SAM Visit

  On a rainy Friday afternoon, I left ADM and arrived at Singapore Art Museum, aka SAM. Among the numerous pieces in the 3 exhibitions, there were 2 in particular I found fascinating.



Here's who I am, I am what you see
From President's Young Talents Exhibition

  Inside a dark room were many glass jars on several tables, inside which there was a flower and a light shining from below. At first glance from distance, they seemed like dry flowers displayed nicely in light.

  I discovered that they were made out of skin when I moved and looked closer. There were in fact many different shapes of them. The setting somehow made me think that the artist valued these flowers and the number of them was quite impressive considering how long it might take to collect and made them. It made me wonder why the artist would spend time on this and what he was trying to convey. As we know, this were quite uncommon materials to use to make art work to put into a glass jars. However, the artist managed to create beautiful flowers out of them. All these flowers were part of the artist and they were born via the patient and tedious process.

After reading the text and background on the artist…

I think the choice of materials did reflect well on the title of the artwork. The skin belonged to the artist and it was unique and very personal just as he said “These works are representations of self, about that impermanent moment of someone’s presence.” The flowers were kept in the jars now seemed like a museum of displaying someone’s existence and the time that the person experienced.

They were captured and placed there and appeared  very delicate yet elegant. The nice environment of warm light inside a dark room also created a nostalgic atmosphere. Everyone experiences the metabolism process in life and everyone eventually dies and disappears in the stream of history.  This was quite obvious when noticing the changes happening to our body. However short the moments were, they could be very beautiful and precious.



4 3

Every Point of View
From 5 Star Exhibition

  This piece was installed inside a room. When I entered the door, in front of me were many white PVC pipes with incomplete words on them. Walking among the pipes, the texts on them seemed to change. I tried to move around and shrift my height of view to see whether I could read anything out. As I was exploring in the room full of pipes, I found that there were several cameras placed at different corners in the room and then in the far end of the room there was walls of projection.

  It was a pleasant surprise to actually see clearly the words on the pipes were presenting some statements on Democracy. These must be viewed at some very specific angles so that all the pipes became continuous as a background. Interestingly, the pipes present different statements on Democracy when viewed at different perspectives. When there were people walking around among the pipes, the text will be blocked as well. As it turned out that they were real-time video projection.

After reading the text and background on the artist…

Now that I understood the intention of the artist of stressing the importance of the perspective, the pipes and live-cameras installation made sense. The instability and fragile states of Democracy were experienced by the visitors as a slight change of position will cause the loss of the views. Just as it was stated that the artist sees the work as “analogous” to the democratic process: that democracy “is an understanding that different viewpoints exist and that it is within this acknowledgment that ways to co-exist are devised consensually and sometimes, not so.”

However, the write-up stated that “Every Point of View invokes the multi-pillared Parthenon in Athens, coincidentally the birthplace of democracy as an ideal and practice.” This was not that transparent when visitors were exploring in the installation. As much as Democracy was associated with Athens, the pipes were quite different from the columns from the Parthenon.