Sharing the love for visual arts at the Esplanade

Sharing the love for visual arts at the Esplanade

The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, long a symbol of Singapore’s vibrant arts scene, has housed not just world-renowned performers, but also served as an incubator of artists from other art genres.

Its visual arts programme is putting on several exhibitions as part of continuing efforts to provide space for new works, in support of artists from Singapore and the region.

Here are three ongoing exhibitions currently at the Esplanade:

1. Evolving Currents

evolving-currents-fragments of cheng ho visual arts
Fragments of Cheng Ho: The Useable Past, Chu Hao Pei, 2022.

For centuries, Southeast Asia has been a melting pot of cultures and people. The region is thick with history, something that can be found – but also often overlooked – in stories, archival material, and other records.

evolving-currents-glazed cases visual arts
Glazed Cases, Marvin Tang, 2022.

Evolving Currents at Jendela (Visual Arts Space) presents works by Chu Hao Pei, Debbie Ding, and Marvin Tang, artists who delve deep into these artefacts to examine the pieces that have come together to tell the story of Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.

evolving-currents-the collector visual arts
The Collector, Debbie Ding, 2022.

The works in this exhibition are new iterations of long-term research projects developed by the artists, who take different approaches to look at how history constantly evolves, especially when juxtaposed with different socio-political landscapes, and how it continues to have an impact on our lives today. 

2. Friction of Distance

friction-of-distance-channel greenhouse visual arts
Channel Greenhouse, Minkyung Choi and Dina Mimi, 2021.

If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has made us sit up and realise, it is how we perceive space, and how technology has played a pivotal role in that understanding.

“Friction of Distance” is both the title of this exhibition, and also a geography term that describes how movement incurs some cost in resources, whether in physical effort, energy, or time.

friction-of-distance-courtesy of artists visual arts
Jo Ho and Weixin Quek Chong, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of the artists

The exhibition delves into how relationships and collaborations are affected in an age where physical co-existence has become more challenging – by using collaborations itself.

Minkyung Choi paired up with Dina Mimi, while Jo Ho paired up with Weixin Quek Chong, using technology to look into how the divide between private and public spaces has changed with the pandemic.

Platforms and technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) chat were used by the artists to collaborate and create works that documented their exchanges.

This project at the Esplanade Tunnel is co-curated with Supernormal.space, an independent art space that promotes the idea that technology can be used in the creation of art.

3. loop / pool

loop-pool visual arts
loop / pool, Huijun Lu, 2022.

loop / pool is by Singaporean artist Huijun Lu and takes inspiration from the sonic and physical space of the Community Wall on Level 3, where it is presented. It puts together a series of works that makes use of the surrounding environment. The escalator’s ambient sound, for instance, serves as a starting point that explores the idea of repetition and transition.

loop-pool visual arts
loop / pool, Huijun Lu, 2022.

There are tanks of water filled with slow-releasing dye from butterfly pea flowers, as well as an audio piece of environmental sounds that come together, programmed in a closed loop of change that repeats and echoes the whirs of the mechanical escalator that came before them.

All three exhibitions are on from 13 May to 4 Sep and are free of charge.

(Photos: Chu Hao Pei, Marvin Tang, Debbie Ding, Minkyung Choi and Dina Mimi, Jo Ho and Weixin Quek Chong, Huijun Lu)

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