THE ART COL­LEC­TIVE

Female (Singapore) - - F-EDIT -

Like the Blooms­bury Group in the early 20th cen­tury that com­prised var­i­ous in­tel­lec­tu­als (think Vir­ginia Woolf and E.M. Forster), the folks here run along the same artis­tic lines. There’s the fem­i­nist writer Yap; the gal­lerists Jodi Tan (she works at the Ota Fine Arts gallery in Gillman Bar­racks) and Hari­das (Ga­jah Gallery in Tan­jong Pa­gar Distri­park); and the cu­ra­tor Andrea Fam (who is as­sis­tant cu­ra­tor at the Sin­ga­pore Art Mu­seum and couldn’t make it to our shoot).

Of course, there are the artist artists, all ris­ing stars in the lo­cal scene: painters Heng, Khair­ul­lah and Chan, and Melissa Tan, who tra­verses medi­ums. And round­ing up the group: for­mer graphic de­signer Ban who staged “Click Candy”, an in­stal­la­tion – and her first solo show – that ex­plored de­sex­u­al­is­ing the role of women in click­bait advertising last Oc­to­ber.

It’s a rich and op­ti­mal mix to have. Yap, who founded the fem­i­nist art plat­form Bub­ble Gum & Death Metal with artist Stephanie Burt, reg­u­larly con­trib­utes ex­hi­bi­tion es­says for her artist pals, while Ban helps with the cat­a­logue de­sign. The group ma­tri­arch is Fam, whose skills have come in handy both in terms of ad­vice and pro­mo­tion – she cu­rated Melissa’s pa­per and metal in­stal­la­tion (“If you can dream a bet­ter world you can make a bet­ter world or per­haps travel be­tween them”) for last year’s Sin­ga­pore Bi­en­nale. Hari­das, mean­while, can be con­sid­ered the group’s un­of­fi­cial arts man­age­ment con­sul­tant, giv­ing his two cents on draft ex­hi­bi­tion pro­pos­als and se­cur­ing gov­ern­ment grants.

How the friend­ship started

CH: “Most of us are Lasalle College of the Arts graduates from dif­fer­ent fac­ul­ties – Fine Arts, Arts Man­age­ment etc – though we met through other cir­cum­stances be­yond the school’s net­work.”

KR: “Luke and I did our de­gree to­gether back in 2012 at Lasalle. For the past year, we have also been stu­dio neigh­bours at Good­man Arts Cen­tre along with Melissa. Since most of us al­ready knew each other from college, it was al­most nat­u­ral that we bonded.”

VB: “Andrea ba­si­cally put us all to­gether and it took off from there.”

What ties them to­gether

SY: “Al­ways food and con­ver­sa­tions – never one with­out the other.”

KR: “These are some of the peo­ple who un­der­stand my prac­tice inside out... (Also) do not dis­count our more ca­sual con­ver­sa­tions – the gos­sip.”

On their cre­ative chem­istry

SY: “I’ve writ­ten pieces for Khair­ul­lah and Vanessa’s solo ex­hi­bi­tions. The process of writ­ing is al­ways pref­aced by many con­ver­sa­tions and ques­tions. I think be­ing close friends en­ables an eas­ier ex­change of ideas and con­cerns.”

MT: “I was very lucky to have been able to work with Andrea and the Sin­ga­pore Art Mu­seum team for the Sin­ga­pore Bi­en­nale 2016. Andrea knows what I’m usu­ally in­ter­ested in, but at the same time, she pushed me with ques­tions that led to shap­ing my work in a sig­nif­i­cant way.”

How they in­flu­ence one another

VB: “It’s re­fresh­ing to see many dif­fer­ent artis­tic prac­tices, and ways of think­ing, mak­ing and work­ing. It breaks the monotony of work, which I feel is nec­es­sary for cre­ative growth.”

Dream col­lab­o­ra­tion

VB: “Per­son­ally, I think it would be in­ter­est­ing to map all our in­di­vid­ual prac­tices in 10 years’ time, doc­u­ment­ing the changes in per­haps a show, es­say or pub­li­ca­tion.”

From left: Sa­man­tha Yap (SY), Jon Chan, Khair­ul­Lah Rahim (KR), MelisSa Tan (MT), Chris­ti­aAn Hari­das (CH), Jodi Tan, VanesSa Ban (VB) and Luke Heng

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.