Launched in January 2020 during Singapore Art Week, Art Encounters is a mobile artist’s studio and gallery housed in three repurposed shipping containers and designed to travel to unique sites around Singapore over three years. Following on from Lionel Sabatté’s Concrete Contemplations from the Past in the City of Tomorrow in January, the second edition of Art Encounters features multidisciplinary artist Rizman Putra as he presents From Gelam to Glam on the lawn of the Malay Heritage Centre.
In April 2019, Rizman undertook a residency with Teater Ekamatra to transform their white- walled rehearsal space in Aliwal Arts Centre into an immersive, extra-dimensional installation called Chonteng, which translates to English as “doodle.” Over 22 days, he drew on all surfaces of the space, exploring ideas of line and mark making based loosely on the method of automatic drawing. This style of drawing provides a glimpse into the stream of consciousness in the artist’s mind, transforming gestures and forms of various stimuli into abstracted shapes and anthropomorphic figures.
For Art Encounters, Rizman worked with a new medium of UV paint to create a black-light drawing installation inspired by the native Gelam tree, which Kampong Glam was named after. Brightly coloured and covering all surfaces of the containers, the work celebrates both the precinct’s historical roots and its vibrant cultural life in the present. Inspired by Kampong Glam’s daily transition from rich cultural sites and heritage restaurants by day to bustling pockets of nightlife at night, the installation will begin to glow as night falls.
In conjunction with the special exhibition at the Malay Heritage Centre, Seekor Singa, Seorang Putera dan Sebingkai Cermin: Reflecting and Refracting Singapura, which explores Singapore’s historical significance in the maritime world of the 15th to 19th centuries through various Malay World perspectives, Rizman will also interpolate material culture and ephemera on display in exhibition into the installation.
Rizman Putra: From Gelam to Glam runs from 15th February to 7th June 2020 at Kampong Glam, Malay Heritage Centre Lawn.