled 'Nameless Forms (Cabinets)' explores the idea of tangible and intangible forms of modern-day polished steel locks. These locks were found from the replica cabinets in the old venue which had to be moved out to make room for the exhibition. Only two out of ten cabinets were actual antiques acquired form the villa of the Aw family. There're various fringe workshops going on too. There was a ceramic seal carving workshop today. But we didn't sign up for it. Took a peek. All very exciting. More forms of art workshops to come over the next six months, apparently.

I was absolutely fascinated by Darren Tesar's 'Wounder'. It's described as an "Untreated steel pole (commissioned), kitten teeth*, and 585 alloy chain (commissioned) 2014". The shed teeth of the artist's pet kitten formed into a charm necklace wound around a dance pole. A deeper reflection of movement, biographical milestone, but no actual progress.

I don't love Haw Par Villa. As a kid, it creeped me out till I don't particularly care about it. Singapore changes too much for me to feel any sort of nostalgia for anything. However, I love it that Latent Spaces are occupying Haw Par Villa and breathing a bit of life into the otherwise neglected and forgotten venue, showing how today's generation view the past that wasn't too long ago. The artworks are thought-stirring.

Darren Tesar's 'Wounder'.

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