After Utopia: Revisiting The Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art is Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) latest exhibition that examines humanity’s eternal yearning for a better world. Pivoting on ideas about ideals and principles, After Utopia comprises iconic works of Southeast Asian and Asian contemporary art drawn from SAM’s permanent collection, as well as private collections and new commissions.
The exhibition unfolds in four chapters, the first of which examines the imagery of the garden as a metaphor – both for an Edenic paradise lost as well as one that has been found, reimagined and re-imaged as a romanticised ‘Other’. The second turns the eye on the structures we inhabit and the way we live, simultaneously reminding us of modern architecture and urban planning’s utopian impulse and how these ideals have fallen short when translated into reality. Ideologies that have left an indelible mark on the last century and on which societies and nations have been built are examined in the third chapter. Finally, we are reminded that ‘utopia’ (from its Greek roots) also means ‘no-place’ and is an idealised world that can exist nowhere except, perhaps, within ourselves.
Artists featured in After Utopia include Agus Suwage and Davy Linggar (Indonesia), Anurendra Jegadeva (Malaysia), Chris Chong (Malaysia), Donna Ong (Singapore), Gao Lei (China), Geraldine Javier (Philippines), Ian Woo (Singapore), Jitish Kallat (India), Kamin Lertchaiprasert (Thailand), Kawayan de Guia (Philippines), Made Wianta (Indonesia), Maryanto (Indonesia), Shannon Castleman (USA), Shen Shaomin (China), Svay Sareth (Cambodia), Tang Da Wu (Singapore), The Propeller Group (USA and Vietnam), and Yudi Sulistyo (Indonesia).
Dates: 30 April 2015 – 18 October 2015
Venue: Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189555
Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10.00 am to 7.00 pm (Last admission at 6:15pm); Fridays 10:00 am to 9:00 pm