Preview: Singapore Calendar – Hungry Ghost Festival by OH! Open House
Fresh from a successful edition of OH! Open House earlier this year, the team is back for an all new art experience in the form of the Singapore Calendar. Launched on 25th August 2018, this new programme offers audiences a chance to follow various artists over the course of four months as they develop works inspired by significant dates in the local calendar.
For the very first edition, the project will see internet artist Eugene Tan respond to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. Over the course of the next few months, audiences who subscribe to the programme will be able to receive cryptic, secret messages periodically in the form of ‘offerings’ before culminating in a final exhibition that takes place in November at a secret location, with ticket holders getting an exclusive experience with the artist.
Artist Eugene Tan is primarily concerned with themes of mortality, memory and image-making through digital mediums such as the Internet, with works like Practically Grave System (PGS) (2017), a proposal and prototype dealing with concepts of retaining graves through technology in the face of land scarcity. With Hungry Ghost Festival, Eugene teases in his first ‘offering’ by posing questions of grave exhumation and the importance of having a grave to subscribers, leaving plenty of food for thought and one wondering how he will continue to develop and reveal aspects of the final exhibition from here.
Says Yen Phang, co-curator of Singapore Calendar: “Without seasonality, time is perpetual here in Singapore, marked instead by the annual cycles of official dates and cultural celebrations. The Hungry Ghost Festival is one such example, where public space is transformed by unregulated private rituals. Our senses are heightened and bombarded by the appearance of food offerings on our streets, the smoke from incense and offerings, the sounds of getai. Now we live in the internet age, how do we die online? How do we remember others in virtual spaces? By allowing audiences access to Eugene’s creation process through a period of time, they are privy to how an artist’s mind works, how he thinks about ghost fest through the lens of the internet.”
Singapore Calendar – Hungry Ghost Festival runs till November 2018, with the first offering available here for free, and the second and third offering available in September and October 2018, available with a ticket from here