Shirley Soh Seok Keim


Shirley Soh was a TV journalist and a marketing executive before embarking on a life in the arts. Trained first as a ceramicist in London, she obtained her RMIT BA (Fine Art) degree at the LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. Her work focuses on the vessel as a cipher for containment and with her interest in cultural perspectives of the human relationship with nature, growing plants has also been strongly featured. She has grown rice, weeds and tree seedlings so far in all her work exhibited.

Source: houseWORK project Press Release



The AIL research team is very pleased to announce the following awards for the Artist-in-Lab Residency Awards 2004. These selections of the AIL-Awards and for the artists were made in two distinct stages.

Awards for the Artist-in-Lab Residency Awards 2004

Two Stage Selection Process and criteria of jury:

1. Pre-Selection by the labs themselves. Approximately 5 projects were chosen for each Residency Award by the directors of the Labs. Their selections were based on the following criteria:

-Well-researched concepts, which consider the current state of research in the chosen science environment as inspiration for artistic production, rather than have the scientists work for the artist.

-The potential of the proposal to be accepted in the scientific context of each lab andanalysis of the proposal in relation to the technical requirements available in each lab.

-The professional level of the artist’s audio and/or visual previous work including the level of commitment to collaborate.

-The potential of the projects to be publicised within specific scientific contexts and be accessible to the general public.

Final Jury Selection

2. Final Jury Selection - 12 Residency Awards

-Artists were favoured whose proposals indicated an interest in building bridges between art and science through innovative, interpretive and original conceptual ideas. This included the ability to communicate creative ideas, processes and methodologies.

-The jury was interested both in the products of the work, proposed by the artist and also the process of their production located in a science context.

-They were looking for solid projects, which have interactive potentials and in this light, the relevance of the artist’s past work in connection to the proposed idea was also considered.

-The practical potential to distribute or expand the project in the future and to exhibit or publish the result including project plans and timing.

-The jury also made comparisons on an international and national level.

Among the following art projects selected for 2004 were 2 Singaporean applicants:

Center for Biosafety and Sustainability (BATS), Basle

Shirley Soh (Singapore)

Project Title: "Food for Thought"
To understand the ecological impact of GM agriculture in developing countries with the attendant issues of sustainability, biodiversity and market needs/distribution. To look at one food grain, rice, as the focus of the study.

Centre Suisse d’Electronique et Microtéchnique, Alpnach, Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

Margaret Tan (Singapore)

Project Title: "Smart Apron"
Using wearable computing to create a smart apron to improve the working conditions of foreign domestic workers.

Members of the Jury

- Prof. Dr. Ruth Durrer, Theoretical Physics, Département de Physique Théorique, Université de Genève

- Beat Gerber, Head of Communication, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen

- Kaspar Kasics, Independant Filmmaker, Zurich

- Dominik Landwehr, Head Science & Future, Migros Culture Percentage

- Prof. Dr. Moira Norrie, Director, Institute of Informations Systems, ETH, Zurich

- Prof. Dr. Jill Scott, Media Artist, HGKZ, Zürich


Toying around is serious business at Earl Lu Gallery's new art exhibition

Curated by Gunalan Nadarajan, the exhibition TOYS explores the multiple relationships between art and toys, providing fun opportunities for engaging with toys and art. This exhibition purposefully addresses children (of all ages) by appealing to their sensibilities and ideas of play though artworks that are highly engaging, interactive and most of all, FUN!

Explains Gunalan on the choice of playthings as the theme: “Art is a serious matter and so are toys. The cultural overemphasis on the seriousness of art and the frivolity of toys however has made them seem mutually exclusive realms. The exhibition hopes to bridge this gap by providing a platform for thinking about the role of toys as well as of art in contemporary culture. It also seeks to change the demographic constitution of the art audience by showing art works that are more likely to appeal to children.”

 Participating Artists

1. Adeline Kueh
2. Lim Kok Boon
3. Lim Shing Ee
4. Damien Lock
5. Wolfgang Muench/Kiyoshi Furukawa
6. Ana Prvacki
7. Shirley Soh
8. Tan Wee Lit
9. Ye Shufang


1. Gunalan Nadarajan, Dean, Office of Research and Creative Industries, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts



Opening: 5 September 2003, 7pm.

Guest-of-Honour: Ms Braema Mathi (read her Opening Speech.)

Exhibition runs from 6 September to 10 September 2003

Gallery hours: Mon-Sat 11 am to 7 pm, Sun 11 am to 5 pm
Venue: Alliance Française de Singapour
(click for directions.)
1, Sarkies Road, Singapore 258130
SG Private Banking Gallery, 4th Floor
(Near Newton MRT)

the houseWORK project is an artist-initiated community project to encourage reflection on the function and impact of housework on the fabric of individual and family life. (Read Today's review of the exhibition here.)

the houseWORK project is the effort of several artists, some members of TWC2 , the civil society initiative to improve the welfare of the foreign domestic worker, to create a mutually supportive environment for the foreign domestic workers and her Singapore employer.

Participating artists include Natacha Blondeau, Chia Chu Yia, Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, Karee Sonja Dahl, Amanda Heng, Dana Lam, Gilles Massot, Kelly Reedy, Cassandra Schultz, Shirley Soh, Margaret Tan, Vincent Twardzik Ching, Jason Wee, Juliana Yasin and Agnes Yit.


'We had to practise before doing this'

The public was invited to take their crumpled clothes to The Housework Project art exhibition at the Alliance Francaise gallery near Newton MRT station.

Margaret, Shirley, Mr and Mrs Twardzik Ching and Amanda Heng were pressing clothes and returning them plastic-wrapped.

One person paid artists Margaret Tan and Shirley Soh $250 in Monopoly notes for their ironing service.

Margaret said 'This is for people to see how we value - or don't value - housework. All the people we surveyed said they think housework is important. Yet why do we devalue it? And why don't we respect the person who does it?'

Shirley said: 'We also asked them how much they would pay if they did the task themselves. While most of the women said $1, $2 or 'free', one man said he would give himself $500 to iron his child's cloth bag.'

'That's why we (the artists) decided we would iron for people and see how they would value the task,' said Margaret.

The show is consistent with the campaign of The Working Committee 2 - a group working to improve the relationship between foreign domestic workers and their employers.


Utterly Art provides exhibition space and exhibiton management services to a diverse and vibrant range of local and Asian artists, and internationally-renowned photographers in its main gallery and SPACE 21, its second home. The most active gallery on the Singapore art scene, we are a leading showcase of Singaporean artwork, exhibiting established artists like Chng Seok Tin and Martin Loh, as well as popular young artists like Trina Poon, Justin Lee, Kiko Escora and Loh Jahan. We have also displayed the black and white photography of Ansel Adams, Robert Freeman and Gered Mankowitz.

Artists represented
Trina Poon, Donald Eric Lim, Chng Seok Tin, Martin Loh, Justin Lee, Kiko Escora, Loh Jahan, Ansel Adams, Robert Freeman, Gered Mankowitz, Shirley Soh, Jason Wee, Victor Tan, Terry O'Neill