Singapore Art Museum Joins In To Celebrate Singapore's Food Festival With The Launch Of FEAST! Food In Art

Press release of the Singapore Art Museum

Contemporary Visual Artists, And Their Response To One Of Singaporean's Prime Passions In Life - EATING, Featuring Works From The Museum's Permanent Collection, With Contributions From Invited Local Artists

(4 April 2000) Singapore Art Museum joins in to celebrate the Singapore Food Festival 2000 with its new exhibition aptly titled, FEAST! Food In Art. Fully developed in-house by SAM curator Ms Lindy Poh, it is the first of its kind to be produced and displayed at SAM. FEAST! Food In Art addresses a wide range of issues that food and its consumption have developed in contemporary society. From still life paintings to contemporary installations, these works from local artists as well as the Museum's permanent collection, take us beyond food's function as fuel for the physical body, to the recognition of the complex and diverse values which food and eating has acquired over time.

From its potent symbolic & ritualistic uses in custom and religion, to the intensely charged vocabulary of political fasting and involuntary starvation and hunger, to modern-day anxieties and pre-occupations with dieting, consumption of frozen & fast foods and drug-taking, this exhibition studies selected accounts, observations, sympathies and judgements about how our very identity may be defined through our relationship with food. The artists in this show also demonstrate their interest in the sensory nature of the topic by introduction of a range of devices designed to engage the senses (visual, taste, scent and touch), such as the use of both dried and fresh foods in their works.

Certain artists are also committed to exploring the particularly problematic and intriguing relationship that women have experienced with regard to food. Notions of beauty and the feminine self, and the traditional place of women in the preparation of food are raised by artists Amanda Heng, Joyce Lim, and Noni Kaur. Denial of food through intentional dieting, the consumption of certain delicacies for cosmetic purposes, and the designation of the kitchen as woman's territory and domain are some of the issues which emerge in the art practices of these artists. For others, the urban condition and city-life is central to their practice.

Says Ms Lindy Poh, curator of the exhibition, "What we eat, how we eat, with whom we eat, and even the speed at which we eat has changed radically since the last century. The works in FEAST! do not represent all the issues that have emerged in relation to food and consumption, nor all the strategies that have been applied to this end, but it hopes that the repertoire encourages a more thoughtful approach to the subject."

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour brochure as well as extensive public programme support featuring workshops, talks and films inspired by similar concerns. FEAST! Food In Art is a highlight of the Singapore Food Festival 2000.

This exhibition is sponsored by DBS Bank with Life! Straits Times being the official paper, Arts Central being the official TV station and Zo Card being the official free postcard advertising media, for this exhibition.