Showing posts from December, 2019

Staying Woke with Children at NGS, Jun/Oct 2019 (II of II)

...Pictures of burning art by Xiamen Dada - the collective Huang Yong Ping founded - calibrates my attention towards work made by artists residing in Greater China. This exhibition bookends a time frame, when a dense population is actively pursuing material capitalism. One very apt representation is Wang Jin's 'Ice: Central China 1996', where the artist installed ice blocks containing consumer goods outside a city mall, which Great Wall facsimile was progressively broken down by members of the public. Thousands of miles south, Lin Yilin builds then moves a brick wall from one side of a main street to the other, causing traffic disruption in the process. Such daring performances culminate in 'To Add a Meter to an Anonymous Mountain', Zhang Huan's notorious undertaking where ten naked bodies are stacked horizontally like a pyramid, to protest (or commemorate?) the government eviction of their artist community at Beijing East Village. Video still from Zhang

Staying Woke with Children at NGS, Jun/Oct 2019 (I of II)

With half its exhibits already taken down 5 months into its 7-months run, " Children’s Biennale 2019 : Embracing Wonder" at the National Gallery Singapore amounted to an unimaginative visit with the family. Rudimentary motion sensors, a stationary steering wheel in a stylised boat, throwing balls that only occasionally make chimes ring, a monochromatic illustration stuck up high on a glass wall, and stretching necks to peer at plant-filled dioramas - one wonders how many of the participating artists actually have offspring, or have worked closely with children. That the majority of them are established in the regional art world, hints at a questionable curatorial approach that favours relationships over relevant credentials. While some envy the government support Singapore accords artists, I wonder how many of its citizens are actually able to question critically how funds are utilized in this sector/industry... Video snapshots taken from Rajendra Gour - Eyes (1967)