A research project to commemorate "Sculpture in Singapore 1991", as part of the SSS 20th Anniversary Show Series.
One interview, four themes, five show venues, eight essays, and almost one hundred contemporary sculptures.
Show Period: July 2021 - April 2023
Please scan QR Code to view the E-Publication @ SSS Website.
Sculpture Society Singapore's (SSS) 20th Anniversary Show, titled ReTHINGing: Sculpture in Singapore 2021, plans to be one of the society’s most important shows in two decades. It will showcase a series of exhibitions at various venues and will feature the artworks of SSS members, non-members, and invited artists. With the grand theme ReTHINGing, a broad range of artworks will be presented at the different locations to explore the current state of sculptural and three-dimensional practice in Singapore.
The Grand Theme: reTHINGing — Sculpture in Singapore 2021
Taking the 1991 “Sculpture in Singapore” curated by TK Sabapathy as a historical point for reflection, the exhibition aims to be a major showcase of current local sculptural and 3D works. As a way of establishing dialogue between then and now, the exhibition will feature mainly recent works by artists who took part in the 1991 show, key practitioners currently active in the field, and emerging artists, both from and outside of SSS. By asking participating artists to rethink or “reTHING” their work, the exhibition seeks to examine critical questions such as: is there still a clear demarcation between the “handmade thing” and the “conceptual thing” after 30 years? In an increasingly digitized world of social media, to what extent have sculptural objects “dematerialized” or “rematerialized”? In the contemporary context, what engenders, energies, complicates, and necessitates ideas and questions surrounding sculpture and 3-dimensional practice? What changes or challenges does the pandemic bring?
NAFA Lim Hak Tai Gallery: reTHINGing Materiality — Contemporary Sculpture 2021
For more than half a century, the prevalence of conceptualism in the contemporary art world seems to have placed "sculpture" in an awkward position – while the practice of this art in the traditional sense is deemed obsolete, the embrace of objects made beyond formal concerns or the direct appropriation of the "ready-mades", however, have rendered anything 3-dimensional "sculpture", so that we may even say that "sculpture" is everywhere in the art world today. On top of this is a common denigration of the artist's hand – or the so-called craft element. In recent decades, however, there have been increasing discussions on the "material turn" and growing trend of craft making in contemporary practice.
Chapel Gallery, Objectifs: reTHINGing — Materiality in Sculpture and Photographic Image
Sculpture and photography has an interesting relationship. Since the emergence of photography, sculpture not only appeared within photographs but was also deeply impacted by it in terms of its design, reception, interpretation, and manner of display. Photography was also widely integrated within other forms and mediums including sculpture in the works of the Western avant garde artists. In recent years, however, photographers had in turn begun to take an interest in “materiality” - possibly spurred by the waning of analogue photography and the proliferation of digital image-making. In a world that is increasingly digitized in a broad spectrum, the artists’ tactile relationship to the making process has either dwindled or altered. In addition, for your further contemplation, Objectifs - formerly the Sculpture Square, was where the SSS was founded, it is also the venue for our inaugural exhibition The Round Show in 2002.
SCCC: reTHINGing the Site - Sculpture and its Environment 2021
The quality most intrinsic to sculpture is probably its three-dimensionality. Unlike painting that projects a sort of a virtual space, “[sculpture] takes up space, moves and occupies a site, obtruding on it or changing it” (WJT Mitchell, 2007). While what is today known as “site-specific art” emerged in the 1960s as a reaction to modern art objects as transportable and bound to the museum and commodification, it could be said that sculpture has always had a site-specificity with its implementation in both private and public spaces. “reTHINGing the Site” will explore how sculptures or 3D works intervene with their material form in the space that they occupy. It will feature public sculptures, indoor works, as well as site-specific installations that investigates the relation of material, form, and space. It will also include a special selection of artworks from important pioneer sculptors such as the late Mr Ng Eng Teng, Ms Han Sai Por, and Mr Cheong Fah Cheong, from The Teng Collection under a courtesy loan from local collectors Teng Jee Hum and June Ong.
Jendela Gallery, Esplanade: ReTHINGing Gesture in Contemporary Sculptural Practice
As a co-curation project between SSS and the Esplanade curatorial team, Re-THINGing Gesture in Contemporary Sculptural Practice will present new and recent sculptural works by invited Singaporean artists which culminate from explorations of gesture—either in the process of creating or as subject matter. By including a variety of artworks of various mediums and techniques, the exhibition investigates the ways performative gestures could be embodied or manifested in material forms. The main interest is in exploring how the medium of sculpture, and its ever-evolving strategies, could express the body's capacity to communicate complex ideas and states of interiority.
"Something Like You"
by Wong Gin Ming
Date: 3 Dec 2022 (Saturday)
Time: 3 pm
2:50 pm Arrival of Guest-of-Honour, Prof Kwok Kian Woon
3.00 pm Sculpture 2052 - Introduction / Yeo Chee Kiong
3: 10 pm Introduction, reTHINGing Sculpture 2021 (SSS) + NAFA x SSS – Practising
Materiality Research Project / Chua Boon Kee (SSS) / Xin Xiao Chang (NAFA
Special Project Unit)
3:20 pm The launching of e-publication by GOH
3:30 pm Dialogue Session: Contending Matters in the Age of the Digital
Moderator: Tan Yen Peng
Speakers: Wong Gin Ming, Yeo Chee Kiong, Teng Jee Hum, Han Sai Por .
ReTHINGing is the guiding concept of the space Sculpture 2052. The term originates as the grand theme of Sculpture Society (Singapore)'s 20th Anniversary Show Series held in 2021, and puts forward a quest for the status of sculpture within the context of the local art scene. To "reTHING" is to “rethink/re-install the THING” in an attempt to reinstate the significance of “object” or “thing” in the practice of sculpture and 3D art amidst the observed prevalence of conceptualism, and to pay serious attention to "sculpture" that have been seemingly placed in a somewhat awkward position where, on the one hand, it is often deemed "out-dated" and becoming "extinct", yet on the other, contemporary trend of assemblage and appropriation practices have rendered everything 3-dimensional or anything that inhabit real space "sculpture" to the extent that "sculpture" is almost "everywhere". Under these circumstances, how do we determine the value and relevance of this "problematic" art form? Is its seeming ability to ingest and take on all sorts of conventions and definitions of art the answer for its enduring legitimacy as a category in the contemporary art scene? What about the "thing" in sculpture as a matter itself? How has the role of the "sculptor" evolved over time and against the changing backdrop of artmaking in the digital age?
As the inauguration event, the discussion/dialogue session “Contending Matters” will signal the beginning of Sculpture 2052 as a space for "re/thinking" and "re/THINGing" (making "things") "matters" relating to "sculpture" in various senses. Taking the SSS ReTHINGing Show Series as a key event for review and as a point for discussion, young artists involved in the Show Series’ program “NAFA x SSS – Practising Materiality Research Project” will be joined by professionals and supporters of the exhibition series to discuss about topics related to perspectives in local sculpture, contemporary handmaking and expression, digital media, and conceptual thinking, etc.