The National Gallery Singapore’s latest exhibition, See Me, See You: Early Video Installation of Southeast Asia, is a two-part series that explores the rich history of video installation in Southeast Asia, featuring artworks from the 1980s and 1990s made by artists who were working out of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. This free exhibition showcases the works of pioneering artists who challenged the boundaries of traditional art forms and contributed to the evolution of contemporary art in the region.
Located at the Gallery’s Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery, the first part of See Me, See You features five Southeast Asian artists with five video art installations. To imbibe the liveliness and spirit of one of the artworks, the Gallery will be featuring live chickens and chicks for the first time for three days only, during the exhibition’s opening weekend from 5 to 7 May 2023. Visitors can expect to encounter chicks and chickens as part of the video installation, How to Explain Art to a Bangkok Cock (1985) by renowned Thai artist, curator and art historian Apinan Poshyananda. The artist’s intent was to draw a parallel between his own position as a newly minted lecturer at Chulalongkorn University and the young and impressionable minds of the undergraduate students who, like chicks, were docile and eager to learn. This installation uses humour and wit to explore the relationship between art and its audience. With the inclusion of live chickens and chicks, viewers will have the unique opportunity to experience this installation in a new and unexpected way. The inclusion harks back to how the artist originally included live chicks and chickens in his first exhibition of the work in 1985.
The second part of National Gallery Singapore’s free exhibition See Me, See You: Early Video Installation of Southeast Asia will open on 13 October 2023 to bring visitors a new line-up of refreshed works by five artists – Heri Dono (Indonesia), Krisna Murti (Indonesia), Hasnul Saidon (Malaysia), Ray Langenbach (USA/Malaysia) and Vincent Leow (Singapore).
This is the world’s first-ever retrospective survey of early video installation of Southeast Asia, uncovering new perspectives of the region’s history of video installation art. As a museum dedicated to modern Southeast Asian art, the Gallery places importance in highlighting the contribution of video art pioneers and to fill the gap in Southeast Asian art history.
In Part 2, the Gallery has commissioned the recreation of the video installation artworks from the late 1980s and 1990s to continue the retrospective survey which offers a fascinating look at the pivotal moments when video installation first emerged in the region. The artists broke away from conventional art forms of paintings and sculptures that were prevalent at that time, and adopted an interdisciplinary approach by combining installation, performance and audience participation together with video, leading to a new form of art.
Venue: National Gallery Singapore
When: 5 May 2023 - 4 Feb 2024,