SINGAPORE UTOPIA—National identity through the lens of art
Curated by Deborah Lim & Lisa Polten
Exhibition Opening: 27 July 2019 (Saturday), 17:00–20:00
Opening Night Performances: 18:00–Coward by Jeremy Hiah; 19:00–Skins by Rizman Putra
A second line-up of programmes will take place on 17 August 2019.
This year marks the Bicentennial celebrations for Singapore, with explorations into what constitutes the current state of Singaporean national identity. Instead of looking back, we want to examine current socio-political and cultural contexts.
Split into chapters, Singapore Utopia presents artists who address themes of multiculturalism, intimacy, diaspora, land and language. A series of programmes to accompany the exhibition will hold equivalent weight, occupying a central space in the gallery and reaching into genres of literature and performance. Contributing to an overarching discourse of identity and what it means to be Singaporean in this day and age, this exhibition and forum is an acknowledgment that art reflects, articulates and contributes towards the society that we inhabit. Our key project goal is a comprehensive exploration of national identity, which is a theoretical concept but discussed by means of physical artworks and actions, presented through the lens of artists and programme partners. It is an acknowledgment that the arts are necessary to develop quality of life and encourage creativity and expression. The exhibition and forum should instigate meaningful discussion amongst visitors and members of the Singaporean community of the parameters Singaporeans live within and how this contributes to national identity. It will serve as a knowledge-building platform to encourage analysis of socio-cultural issues.
Singapore Utopia is an exhibition and forum for different voices, recognising artists as the mouthpieces of our cultural identity. These introspective conversations and expressions are not uncommon within the pockets of our diverse arts community. Examining what it means to be Singaporean in this day and age, themes addressed include the diaspora, intimacy, housing and history. It is an acknowledgment that art reflects, articulates and contributes towards the society that we inhabit; allowing for a spectrum of opinions, opening up dialogue and discussions.
Over the course of the exhibition, 15 artists will inhabit the gallery space, most of whom are presenting newly- commissioned works or works that have never been seen in Singapore. Their works will manifest in physical forms, performances, events and relics. We encourage you to ask questions, challenge topics, engage with fellow visitors and think deeply about what you know —in relation to what you see.
Press release courtesy Chan + Hori Contemporary.