Art What! Arts Singapore

Art What!: All is not as it was, nothing as it will be at Art Agenda

Art Agenda, S.E.A. (AASEA) has recently launched Art Agenda @ 63 Spottiswoode, a curatorial concept space centred on photography and art in the Singapore context. Complete with an omnichannel retail shopfront run by Art & Market, a collaborative display with neighbour Art Porters and a series of activations in the Blair Plain conservation area, the concept space is a focal point for all things photographic, collectable and reflexive of Singapore in the larger world.

Following their previous exhibition, AASEA presentd its second photography-focused show on the first floor, 63 Ground, with All is not as it was, nothing as it will be, a group exhibition that explores the shifting landscapes of Singapore through painting and photography. From idyllic rural scenes to shifting urban landscapes, this exhibition surveys how artists chose to capture their consistently changing environments between the 1940s till today, and interrogates the qualities of photography alongside the more ‘traditional’ mediums of oil paint and pastel.

The featured artists include:

Liu Kang

Botanical Garden/Red Palm Tree, 1974, oil on canvas, 120 x 70 cm

Nanyang artist Liu Kang was known for having translated post-Impressionist and Fauvist influences into his depiction of Southeast Asian motifs. A keen observer of his environment, he depicted figures that were essential contributors to the heritage of Southeast Asia, capturing kampung architecture, Southeast Asian figures, and families engaging in daily activities of rural life through vibrant pastels works and vivid oil paintings.

Yip Cheong Fun

Tough Job, silver gelatin print, 36 x 43.5 cm

Modern photographer Yip Cheong Fun was one of Singapore’s pioneer photographers who won over 50 international awards for his narrative scenes of urban landscapes, seascapes and kampung life. Born in Hong Kong, he moved to Singapore in 1913 and began taking photographs for his family when he bought his first Rolleiflex camera in 1936. He attained numerous prestigious awards over the span of his lifetime such as the Merlion Pewter Award presented by the Singapore International Salon of Photography in 1971 and the Cultural Medallion for photography in 1984.

Lim Kwong Lin

Gravel, silver gelatin print, 51 x 40.5 cm

Photographer Lim Kwong Ling has been an active member of the photographic community in Singapore, leading and promoting exchanges between photographers from Singapore, China, and Southeast Asia. He is one of the founders of the Photo-Art Association of Singapore and has also led the Federation of Asia Photographic Art (FAPA) Conference in Singapore. He has exhibited at the Singapore Empress Place Museum and the Cultural Palace of Nationalities, Beijing, to high acclaim. Many of his works are also permanently archived in the Singapore National Gallery.

Lavender Chang

Unconsciousness: Consciousness #11, 2011-2013, print on Ilford archival acid-free paper, 100 x 122.7 cm, edition 1 of 5

Lavender Chang is a conceptual photographer based in Singapore. Her artwork focuses on the subtle nuances of everyday life, how the passage of time leaves behind traces of mortality. Her most recent shows include exhibitions at Objectifs-Center for Photography and Film and the 10th-anniversary exhibition of ION Arts’ Young Talent Programme, YTP REUNITE during Singapore Art Week 2019.

Dave Lim

Eroding the City 01, 2019, inkjet print on 150 grit paper, 23 x 28 cm, 1 + 1AP

And finally, Dave Lim, a visual artist and filmmaker. Having come from a research and documentary background, most of his work reflects conceptual concerns ranging topically from urbanisation to society at large. His recent work include The Believers, Eroding the City and Tucked Under. His work has won multiple awards such as the National Youth Film Awards (2020), NTU Global Digital Art Prize (2019) and the Objectifs Documentary Award (2019).

All is not as it was, nothing as it will be runs from 24th July to 18th August 2021 at Art Agenda @ 63 Spottiswoode, 63 Spottiswoode Park Road, Singapore 088651. More information available here

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