Breathe Life into Still Life

06 April - 15 April 2018
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

Cheng Guangfeng, Private Home, Oil on canvas, dimensions variable

The Artists Village’s 30th anniversary exhibition revisits the long-established genre of still life in contemporary art, and in the context of today’s art canon and culture

Many would not have given much thought to everyday objects. However, from 6 to 15 April 2018, these objects collectively regarded in art history as ‘still life’ would be given new meaning by 27 artists from The Artists Village (TAV). TAV will be holding their 30th anniversary exhibition Still Life at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ (NAFA) The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2.

Still Life with TAV revisits the long-established genre of still life in the art of contemporary times; in the context of today’s art canon and culture. While ideas and materials associated with still life have evolved over periods and art movements, still life as a subject matter remains fascinating and challenging both for the maker and the viewer. The participating artists, of whom six are NAFA alumni, examine and explore the relevance and context between objects and the world by giving voices to diverse interpretations of still life with their interdisciplinary practices and techniques. Through various art forms such as paintings, mixed media and video installations, the exhibition encapsulates various viewpoints to the aesthetics of still life, which are dynamic, multifaceted and certainly defy conventional definitions.

The exhibition is anchored on fostering public interest by reaching out to non-art audiences, engaging aspects of education and situating active dialogues within the broader context of our country and our nation. Together, TAV and NAFA aspire to initiate conversations about how artists redefine experimental notions within this tradition, a tradition that is closely intertwined with the ongoing development of the art scene.

Part of TAV’s hallmark project includes a 2-day intensive Artist-in-Residence (AIR) programme with NAFA’s Fine Art programme. TAV artists Post-Museum, Kai Lam and Urich Lau would deliver a series of talks and studio workshops with 30 students. The intention is to share the evolution of TAV, and encourage reflection upon its key position in Singapore and Southeast Asia. In so doing, as art students and practitioners themselves, then consider TAV’s relevance in today’s art making and conceptual thinking. Together with TAV members, these students would engage and produce their own research, employ collaborative skills with individuals or communities in the making of artworks, presenting them as an outcome of the programme.

The event’s finnissage is a series of performance art on 15 April 2018. Audiences will be prodded to rethink the meaning of still life by artists including NAFA alumnus Justin Lee who will execute 295 drawings of a banana within 30 minutes and Young Artist Award recipient, Ezzam Rahman, who will use objects such as metal bells, cloth and a chair for a sound performance.

In the last 3 decades, TAV has continually strived to re-examine existing assumptions and art making concepts vis-à-vis urban and societal changes in Singapore, with the objective to foster and encourage an increased consciousness of the importance of the arts to Singapore’s society.

NAFA has a mandate to showcase and make relevant modern and contemporary local and Southeast Asian art practices. This unique presentation coincides with NAFA’s 80 years of art education. The collaborative programming on offer at NAFA’s Art Galleries continues to form part of this ever evolving dialogue to nurture and build cultural consciousness and awareness, with students, artists, the community and the public at large.

Participating artist-members
Ghazi Alqudcy, Chand Chandramohan, Cheng Guangfeng, Chng Seok Tin, Chua Chin Chin, Marcel Gaspar, Christopherson Ho, Kai Lam, Urich Lau, Jason JS Lee, Justin Lee, Angelica Li Xin, Lim Shengen, Gilles Massot, Nadia Oh, Shin-young Park, Post-Museum, Ben Puah, Ezzam Rahman, Jacquelyn Soo, Sophia Natasha Wei, Marienne Yang, Agnes Yit

Invited artists
Joel Chin, Ayano Hattori, Justin Lim, Lynn Lu

Annex 1 - Selected works and details of artworks and performances