What if art was not out in the open, for everyone to see? Does it invite greater curiosity and closer scrutiny when we have to fill in ourselves the parts that are hidden from view. Will our own secrets push into our contemplation of that we cannot see?
Dutch artist Iskander Walen created the art works in this exhibition over a period of over twenty years. The first boxed up work he made was started in 1995, and took nearly 5 years to complete. That first work, “Goodbye”, is a series of snapshots of the artist’s life over a period of roughly ten years, in which both his maternal grandparents died, and he left home for good to live in Singapore. The work is a single wooden wine crate filled with small items piled on top of each other, obscuring all but the top layer, items relating to significant incidents, events and people from the artist’s past. Other works include “And Then There Were Four”, a box with a cast of the artist’s wife’s torso taken when she was 8 months pregnant with their second son. “I Love You For Your Mind”, a heart cast from a woman’s buttocks, shaped like a heart.
In the artist’s own words,
“I don’t know why I am so fascinated with boxes. I think it is the air of mystery. It is a thrill to open a cupboard and find boxes inside. What is inside them? Boxes are where we keep our memories, our secrets, and past events which we do not wish to be reminded of. We all have our boxes at home, hidden away from view in cupboard and storage spaces, and hidden in those boxes are our past lives. I think I put some works in boxes because that way it feels like I will keep it forever, that it will never be lost.”
Boxed Up is an Exhibition in Progress, an exhibition format the artist developed in which the exhibition’s art work is first presented while not all the work has been created yet. The public’s visit and response to the work will become part in the creation of the remaining works, possibly redirecting the artist’s choices after the opening.
Opening night & artist talk: 23 January 7pm
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road, Blk O #02-62, Singapore 439053
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 11am – 8pm
When: 23 - 28 Jan 2018,