In All Directions
In All Directions is based on an ongoing series of works by Speak Cryptic investigating the subject of migration and the impact it has on the individual and society. The installation features his distinctive life-sized characters navigating their way around the Esplanade Concourse. The characters carry suitcases and different types of bags filled with clothing reminiscent of traditional Malay garments and featuring distinctive motifs associated with Malay culture. Speak Cryptic has also incorporated symbols derived from subcultures which are personally significant to him. The characters move through gates with designs inspired by the architecture of pondoks—traditional huts used to provide shelter in different parts of Southeast Asia. By juxtaposing elements of the traditional and the contemporary, the installation presents different facets of migration, whether it is of people or ideas. In an increasingly connected world where people are continually travelling and relocating, individuals and societies have had to learn to adapt to one another—ideas are constantly exchanged, and traditions and cultures are always evolving. Through this work, Speak Cryptic prompts us to reflect on the tensions that arise out of migration and how these shape individual and collective identities. About the Artist The artistic practice of Speak Cryptic (b.1980, Singapore) delves into issues of cultural identity, migration, and the human condition. Inspired by the visual language of comics and underground music, the fictitious characters and imaginary landscapes that he continuously creates have been transposed and adapted into drawing, painting, installation and performance. His recent exhibitions include Art from the Streets, ArtScience Museum, Singapore (2018); Flying Supermarket, Koganecho Art Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan (2018); and Secret Archipelago, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2015). Speak Cryptic’s mural Come Together is part of the Esplanade’s permanent public art installations and is on view at the entrance of the Esplanade Recital Studio.