Mosaic Triangle by Aya Murakami & Kaoru Murakami

Mosaic Triangle by Kaoru Murakami and Aya Murakami

Excerpts from the Critic on 24 August 2013

Kaoru Murakimi

My journey began with World War II and the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. We did not learn about it in school and knowing that I will be coming to Singapore, I started researching in Tokyo. I discovered that the Japanese built a Shrine in Singapore during the Occupation and came to Singapore looking for it. It was built at Macritchie Reservoir Park and as there was no map or plans available for it, so Aya and I went to look for it based on the approximate location. It was off the main trail with no proper path. They had destroyed the shrine and we could only discover few traces of its remains.

As part of my research, I discovered a stamp made by the Japanese in Singapore. With no image of the destroyed shrine, I began to create an imaginary stamp making reference to the original one made during the occupation. Using my hand drawing techniques as an illustrator, I created an imaginary stamp of the shrine. Showcasing it side by side with image from the original stamp.

Ade Putra Safar

Can you share more about your prints? Why these 3 animals (Squirrel, Crow and Mynah)?

For my prints, the 3 animals each represent a city that is linked to me. I studied in London and you can see squirrels everywhere, especially in the parks where they approach people for food. The Crow is often seen and heard in Tokyo and we spotted the Mynah bird often here in Singapore. The prints through composition, explored the different relationships I have with the 3 cities.

Yeo Shih Yun

Can you tell us more about the installation and what does the wheel represent?

Kaoru Murakimi

I learnt that the Japanese soldiers made their way down from Malaya using bicycles and happen to find a discarded bicycle wheel while roaming about Singapore. I wanted to create an installation using this bicycle wheel. Using soil and grass to wrap around the wheel, I wanted to create a physical ruin in relation to the Japanese Occupation.

Fann ZJ -

What forms of liquids do you use for your bulbs? And is there any particular meaning to their arrangement?

Kaoru Murakimi – Back in Japan, I cut photos/postcards and inserted them to lightbulbs. I experimented with different liquids and ended up using oil as it does not evaporate or affect the image as much as water.

In my previous exhibitions, I would display them in a domestic setting, for example on a light stand. But as there are limited resources here, I have laid them down on the side. I made a Singapore Light bulb with the cutout of Sir Stamford Raffles using an image of his statue along the Singapore River.

Aya Murakami -

The first painting was inspired by the smoke from the fireworks after the National Day Parade.

Ade Putra Safar

So you went down to Marina Bay to see the fireworks?

Aya Murakami -

Actually, we could see them from the Instinc Gallery. We were in the gallery one night and we saw the fireworks from here. The view is very good.

Ade Putra Safar

I like this piece. You can see the textures and whiff of smoke.

Fann ZJ

Aya, could you share with us on your colour choice and painting process?

Aya Murakami -

We went to the Peranakan Museum and saw the Peranakan ceramics. They were bright pastel hues of pink and green! They are colours that I like and have used for my previous paintings. I paint multiple paintings at a go and was painting the fireworks concurrent with this other painting which is a scene from Macritchie Reservoir Park when we were in search of the shrine. I like nature and they are often my subjects.

I was inspired by Botanical Gardens when we visited. A park in the middle of the city, a green lung like Central Park New York. I took the map of Botanical Gardens and did a paper cut, overlaid with a sketch of the lungs to represent the network of paths and greenery as a green lung in the city. Some visitors saw the image of a previous piece that is similar on the Straits Times and were disappointed that it was not here on display.

Yeo Shih Yun

This is a mini version! A work in progress, since you are here on residency.

 


Mosaic Triangle by Kaoru Murakami and Aya Murakami

Present:

 

Kaoru Murakami

 

Aya Murakami

 

Yeo Shih Yun

 

Fann ZJ

 

Ade Putra Safar

 

Khairullah Rahim

 

Text by: Fann ZJ