[W10PDaP] on the adm gallery

The most evident and most flattering component of the exhibition, in my opinion, is the visual continuity. You have lines of text running across the walls, lines of rope trailing across the rooms, lines of wires scattered all around.


As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s quite evident that the overall Singapore Biennale theme is intentionally designed to be broad and vague, such that practically any artwork can justifiably fit within it. So, I won’t bother going into depth on how it fits the theme: besides, the time and/or movement-based link between “future of islands” and “every step in the right direction” is pretty clear.

Tomorrow Is An Island, as inland, a sin land is an artist-led project that speculates on the future of islands, deep time, the fate of ‘crisis’ as a frame of our predictions and conceptions of future time, and the exchanges between bodies and cities. The title deploys a sequence of anagrams that rescrambles with each new phrase, suggesting that the ways in which the next moment could retain recognizable components of the present but to disruptive effect. (link)

Nevertheless, the existence of the secondary theme distinguishes this exhibition from that of Gillman Barracks. This secondary theme of “Tomorrow Is An Island, as inland, a sinland”, is exemplified by two characteristics.

Firstly, the artists are all of “islands”. In this context, the two islands are Singapore and Switzerland. While a bit of a stretch, it’s justifiable when considering how small both are in comparison to nations like China or the United States.

Secondly, many of the works focus on systems, sequences, the like, as exampled by the shifting anagrams. The “visual continuity of lines” play into this. All the works also play with this in various forms, be it the shadows cast onto the floor, the shifting sediments, the flow of sounds and videos, so on.

For example, an (un?)intended (mis?)placing of the projector causes lines to manifest on walls.

Of course, this consolidated theme is possible only because of the small size of the exhibition. A bigger exhibition would inevitably have to resort to a generalised theme, to be able to cover everything.


The most eye-catching work, for me, was Forest Tales and Emerald Fictions by Monica Ursina Jäger.

An artist-in-residence with NTU, her presented work focuses on the “shifting topography of Singapore and Southern Malaysia”. Consequently, much of it involves urban infrastructure and natural scenery. Here’re videos: the first has the accompanying audio (from headphones), and the second, details close up:

Regardless, its attractiveness is due very much to the curation, where this work is complete and isolated. The leftmost area feels lacking, where I was there for the opening night, and thus can’t disassociate the “absence of the performance” from an “absence in the space”. The first area is slightly awkward, where it seems to contain “everything which doesn’t fit in the other rooms”.

As such, the singular space provided to this work stands out, where it feels intimate: there’s a seating area, the screens don’t feel overwhelmingly magnificent, the space is dark. Also, the setup is interesting, where it’s not even screens, and the throw distance is exceedingly small:

For me, the biggest takeaway is probably on how limited resources can actually be a boon. After all, it’s easier to consolidate with a smaller pool, and easier to know what you can’t do. At the same time, however, one must be aware of where they ought to allocate resources, such as in building walls and shelves, than trying outright to aim for complete minimisation.

[PP] W1 Biography et al

1. Two Biographies

There is person named En Cui and she is an avid learner in design softwares. There are so many things that has learned throughout her time in school of ADM. She teaches herself all the things that she thinks is necessary to learn which makes her someone who is an independant, self-initiated learner. Despite her struggle with 3D modelling initially, one would usually abandon the software and not come back to it until neccessary. But for Avel, she takes the initiative to rework on improving her level of understanding in Blender, Rhino, Maya as much as she can, in order to keep herself competent design world. Avel has an interest producing  works which are relatively functional, not so much artistic/especially, that engages with the human touch. For example, some of her works include using pressure sensor, sounds and on one ocassion, for Wearable Art & Technology, she produced a customepiece with an added interactive elements such as music and colour, to fascinate the viewers. She also has in interest in Philosophy, a major she is also pursuing. Aside from her love for design, she feels that learning about the theories of human nature and how the world works, would make her a more self-aware and improved version of herself.

All works begin from the concept. That is a guiding principle of En Cui, a designer who prioritises the objective above all. While her primary major is in interactive media, she is an insatiable learner with a strong desire for self-improvement. Functionality is also a key principle for Avel, who is interested in works directed towards the client and user. As such, she pursues any knowledge which may be helpful to self-betterment, and the needs of the client. This, for example, is reflected in her self-initiated study of 3D modelling, which she persevered to learn despite her struggles. It has also paid off, where she has used such knowledge for freelance jobs in 3D production for games. Her strong principles are also reflected in her second major of Philosophy, which develops her as a critical thinker, and as a person curious about the world around us. This has also proved useful in her interactive works, where code and logic often intersect. Hear/Here, for example, combines her interest in one’s ability to connect with surrounding sounds, with mathematical programming. Such works also show a penchant for the human touch, in an effort to fulfill the artistic function of evoking emotion.

2. Sample Work

Hear/Here ~Colours of the Wind~ by Avel Chee & Elizabeth Quek

There are always gaps in noises and sounds. This project revolves around a portable device which samples the overall surrounding sound and, in response, lights up in corresponding colours. The user is thus provided easy access to information regarding the noise in their surroundings. These colours also vary with time. The colours are based on a calculation where ‘red’ is volume , ‘green’ is octave-irrespective pitch and ‘blue’ is octave-relative pitch; the numerical frequencies of sounds are converted into RGB values for the device. An array is also used to convey the movement in sound across time, where the information in the array is eventually overwritten in time.

3. Resume, which is very outdated, at this link: http://ecxiya.sessya.net/en/cvresume.html

4. Inspiring Work

xxxHolic by CLAMP

By all rights, this should just be another useless Japanese comic, made only for entertainment and nothing more. I initially picked it up only because the art style was beautiful, and I desired to emulate it. When I read it, however, I resonated with many of its themes, and cried at certain points. It was thanks to this manga that I realised art could have meaning without tangible practicality, especially in relation to emotions and sense of self.