Started in 2001 by SAM, the President’s Young Talents is Singapore’s only mentoring and commissioning exhibition. It recognises and supports promising young artists whose practices chart new dimensions in contemporary art. Selected by local art professionals, the award is based on the depth of the artists’ practice, their potential for growth, and the contributions they would potentially make to the field of contemporary art.
The President’s Young Talents 2015 exhibition features five artists – Ang Song Ming, Bani Haykal, Ezzam Rahman, Loo Zihan and Ong Kian Peng. Representing some of the most exciting strands in contemporary Singapore art, these artists create works spanning the disciplines of performance, new media, sculpture and sound. The works have been developed under the guidance of their mentors, Ian Woo, Noor Effendy Ibrahim, Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, Vincent Leow and SAM curator Louis Ho.
The commissioned works by the five finalists are diverse in their presentation of artistic concepts and practices. The works range from the introspective, to those which address larger socio-political issues.
Days by Ang Song Ming is a multi-part study of the mundane, presenting image, sound and text in various formats. As with most of Ang Song Ming’s works, they employ music as a subject matter from which other concerns are highlighted.
Bani Haykal’s necropolis for those without sleep reflects on the systems of power and the complex networks of these powers at play. The chief component of the work is a game of chess played by two mechanical arms, in which the pieces of one team has been rigged to disadvantage it significantly.
Ezzam Rahman explores the sense of self and materiality in Here’s who I am, I am what you see and Allow me to introduce myself, two installations that provoke through the use of unconventional materials such as talcum powder and the artist’s own skin. One of the works, Allow me to introduce myself, is performative in nature. The works emphasize, in ways both subtle and fleeting, the materiality of the artist’s body.
Of Public Interest: The Singapore Art Museum Resource Room by Loo Zihan is the artist’s recreation of a public reference library. Working with approximately 5,000 books from the resource room from SAM as his material, Zihan highlights oblique relationships among the books in the collection and critically reflects on the role of the art museum as a centre for imparting knowledge.
Too Far, Too Near by Ong Kian Peng explores how our urban environment is disconnected from the reality of climate change. A two-part installation, Too Far, Too Near takes viewers on an immersive experience of a haunting landscape, the footage for which was shot by the artist in Greenland.
Exhibition: President’s Young Talents 2015
Dates: Till 27 March 2016
Venue: SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535
Hours: Mon to Sun 10am – 7pm (Last admission at 6:15pm), Fri 10am – 9pm