Art Agenda, S.E.A. (AASEA) presents The Body as a Dream: A Singapore Art Story, a new thematic exhibition curated by Vivyan Yeo. Featuring works from ten modern and contemporary Singaporean artists spanning 1965 – the year of Singapore’s national independence – to pieces created contemporaneously, the exhibition traces depictions of the human body as a visual marker of perceived identity throughout time.
The past is and always will be a point of reference. Even as we continuously innovate for the future, there arises a point of intersection, where artists look to the past with incisive eyes of the present. The notion of “embodied identity” has been a constant point of focus in the course of Singapore history. What do our bodies say about us? How does the representation of bodies shift our understanding of one another?
Indeed, the body is the most direct marker of identity, and yet it is also an unreliable one. It is in many ways a dream. Whether it is the idealisation of a family unit, the reimagination of Malayness in Singapore art history, or the fantasy of being able to trust men, this exhibition explores how the human body is used to express visions of what is and what could be.
The selection of work juxtaposes works from significant figures in modern Singapore art including Cheong Soo Pieng, Liu Kang, Ng Eng Teng and Teng Nee Cheong, with those from the presently emergent generation of contemporary practitioners Aisha Rosli, Faris Heizer, Lenne Chai, Ruben Pang, Yanyun Chen and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee. Depictions of the human body thread through the exhibits, and the audience is invited to explore connections between the artists’ sensibilities and find a shift in generational concerns from Singapore’s post-independence era to the present times.
The Body as a Dream: A Singapore Art Story runs from 22nd January to 27th March 2021 at The Modern Space, 315 Outram Road, #05-04, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074. More information available here