Project 6581 Parallel Perception and Counter Connection
Parallel Perception and Counter Connection
8-28 Feb 2014
By Fann ZJ
There is a one hour time difference between Singapore and Tokyo. Both cities are dense and urban. Both are Asian cultures that have been exposed and influenced by the West. One is located in the tropics near the Equator, while the other is temperate, ever changing across the four seasons. Similar and yet so different. What happens when these parallel worlds collide? Project 6581 attempts to facilitate and document that encounter. An Artist in Residency [AIR] exchange programme between INSTINC Singapore and Youkobo Art Space Tokyo. Four artists from each city are swopped for a month. Adapting their routines and immersing in the local.
The result? A spectacular tale of friendship, growth and expression. The human spirit binds the collective exhibition held at Japan Creative Centre in Singapore. Warm smiles, hugs and thoughts filled the centre on opening night, as the warmth of the friendships and connections made were evident in the chemistry between the eight artists and gallery directors.
Bilateral connections aside [we are, after all citizens of the world], the change in geography and mind set exposed the artists to new values and perspectives. In the Japanese world of acute sensitivity to tradition, materiality, with the embracement and fascination with technology, the Singaporean artists absorbed the Japanese aesthetics and appreciation for materials and textures. Justin Lee’s “My Shoes 2013” sees Lee deviating from his trademark East meets West Pop-art representation “warriors” to photography and installations. Subtle conflicts between man and nature, urban and natural come into play in Lee’s photos. Yeo Shih Yun delved into the world of prints to replicate and overlay what was unique in her brush strokes. Tiled and enveloping the space, the series of square prints brings a hypnotic and engulfing pattern across the space. Ade Putra Safer’s installation of a column of salvaged timber, left raw and bare and speaks of an appreciation and aesthetics for natural material compared to his usual brightly Pop-coloured works.
Their counterparts, coincidentally two pairs of twin sisters, on the other hand, depicted the world of Singapore through their sensibility and aesthetics. Kaoru Murakimi used her illustration background to reinterpret the past to tell Singaporean stories through the Japanese perspective. The tale of the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles sprouting water was manifested in her “Stamp” series where make-believe stamps depicting local Singaporean tales were painted onto felt, creating giant stamps. While her sister Aya rendered the man-made natural settings in pastel hues of pink and green. The Kabata sisters’ distinctive black on white abstract, yet concrete depictions on paper, cloth and plates create a floating expression of their experiences.
The Press Room’s Kelley Cheng through her curation, brings a graphic thread to the documentation. Through the use of striking colours and graphics, the works are presented against a juxtaposition of pauses, reflections and speculations.
So much more than just a cultural exchange, Project 6581 was a series of earnest encounters that brought eight different worlds together and changed them, along with the worlds connected to them. These worlds now chart on a slant and we look forward to them colliding.