Sanjot Kaur Sekhon


Art in Unexpected Locations at Raffles City


Thursday, 2 September 1999

Starting this month, shoppers at Raffles City Shopping Centre will be pleasantly surprised by contemporary art pieces displayed in unexpected locations in and around the shopping mall.

What was once traditional window showcases will now be transformed into provoking spaces for site-specific installation art pieces. The installations will challenge viewers' perceptions that art belongs in the museum or gallery, and visual merchandising belongs in the shopping mall.

Entitled "Space C: WindowFront", the window showcase exhibitions are part of the continuing series "Art in Alternative Spaces - Spaces A to Z" by LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. From September 1999 to September 2000, Space C: WindowFront will feature artists from LASALLE-SIA's Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) and Master of Fine Art programmes, as well as practising artists who are recent graduates and lecturing staff. WindowFront is jointly presented by LASALLE-SIA and Raffles City

"Over the years, Raffles City has strongly supported the Arts. Artistic expression in all its facets has always found a place of prominence in our shopping mall. As a Patron of the Arts recipient, we are committed to raising the level of arts appreciation and enhancing the quality of life for all Singaporeans," says Ms Dorothy Koh, Advertising & Promotions Manager of Raffles City Pte Ltd. "Continuing that tradition, WindowFront will enhance the shopping experience as well as provide an avenue for budding artists to showcase their creativity

"In keeping with LASALLE-SIA's focus on critical contemporary art practice, one of the issues we address is the extension of the exhibition space from the gallery or museum to a place where art can be made part of the daily experience," says Mr Rhett D'Costa, Head of LASALLE-SIA's School of Fine Art. "'The mall' in Singapore has become more than just a place to shop - it has become a social, educational and cultural venue. Holding WindowFront at Raffles City is a great opportunity for our artists to explore 'the mall' as an alternative space to encourage new ways of experiencing and appreciating art."

Art in Alternative Spaces - Spaces A to Z

Art in Alternative Spaces aims to bring contemporary art to the community by exposing them to art in 26 unexpected locations (Spaces A to Z). Art in Alternative Spaces began with "Space A", a small room at LASALLE-SIA, used by Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) students to explore different ways of presenting art. "Space B: Platform" followed at Esprit, Orchard Road in 1998 on their 2nd floor platform. It was the first alternative space outside of LASALLE-SIA and showcased a series of six artists.

Space C: WindowFront

Space C: WindowFront will feature a quarterly series of exhibitions in five window showcases at Raffles City Shopping Centre. The windows are located on the first and second levels - Level 1, external window outside Esprit, and Level 2, corridor outside Westin Plaza CafÈ.

The 1st Series, held from 20 September 1999 - 10 December 1999, will showcase six artists. Their themes vary from formalist concerns of line and form; to themes on order and chaos, vast and restricted spaces; to issues on self and identity; to questions on fashion and the ideal body.

The 1st series - Artists and their work

Level 1, Window C1 -
Sanjot Kaur Sekhon & December Pang

Sanjot Kaur Sekhon deals with the slippage between cultures that results from one's repeated migration from one country to another. Through the use of furniture and personal artefacts found in the home, Sekhon's work is about coming to terms with the shifting of one's identity. Sekhon continues to work in Singapore as a practising artist, and has shown in Singapore, Germany, Thailand, and Australia. She is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Art (by coursework) - Painting programme at LASALLE-SIA, and is currently a Lecturer at LASALLE-SIA's School of Fine Art, Department of Graduate Studies.

December Pang's previous work involved the personification of "rain" as a childhood friend that embodied joy, goodness, and the power of nature. She uses various techniques such as printmaking, drawing, and mixed media assemblage. She has just graduated from the Bachelor of Arts - Fine Art, Printmaking course at LASALLE-SIA.

Sekhon and Pang's collaborative piece for WindowFront combines the imagery of nature in poetry and text to symbolise and explore notions of waiting, anticipating, searching, expecting, remembering, and looking forward to memories and the final realisation of self and identity.

Level 2, Window C2 - Saraswati Gramich

Saraswati Gramich explores the exchange and interaction of 'energy' (ie, thermodynamics - the relationship between heat and other forms of energy) and the process of order and chaos by organising her installations within a given framework of space and time. Her installation for WindowFront intends to simulate the energy of molecules within the space of the window, and, at the same time, to investigate the relationship between wall, floor, and window.

Gramich's works have been included in major art shows such as the President's 1997 Charity Art Exhibition, Singapore Festival of Arts '98, and The Sixth Contemporary Art Fair in Australia. This year, she represented Singapore in Thailand at Womanifesto II, International Women Art Exchange and Workshop. Gramich completed her Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) course at LASALLE-SIA in 1997, and is currently a candidate of the Master of Fine Art (by coursework) - Painting programme as LASALLE-SIA. She is also a Lecturer at LASALLE-SIA's School of Fine Art, Department of Foundation Studies.

Level 2, Window C3 & C5 - Yvonne Lim & Clara Lim

Yvonne Lim and Clara Lim explore similar themes in questioning the 'ideal' body portrayed by popular culture. For WindowFront, their collaborative installations include objects representing bodies that have imperfections or lack 'ideal' body features - eg, the objects have fat, round bodies; short, useless limbs; and clothes that are too flat for wearing. The windows are set up like a changing room, bathroom, kitchen or bedroom, distorting the privacy of these home spaces and prompting the viewer to reconsider the way the 'ideal' body is perceived. Both have just graduated from their Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) - Painting course at LASALLE-SIA.

Level 2, Window C4 - Janet Teoh

Janet Teoh's earlier work included jewelry pieces that were inspired by the calligraphic lines and forms of her Mandarin name, 'Zhang'. Moving from that formalist perspective, she now uses the jewellery medium to create installation-based work that also plays with light, shadow, size and space. Her installation for WindowFront reflects memories of a recent trip to Braidwood, Australia, where the contrast of a vast, rich and still landscape is compared to the restricted, artificial and hyper-urban space of cosmopolitan Singapore.

Teoh has exhibited in Singapore and Australia, and is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Art (by coursework) - Gold & Silversmithing programme at LASALLE-SIA. She is currently a Lecturer at the LASALLE-SIA's School of Fine Art, Department of 3D Studies.

Space C: WindowFront - Exhibition dates

1st Series - 20 September 1999 - 10 December 1999

2nd Series - 20 December 1999 - 10 March 2000

3rd Series - 20 March 2000 - 9 June 2000

4th Series - 19 June 2000 - 8 September 2000

The 1st Series of Space C: WindowFront will be complemented by an installation of sculptures by Kelvin Chuah at Level 1, Garden Court, Raffles City Shopping Centre, from 22 September 1999 - 16 October 1999. Chuah is a current student of the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) - Painting programme at LASALLE-SIA.