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Art What!: Days — and counting by OH! Open House

Screenshot 2020-10-09 at 5.32.09 PM

It’s been over 185 days and counting since the circuit breaker in Singapore was first announced, transforming the way we live, work and play, all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its first foray into the digital sphere, OH! Open House will present Days — and counting, a digital art walk that captures the surreal and strange times we live in through the lens of art and artists.

The programme will take place over three ‘seasons’. Each season will take the form of an immersive digital experience that explores the individual emotional journey of coming to terms with a new reality. By presenting this journey through art and artists, the programme hopes to paint a new and timely portrait of Singapore’s response to the pandemic; one that OH! hopes will resonate with everyday Singaporeans.

“The narrative around COVID-19 is that it’s a bad dream. Bad dreams happen, but we wake up, and life goes back to normal. COVID -19 deepens and exposes so many fault-lines and iniquities in society. This might be a perpetual nightmare, a type of sleepwalking,” said Alan Oei, co-founder and artistic director of OH! Open House.

OH! is known for Singapore’s most celebrated art walks, telling alternative stories of our neighbourhoods by presenting art in surprising ways and unconventional locations. This new digital art walk is not different in its approach. Except that you will be able to “walk” these un-conventionalities with a click, in the comfort, or discomfort, of your own home. OH! Online is a new platform for OH! to tell stories through audio, text and moving images in the digital realm.

In its first season, titled Walls Crumble, the season explores the idea of home during the circuit breaker as a teletext adventure, a now defunct service that allowed Singaporeans to get information such as news, stock prices and weather on the television. Audiences can traverse a surrealist narrative of a sleeping man’s dreamscape via multiple teletext channels, and encounter artworks by local artists Ang Kia Yee, Hunny & Lummy, Kevin Fee, Pat Toh and Tristan Lim. The season debuts with a live-stream performance of Pat Toh’s Topography of Breath 2.0, at 8pm on 28th October 2020 on SISTIC. Following that, the official experience will launch at 9pm on 30th October 2020 as a desktop-only experience. More details on season 2, The distance between us and season 3, Waking up with a crash, will be released at a later date.

“The OH! experience is fundamentally different from museums and galleries. We focus on storytelling, specifically stories that are alternative. In our new platform, we want to weave more thoughtful ways to capture an ongoing portrait and time capsule of this exceptional moment. Instead of being separate digital episodes, we try to create an immersive digital environment that feels like an art walk or journey,” said Oei.

Days — and counting’s first season, Walls Crumble, debuts with a live-stream performance of Pat Toh’s Topography of Breath 2.0, at 8pm on 28th October 2020 on SISTIC. Following that, the official experience will launch at 9pm on 30th October 2020 as a desktop-only experience. For more information, visit their website here

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