It was a beautiful third to visit Singapore and it almost feels like a second home at this point. The quality of the exhibitions and the institutions is really impressive and I enjoyed all the museum visits immensely. I was so pleased to be a part of the NTU CCA Five Year celebration as well, which featured a wonderful, funny performance by Ming Wong to honor director Ute Meta Bauer.
On this trip I wanted to focus on getting to know some younger artists and visit their studios. The welcome I received by the artists and my friends who hosted me meant a lot. Two new artists I met are extremely ambitious with their work and both address different aspects of Singapore’s past but from two very different vantage points. Sean Cham is a gifted photographer, installation and emerging social activist, in his approach to exploring abandoned structures in Singapore’s history that poignantly expose the way architecture and governments shape our lives. His profound and exceptionally designed book “Yesteryears” is published by Math Paper Press. One of the best art books I have seen in recent years.
Hilmi Johandi gives us an entry point into Singapore’s cultural history through the former amusement park venues that provided entertainment for middle class families. He was recognized as the most promising young artist by receiving the Young Talent Award last year.
His installation at SAM shows an incredible maturity, both in his painting and the way that he installed his objects in the space.