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Art What!: SAM Mini Mobile Museum Brings Works by Singaporean Artist Melissa Tan to Regional Libraries

SAM Mini Mobile Museum: 'The Dream from the Other Side' by Melissa Tan

The SAM Mini Mobile Museum, a travelling art exhibition held in partnership with the National Library Board, continues with its latest commission – The Dream from the Other Side by Singaporean artist Melissa Tan. The exhibition will start at Woodlands Regional Library from 28 October to 13 December 2020, and travel to Jurong and Tampines regional libraries from between 16 December 2020 to 21 March 2021. Audiences can also view the exhibition online from November onwards on SAM’s website.

The SAM Mini Mobile Museum introduces the multifaceted nature of contemporary art through a selection of artworks from Singapore Art Museum (SAM)’s collection, adapted for non-museum spaces and created by Southeast Asian artists.

Tan’s works are based on themes of nature, mapping and geography, and she has a longstanding interest in landscapes, the process of formation and rock textures. This interest is reflected in her latest work, The Dream from the Other Side, which explores the continual evolution of Singapore’s topography.

The installation takes a historical look at the mapping of Singapore from one of the earliest topographical maps of Singapore from 1958, to the present day. Over the course of its showing across the three libraries, the installation will morph to represent how these three different areas – Woodlands, Jurong and Tampines – have transformed over time. Flattened ground and filled-in waterbodies, amongst other changes, will be introduced in each sculpture, reflecting the changes in each region.

“The Dream from the Other Side is a set of abstract sculptures that builds on the series Back to where we’ve never been in SAM’s collection. It retains the conceptual reflection that Singapore’s constant infrastructural upgrading makes it almost feel like a self-regenerative city. This new series however is site responsive in that the location of the regional libraries informed the form of each sculpture,” says Melissa Tan about her latest work

“In Melissa’s practice we saw an opportunity to push ourselves – both the artist and the Mini Mobile Museum project – to greater heights. To consider the shifts in Singapore’s terrain through the lens of Melissa’s practice was to engage with various readings and interpretations of how and why Singapore’s terrain has and continues to change the way it does. The work opens up an invitation for us to see and observe our landscape and environment more closely and curiously,” says SAM Assistant Curator, Andrea Fam, who curated this edition of the SAM Mini Mobile Museum.

Screenshot 2020-10-27 at 1.04.53 PM

Melissa Tan, The Dream from the Other Side, 2020, in progress. Singapore Art Museum Commission. Image courtesy of Singapore Art Museum.

The work advances Tan’s exploration of the material construction of Singapore and its continuous urban development and redevelopment, as seen in her works November’s Echo I and Sierra’s Whiskey, both part of SAM’s collection. Her past research includes a study of the reconstructive effect of Singapore’s infrastructure, which is manifested in The Dream from the Other Side. The installation invites audiences to consider the modifications to the work as reflections of the changes around us, as well as to speculate on the future of Singapore’s terrain.

For this edition, SAM will introduce a new artwork label for children, specially designed for young visitors to easily read and learn about the work. The exhibition will be accompanied by interactive family-friendly programmes such as an artist-led hands-on video activity and an interactive digital game, available on SAM’s YouTube channel and website respectively. SAM’s signature Kopi, Teh and Contemporary Art Online programme will also offer virtual tours in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil targeted at seniors.

The Dream from the Other Side will be on at Woodlands Regional Library from 28th October to 13th December 2020, Jurong Regional Library from 16th December 2020 to 31st January 2021 and Tampines Regional Library from 3rd February to 21st March 2021. More information available here

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