Exhibition of Contemporary Filipino Artists
Monday 1 July 2002
Venue: Sculpture Square, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977
Junction of Waterloo Street and Middle Road,
Opposite Fortune Centre (Nearest MRT: Bugis)
Date: 26 July to 25 August 2002
Time: 11am to 6pm (weekdays), 12pm to 6pm (weekends)
If you think bringing in a sculpture exhibition to Singapore means importing huge and heavy blobs of bronze or marble – think again. A group of contemporary Filipino artists, including Cecilia Avancena, Gerardo Tan, Katya Guerrero, Sid Hildawa and After Liwayway Recapping Co., prove that sculpture can be conceived and practised otherwise – creating art works that are small and light, but capable of expanding once installed in the designated space. When the exhibition is over, these works can then be packed and shipped again in a small container 110cm x 110cm x 92cm to the next destination.
to curators Judy Freya Sibayan and Matt Price, the idea and title for the
exhibition came out of a very practical concern – how to transport works of
art from on country to another at low cost. General Manager of Sculpture
Square, Tay Swee Lin, set one basic restriction for the artists: that they
should find their own funding to ship the works from Manila to Singapore and
then back again. “Working
within these logistical and financial constraints, artists are challenged
to come up with creative solutions without contradicting or compromising their
practice,” Tay notes.
result? Art that though visually small, embodies complex ideas. Sibayan
elaborates: “Each of these pieces questions the system of production,
circulation, distribution and reception of art, and ultimately, expands the
boundaries of art and the imagination.”
for instance, how Katya Guerrero
transforms four items - a cheque worth 90,000 pesos, a wishbone, and two video
tapes – into Interest and Token,
two works of art exploring the concept of value. Guerrero will send over the
cheque, which will be cashed into Singaporean one-cent coins, and assemble the
coins into a pyramid. Throughout the exhibition, a video projection of the
artist, sphinx-like, watches over her “precious” work. Her second piece
documents a meal with friends. In addition to a video recording, she will
display a wishbone salvaged from the meal. Coated in semi-precious metal, the
object now becomes a token of their friendship and time shared.
Inspired by the Egyptian myth in which Osiris is
killed by his brother Seth, and his corpse scattered all over Egypt, Sid
Hildawa will send a painting of his own body that is cut into many pieces.
When it arrives, the various parts of the painting are to be scattered all over
the gallery. Hildawa will also link up many chokers in his Expanding Choker
Project, reversing the idea of chokers constricting the neck by letting them
“expand” around Sculpture Square.
As part of his ongoing dust painting series, Gerardo
Tan has been working with Manila-based art restorer Helmuth Zotter in
collecting dust removed from the works of renowned Filipino artist Juan Luna and
Italian painter Canalletto. For this exhibition, Tan will also work with dust
collected from Sculpture Square’s gallery. In these dust paintings, the
physical evidence of the passing of time itself assumes the status of a work of
Avancena’s Gypsy Mood Thermometer draws on the tradition of the Cale
communities in France and Spain in which elders would give an empty glass jar to
engaged couples. Depending on his or her mood, either of the couple would place
a different-coloured bean, grain or pulse into the jar. At the end of the
engagement, the jar would be examined to determine the success or failure of the
marriage. Through her interactive piece, the artist likewise invites visitors to
express their emotions as they experience the exhibition.
Liwayway Recapping Co., newly-formed
anonymous artist group committed to revisiting and responding to contemporary
works, will install three works. One of them – Imagine
Pieces: Homage to John, Yoko, and John - fuses Yoko Ono’s instruction
book, Grapefruit, with the lyric
structure of John Lennon’s song Imagine,
while infusing this new work with each artist’s sentiments.
Price remarks: “This project is a great
opportunity to continue to develop links and strengthen the friendship between
the Philippines and Singapore.” Closely following this exhibition is
Manila’s first Children’s Sculpture Carnival, co-organised by ArtPostAsia
(Philippines) and Sculpture Square. Later, Sculpture Square and University of
Philippines will respectively host a Filipino and Singaporean artist as part of
their Artist Residency Programme.
XL, Expanding Art also marks the launch of Sculpture Square’s global touring
initiative. After its run in August, the exhibition will continue to tour
various international venues.
Sculpture Square is in negotiation with various arts venues on the tour
itinerary for the exhibition. This move represents Sculpture Square’s
development as an international arts space and its commitment to promoting 3-D
art across the region.
Minda C. Cruz, Minister and Consul General of the Philippines, will inaugurate xs
XL, Expanding Art on Friday,
26th July 2002.