Initial thoughts of the installation:

Entering the space where the exhibition was taking place, I was greeted with the sight of what I thought was coffee tables, with the audience occupying the seats and due to the limited seats, many viewers stood around as the live performance unfolded. I was perplexed by the setup, as I went in with little knowledge of what was about to take place. Random, loud noises could be heard at the installation and shortly after, performers accompanied the ‘chaos’ of the noise that filled the environment. The nonchalant performers dawned on a large mask/head set that impeded his vision. It was only later, after reading up on the artist and his thought process of creating such a niche field of art in media that I understood slightly better.

Set up:

The setting inhibited from ‘Disappearance, bar in the gallery’ by Lee Kang So in 1973 involves the display of Korean tables and benches placed in the gallery, as if to re-enact the scene of a Korean bar which involves distant chatter, laughter and shared experiences from daily struggles and accomplishments delivered through conversations. The presence of physical ‘history’, which included alcohol stains, dents and burn marks from cigarettes of the dine-in tables was missing, suggesting that the artist was moving away from the focus of reminiscence and the lingering effects of a location. More evidently, we could see that the artist manages to use the benches and tables not only as props but incorporating them to become an essential element of the exhibition. The bar serves as a place of socialization, a perfect scene for the artist to deliver his message across to his audience. As we continue to unravel the artist’s intention and art direction, we may find that the relevance of location played a crucial role in helping the artist express his thoughts through Life circuit.


Life circuit- concept:

Urich Lau, the artist in question takes on a tangible and performative approach to his artworks. His intention was to create a circuit – which consists of an input and output – between his audience and him through the introduction of an alternate space in which he navigates and ‘interacts’ with his surroundings. While being ‘impeded’ by sight and hearing, one questions whether this is really the case – he is somewhat able to weave through and make his way around by live feed and audio-visual information.

Communication and exchange with the art seems to manifest in a bizarre manner – the layering of ideas that the artist has constantly engaged in his artistic oeuvre where he addresses issues of surveillance and viewer participation(non-participation in this case). The presence of the viewer automatically translates into participation as he connects with them through the medium of his alternate reality – he projects live visuals of the viewers without their permission, which I believe is his way of communicating the lack-thereof privacy and discomfort in being under surveillance.

Critique on Singapore’s art scene – Life Circuit touches on the issues pertaining to the contemporary art and heritage in Singapore’s context. He occasionally flashes the National Art Council(NAC)’s mission statement, which baffled many of us who sat in for the performance work. However, it was not difficult to tell that the artist meant for viewers to question about it relevance and thus understanding the intention of the artist. To us it might have meant nothing, the seemingly abstract display of text actually delivers a strong message – to encourage us to challenge our perception on creating art in Singapore’s context and discovering how much or little we are able to exert our creativeness. Are we then restrained by the boundaries set by council that we are unable to seek a certain direction in art?

To champion the creation and appreciation of the arts as an integral part of our lives.

Commentary on the embrace of technology – we live in an era where mobile phones and social media become far more than simply communication. It is intertwined with entertainment, many of us are so used to this form of entertainment that we become indifferent to it. We are consumed by the visuals and accessibility provided by social media, as we slowly stray away from the need to have real, physical interaction that require effort and time. I asked myself this: in light of the 21st century, why did Lau’s Life circuit gadgets look old-school? He uses basic ear muffs, a gas-mask looking device and small projectors that replace his eye function. In this day an age, was it really necessary to attach the over-the-top amount of wires instead of using wi-fi and bluetooth to make his ‘helmet’ look cleaner?

In hindsight, that may be the whole point – to allow us to see the raw nature of technology – the amass of wires that leaves us wondering whether technology we integrate into our lives actually serves to benefit us or weigh us down.



10.000 Moving Cities is an interactive installation by Marc Lee, a Swiss artist born in 1969 who creates network-oriented interactive art objects: interactive installations, media art, internet art, performance art, video art, augmented reality (AR) art and virtual reality (VR) art. He is experimenting with information and communication technologies and within his contemporary art practice, he reflects critically creative, cultural, social, economic and political aspects. Lee experiments using existing information provided by the internet to generate awareness and create an unique experience for his participants. Participants can select any place or city by using a digital interface. At the chosen place, the Internet is searched in real time for latest text, image, video and sound information. Four projectors and eight audio speakers project the results into the space. Visitors are able to walk through the model and experience the information in 3D.


Masks of the projections

10.000 moving cities - same but different - ZKM Karlsruhe - Masks


10.000 Moving Cities - Same but Different - Interface


10.000 Moving Cities – Same but Different, real cubes


Images, sound, text and video will be displayed in the form of perceived fragmented cubes littered all over the exhibition area. The information and graphic representation constantly changes, providing updates on the location through ever-changing audio and visuals that are juxtaposed to form an identity of that area. Each new change of location always creates new representations of the real world as a combination of visitors and digital matrix. Marc Lee address ”globalization” and how it creates ‘local places without an identity’ through the installation, dispelling it as he reveals the unique factor of each location, be it city or place, through an immersive interaction in which participants are able to capture the essence and beauty of each destination without being in the physical location. The user-generated content is not censored nor chosen by a certain community, creating a genuine and ‘raw’ experience of each location. No two participants would come out with the same experience, even if they’d visited the same locations, as the information is constantly updated and randomized.

In this digital age, the inter-connected world creates a society not defined by geographic location, it is rather hard to pin point what defines society in this day and age. Society has become a mash of cultures, religions and thinking where accessibility to information, whether objective or not, is readily available for everyone to process and dwell on. One could say that the consequence of having such a representation of culture and society, having participants immerse themselves in such a raw scenario and being plunged directly into the circumstances of the certain location can be overwhelming and create a form of realization of how fragile our world has become. Imagining the exhibition in the modern context could mean a great deal of exposure for those uneducated, or sheltered from the injustice and evil that has been occurring in the real world. The Hong Kong crisis, Chinese ban by the US, among many other issues may create discomfort for the participants who are unaware on the ongoing turmoils faced by countries, and have a very real impact on the location through either social media or news media.

This installation invites participants to appreciate and understand the diversity of the world through the sampling of various countries and locations. Lee uses globalization to showcase the beauty of being able to share information, otherwise impossible without it, to create a deeper appreciation and implant the seed in the participant of how important it is to stay true to our culture despite the burgeoning connection that grows tighter between the world as we progress. Lee uses this interaction as a critical commentary on globalization and society in our current age. It is up to the participant to form his/her own thoughts about the progress of our world.