Art What! Arts Singapore

Singapore Art Week 2018: Art Meets Artefacts with the ACM’s New Installations


This January, the Asian Civilisations Museum will no longer simply play host to some of the most exciting collection of Asian artefacts from all over the region, but as part of the Civic District’s Light to Night Festival, has introduced four specially commissioned installation artworks to the museum to add some creative sparks to every visit!

Each of these four artists have been inspired by various artefacts within the museum in creating their art, and their forms range from woven crotchet sculptures all the way to trippy patterned rooms. Read on to get a quick glimpse of the new works you can find at the museum!

 Portal of Patterns by Kllylmrck 


The moment you enter the museum, you’ll be greeted by Kllylmrck’s beautiful woven gate. Inspired by the colour wheel and the idea of tessellating geometric patterns, it’s an artwork that brings immediate delight to the senses, and almost a resurgence of the childlike wonder we used to harbour in our schooldays. Said Kllymrck, who has been crotcheting since the age of 7: “I use 100% sustainable nylon yarn in my work. When the art gets torn down, we send it to be shredded apart. I made this work to add some colour to the lobby, since people tend to walk right past it most of the time, and I wanted to give people some colour and joy in their life.”

“Crotcheting is actually really simple,” she continues. It’s evident she harbours a truly deep love for her craft, sporting a spectrum of pastel-hued yarn dreadlocks in her hair. “This work was actually created by a group of volunteers of all ages. I was so surprised and touched when I put out the announcement on Facebook and before I knew it, all of them had already signed up. It’s a joint process that really brings people together.”

OH! Treasure Chest by Other Half


On the next stop of our visit to the museum, we walk past a black curtain, behind which stands the next work we’re about to witness. Enter Other Half’s OH! Treasure Chest, inspired by the various intricate patterns you can find on vases and precious boxes within the museum. Other Half consists of artists Ho Lay Hoon and Sumay Cheah, and they specialize in immersive art experiences. What lies behind the black curtain then? Step behind it to see a gigantic kaleidoscope of patterns blinking in and out, almost like a portal to another dimension. It’s trippy, it’s mindboggling, and it’s unforgettably wondrous.

 Recording Today by PAYNK


 If you head on up to the next room, you might think it’s rather peaceful. After all, the room is painted entirely in white, with white artefacts, glazed ceramics and statuettes displayed all around. Illustration/sculpture artist PAYNK was thus inspired to create a site specific work, necessitating intimate audience interaction to fully experience. Specifically, her works comment on our modern means of experiencing art with the advent of technology, with one piece requiring audiences to take a closer look by peering through a peephole, while another requires them to use their phone’s camera to take a video or photo of the underwater world hidden inside an otherwise white box. The final piece in the set displays what initially appears to be a paper shopping bag, but is really a solid sculpture, scrawled with blue jellyfish and seaweed, and suggesting how excessive consumerism might have an environmental impact as well.

Curious Creatures by fFurious


The final commissioned work  we witnessed was fFurious’s Curious Creatures. Inspired by the mythical animals seen depicted at various points around the museum, the room this work was displayed in was completely dark…save for this menagerie of weird and wonderful creatures which glowed red. Crafted from plastic and designed to be stylized versions of legendary lions, phoenixes and dragons, this is a work that perfectly matches the nostalgic playground aesthetic Singaporeans  love so dearly these days, and you’ll practically want to take one of these guys home as you leave the museum (please don’t). You can also catch their work in the evenings, when projections of these curious creatures that they’ve designed will be displayed on the facade of the ACM! 

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Come see for yourself all that the ACM has to offer, not just these splendid new contemporary artworks, but also the classic works and objects that inspired them. This January, the ACM becomes a wonderland of discovery, and you’re sure to learn a thing or two there during the Light to Night Festival.

The ACM’s contemporary artworks are on display till the end of the Light to Night Festival 2018 (28th January). More information on upcoming workshops, programmes and tickets available on their website here

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