Still and moving images take over SAM at 8Q in the unique presentation Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image where, for the first time, the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) concurrently features three exhibitions dedicated to the image. In these three co-curated exhibitions, in partnership with the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), Deutsche Bank, and Yokohama Museum of Art, the nature of the image is explored through photography and new media. With Still Moving, SAM continues its engagement with and presentation of contemporary artworks from the region and the world, making room for new ways of thinking via art.
As highly democratic mediums, photography and the moving image are immediate, accessible, mutable, and are key contemporary practices of visual culture. With unprecedented developments in how the image is created, circulated, and consumed, new ways of representation and image genres have emerged. The three exhibitions, Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia in partnership with SIPF, Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection, and Image & Illusion: Video Works from the Yokohama Museum of Art, examine the very premise of image-making and unveil its potential to be both representational and ambiguous.
Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection is the first Deutsche Bank exhibition on international photography in Asia and features works from the 1970s to the present day by 28 renowned international photographers and contemporary artists. The travelling show makes its Asian debut in Singapore, with a special iteration curated by Deutsche Bank art curator Christina März and SAM curator Rachel Ng, before moving to Mumbai and Tokyo.
The exhibition sheds light on the relationship between photography and time, exploring the myriad ways in which photography has made sense of a changing world. Different visions of the world and of the fabric of time passed are presented by eminent photographers from China, Europe, India, Japan, and North and South America, including Zhu Jia, Gerhard Richter, Dayanita Singh, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Candida Höfer, and Susan Derges, as well as video works from contemporary artists Cai Guo-Qiang and Julio César Morales that have been specially included in this exhibition iteration. Collectively, they highlight the various technical, formal, and conceptual methods undertaken to expand the artistic potential of the medium. The show also documents the internationalisation of photographic art in the Deutsche Bank Collection, which is devoted to collecting the “sign of the times” and capturing the zeitgeist of a generation. Through the Collection, one can observe the development of image-making from an emerging and contested contemporary art genre to one of global prominence and relevance today.
Time Present unfolds in four thematic sections based on the investigation of the concept of time in the abstract — time as elastic, ironic, and subjective — and how this affects the construction and perception of reality in the image. In its totality, Time Present offers an extraordinary insight into contemporary history, where photography has radically changed our vision of the world.
The exhibition Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia is a survey of established and emerging artists from the region who use the photographic image to articulate a range of concerns related to the idiosyncratic cultural, social, political and alternative histories of Southeast Asia. The artworks trace links to national and transnational iconographic legacies and shared aspects of the physical landscape. Exploring the commonalities and points of departure between artists, this exhibition seeks to map how and to what extent geographical proximity informs contemporary photographic narratives produced in the region. The exhibition also suggests, as implied in the term ‘Afterimage’, a way of thinking after or beyond conventional ways of understanding and interpreting photographic images. Subverting expectations that the photographic image is truthful and immediate, the artists introduce a multitude of subjective realities by framing time and space from their distinct points of view.
Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia is co-curated by SIPF curator Alexander Supartono and SAM curator Sam I-shan. It features works by Abednego Trianto (Indonesia), Agan Harahap (Indonesia), Eiffel Chong (Malaysia), Genevieve Chua (Singapore), John Clang (Singapore), Dinh Q Le (Vietnam), Wawi Navarroza (Philippines), Nge Lay (Myanmar), Gary-Ross Pastrana (Philippines), Michael Shaowanasai (Thailand), Liana Yang (Singapore), Yaya Sung (Indonesia), and Yee I-Lann (Malaysia).
The selection of video works in the exhibition Image & Illusion: Video Works from the Yokohama Museum of Art brings together the disciplines of animation, film, painting, performance, sound, and multimedia. Illusive, intimate, and instantaneous, video, along with the advent of new media practices in contemporary art, has opened an evocative channel for these artists to articulate the complexities of the contemporary global condition today.
As testaments to reality and as artistic reconstructions, images need critical examination. Image & Illusion explores this very contradictory nature of image-making through the works of five artists: Peter Coffin, Takashi Ishida, Lyota Yagi, Tadasu Takamine and Tsai Charwei. While their practices span across a diverse range of concerns, their works reveal how they negotiate with the subtleties of image-making and their reception, each seeking to expand possibilities of representation from the very structures of the image itself. Image & Illusion is a co-curatorial partnership between the Yokohama Museum of Art curator Naoaki Nakamura and SAM curator Michelle Ho, featuring works from the collection by artists who have either participated in its special exhibitions or in Yokohama Triennale.
“The image has always belonged to the realm of art. Photography, film, video, and projections all have their own materialities and methods and while these quite definitely reflect their moment in history, they are also changing all the time, affecting how the image is ‘made’. Images can be representational, capturing reality frozen in time, with the interpretation of the image evolving over time. Images can be subjective, where the photographs are manipulated, overlaid or ‘worked on’ to weave in the artist’s intention and message. These themes are explored and presented in the three exhibitions of Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image. The exhibitions also continue our exploration of the medium in contemporary art and, in this instance, the mediums of photography and new media, extending the discourse which is at the heart of our on-going exhibition, Medium at Large,” says Dr Susie Lingham, Director of the Singapore Art Museum.
The exhibitions, Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia, Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection, and Image & Illusion: Video Works from the Yokohama Museum of Art are part of Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image, which will show at SAM at 8Q from 3 October 2014 to 8 February 2015. Still Moving will also include several exhibition-related public programmes such as talks, workshops, and curatorial tours that will be open to the public.
Exhibition: Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image
Dates: 3 October – 8 February 2014
Venue: SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street Singapore 188535
Hours: Mon – Sun 10am – 7pm, Fri 10am – 9pm, (enjoy complimentary entry on Friday evenings from 6pm – 9pm)