Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On The Curator's Tour

Looking at Sri Lankan artist Pala Pothupitiye's 'Other Map Series' (2016).

While I've seen most pieces at the Singapore Biennale 2016 'An Atlas of Mirrors', it was very nice to be taken through them again by Singapore Art Museum's (SAM) Curatorial Co-Head Joyce Toh. Happy to view the artworks one more time before the exhibition closed last weekend.

You could always walk around the museum on your own. But curatorial tours really provide visitors with behind-the-scenes in-depth knowledge of the various pieces of art. That's always very welcomed. These tours are especially enjoyable when friends join in. Tonight, we had fun strolling around before the Closing Party, and Joyce made the one hour feel wayyy too short. We would be happy to have her talk for another hour!

Curatorial insights are always fun to hear. For example, the curator shared that Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie's work was delayed in reaching Singapore because it was held up by the Chinese authorities over a technicality in the maps. It was finally resolved and reached Singapore in time for opening day.

If you look at the maps, it doesn't take much guesswork to know where the area of contention lies. See photo to the right. Can you see why too? This was the gallery where whimsical maps and handblown glass figures held court in 'One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End' (2016).

Joyce was telling us how Chinese artist Ni Youyu's 'Dust (Singapore Galaxy)' (2016) was the Version 2.0 of the work. Apparently someone intentionally touched the artwork and the smudges completely spoilt it because it was made from chalk and glue on a blackboard. The team had to replace the artwork. It was rather annoying to see what she said play out right in front of our eyes because when we turned around, at that exact moment, we saw two teenage boys sweep their palms across the artwork on the opposite wall. WHAT THE. That was the mixed media 'Atlas' (2016) on a pinball game board with magnets. ARRRRGH. SERIOUSLY. Boys got told off.

We scooted off for a pint of Guinness at the pub next door and some rather decent grub for dinner. Too bad we couldn't linger longer to chat about the exhibits because the band was way too loud. But it was bedtime. An early morning beckoned. What a lovely way to spend a Friday night.

Chinese artist Xiao Lu's 'Yin-Yang Calendar' (2016).
And the girlfriend caught me in the corner taking a photo of dunno-what.

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