Thanks to the pandemic and rapid technological advancements, recent events have forced society to many a crossroad, one where we are challenged to reconsider our mediations with structures that shape our collective lived experiences. So why not think about how the massive electronic billboards lining our roads can be a space for art?
Organised by creative studio ToNewEntities and curated by Rafi Abdullah, Crossroads makes its debut at the 2022 Singapore Art Week (SAW), as it presents new media art by six artists showcased on commercial electronic billboard displays. Taking its name from the term used to refer to intersections and crucial decisions, the first edition of Crossroads is set to screen on major billboard displays at ION Orchard and Ten Square from 7.30PM to 8.00PM.
As the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the thematic experience ranges from animated films, computer-generated imagery and generative art made completely accessible in public spaces. The list of featured artists include visual artists Phua Juan Yong, Howie Kim, Juria Toramae, Priyageetha Dia and Tristan Lim, as well as graphic designer trio Hause.
Singapore visual artist Howie Kim presents his whimsical style with Bongdirk on the Big Screen. Featuring a flashy pink character changing between 9 iconic pop culture dress ups, such as Marilyn Monroe, Sailor Moon and Coke, Howie brings a light-hearted, comedic touch to commercialism.
Singapore based photographer and visual artist Juria Toramae extends her practice in the oceanic space with Pelagic Dreams 2 (Redux). The hypnotic video piece layers fictional and metamorphic morphologies based on her personal documentation of marine species in Southeast Asian waters.
New media artist Phua Juan Yong, offers us a glimpse of his fantastical world with Spring/Summer, a cheeky take on adverts in a style reminiscent of old Shanghainese posters. The artist probes the exploration of agency, with the exit of the model from the frame and an encroachment of beautiful flowers.
Singaporean interdisciplinary visual artist Priyageetha Dia draws from science fiction author Octavia E. Butler for Blood Sun. Looking at the notion of crossroads as a form of hybrid space, she presents a piece reimagining an alternate futuristic paradigm that negotiates the human and non-human, and land relations.
Graphic Designer trio Hause pushes a cheeky and literal take of how the public would experience the festival with 3A, while artist Tristan Lim speculates a biological crossroad between vertebrates and invertebrates in Notochord 01, as a hallmark of how creatures evolved or would have evolved.
With Crossroads, ToNewEntities seeks to break the boundaries of how art can be experienced, by taking over public areas or living spaces typically reserved for everyday commercial use. This allows the man on the street to encounter art more easily, and therefore, rethink the idea of art. The first edition specifically aims to afford a moment in time to renegotiate our relationship with cultural consumption, through thematic new media art pieces on mass advertising display screens.
“Electronic billboards presents itself as an apt space for the mediation of new media art and the role that it plays in our lives. Its ubiquity can be reactivated and rechanneled for artists to communicate their art and reach audiences in new ways,” says Rafi Abdullah, curator of Crossroads and partner at ToNewEntities.
Tristan Lim, partner of ToNewEntites and feature artist, continues, “We think of it as an art form that can create interactions and dialogues, where content is delivered through connections and conversations; between the art and the artist, the artwork and viewer, the artists and their audience.”
Crossroads runs from 14th – 16th January 2022 and 21st – 23rd January 2022, 730-8pm, on ION Orchard’s Outdoor Screen and Ten Square’s Outdoor Screen. More information about Crossroads available here and @tonewentities.
Singapore Art Week 2022 runs from 14th to 23rd January 2022. For more information on SAW 2022 programmes, visit their website here.