Lawrence Tio

Curator Talk by Lawrence Tio


Date: 15 Oct 2004, Fri

Time: 1.30 – 3pm

Venue: #02-08, Seminar Room

NAFA1, HQ & SVA Building

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

80 Bencoolen Street

Singapore 189655

Admission: Free


In contemporary art, ‘process of making’ is a significant but often neglected aspect of the final work especially by non-privileged viewers. This seems more evident in Singapore because (among other reasons) process wasn’t given much emphasis through presentations in the gallery space or discussions with the audience. Such factors contribute to the lack of understanding of contemporary art and practice. This talk aims to investigate the importance of process in making art by taking a closer look at the processes and approaches of 5 local contemporary artists employed in creating a site specific spatial artwork for a gallery space - Earl Lu Gallery I as part of the exhibition X-Ray: Spatial Approaches and Processes.

About the Curator

Lawrence Tio is both the Curator of Earl Lu Gallery as well as a practising contemporary visual artist. Aside from organising contemporary art exhibitions of high critical merit, notably Text & Subtext: Contemporary Art by Women Artists from Asia, which toured nternationally, Lawrence is also a Master of Fine Art candidate in LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. As an artist, he has actively exhibited both locally and internationally and has received the Jurors’ Choice Award (1998) and an Honourable Mention Award (2002) in the prestigious Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards.


X Ray: Spatial Approaches and Processes
3 – 26 April 2004 · An exhibition at Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts


Five local artists explore space at Earl Lu Gallery

Monday, March 29, 2004
Five of Singapore’s most promising young artists investigate space as part of the latest group exhibition at Earl Lu Gallery at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. Featuring the artworks of Abdul Rashid Gapur, Khiew Huey Chian, Tang Ling Nah, Sawn Hwang and Lim Shing Ee, X-Ray: Spatial Approaches and Processes aims to examine both the artists’ developmental processes as well as their personal engagements with spatiality. It also intends to highlight these processes as a significant and integral aspect of contemporary art practice.

Says Lawrence Tio, the curator of the exhibition: “X-Ray: Spatial Approaches and Processes highlights the often-overlooked significance of process in contemporary art. In particular, it examines the processes involved in the creation of a spatially-oriented work. This exhibition takes as its premise, the processes and approaches of five Singaporean artists to their engagements with space.”

For instance, Khiew’s work seeks to question the functions of particular spaces. By installing a ‘house’ within an interior space of a gallery, he problematises the relationships between interior and exterior spaces. On the other hand, Abdul Rashid’s Rear View features unappealing laundry hung in a random yet organised manner – shadows and colours within the congested yet organised space. After simplification of these complex aesthetics using lines on aluminium sheets, they are repositioned and presented in a gallery – a space far removed from its origin. Hwang’s work, however, does not deal with spatial concerns on an aesthetic level – he aims to epitomise the concept of the artwork as a pure artistic form. His work, 88 Branded Pedestals shows 88 white Formica shelves fixed onto the entrance walls of the gallery. They are empty shelves with no objects or artwork on them – just empty spaces. Immediately viewers are challenged with the questions “what makes art?”, art and “if absence can be accepted as art?”. Meanwhile, Tang deviates from her usual methodology for this exhibition by leaving parts of her urbanscape drawing ‘incomplete’ and by continuing to develop the image throughout the duration of the exhibition. Lim’s work Sealed Medley, on the other hand, is an installation consisting of two ‘buildings’ – a smaller, organically-shaped ‘building’ made of clay, bringing to mind an earthiness that exudes a sense of being out in the open, natural landscape, as well as a larger wall-like structure that resembles an industrial power plant or factory.

Says Tio: “The dominating urban landscape of Singapore and its social implications has revealed itself to be a prevalent preoccupation among artists in Singapore. While this is an unquestionably significant issue, my concern is with the various processes and approaches through which local artists engage with space and spatiality. This exhibition will examine not only the results of these approaches but also reflect upon the processes taken along the way.”