Singapore Art 21st Century and Beyond

CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM SINGAPORE

By Imago Mundi

Singapore Art 21st Century and Beyond (2015) by Contemporary Artists from SingaporeImago Mundi








Try and Try Again 


The city of the future needs poetso. Singapore has em- braced the words of the architect Daniel Libeskind and aims to become the global city of tomorrow, but with a focus on education, sustainability and culture. 

I am from the elements, Subina Aurora Khaneja, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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I am from the elements (2015)
by Subina Aurora Khaneja

Joy of Life, Kay Nguan Tan, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Joy of Life (2015)
by Kay Nguan Tan

All this is attributable to Singapore's political stability, the choice of English as its official language, the excellent posi- tion of its port (the second largest in the world) and of its in- ternational airport (within six hours of the major cities in China and India). And, above all, its commitment to the aglobal skills raceo that will mark the difference between advanced and non- advanced countries in the not so distant future.

Pink Grenade, Iskander Walen, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Pink Grenade (2015) by Iskander Walen

aFortunately, Singapore has worked very well in this areao, says the Singaporean writer and intellectual Kishore Mah- bubani. aIts education system is universally admired, its maths textbooks are used in places as distant as California, South Af- rica, and the Netherlands. Singapore students have done well in PISA tests (the tests that every three years evaluate, across the world, skills in mathematics and science and reading ability) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) is now ranked as the top university in all of Asiao.

More than words, Sunar Sugiyou, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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More than words (2015) by Sunar Sugiyou

The revolution that is changing the face of the city, more- over, is not just about image. The Interlace, a giant residential complex designed by the Rotterdam-based Office for Metropoli- tan Architecture, together with the German architecture firm B�ro Ole Scheeren, won the 2015 World Building of the Year Award at the eighth edition of the World Architecture Festival, with praise for its aradical and alternativeo approach. Likewise, innovative and sustainable housing projects are steadily increasing across Singapore, facilitated by the fact that 80 per cent of housing is public and the State can, therefore, experiment more easily.

Shoot at my own brain, Abu Jalal Sarimon, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Shoot at my own brain (2015)
by Abu Jalal Sarimon

Hence the Supertrees, photovoltaic trees that convert sunlight into energy for lighting, designed by an international team of engineers, architects and landscape architects from Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates, who have brought together renewable technologies and botany.

Magritte's eye in the cloud, Rosihan Dahim, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Magritte's eye in the cloud (2015)
by Rosihan Dahim

And the intelligent Punggol houses on the north coast, which as part of the Smart Nation Project to technologically connect the whole city offer services like automatic increases in the number of parking spaces at times of greatest demand, and sensor systems that turn on the lights in public areas only when someone passes, or monitor the accumulation of garbage, indicating the most appropriate time to collect it.

Green Apple, Sujak Rahman, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Green Apple (2015) by Sujak Rahman

Also conscious of the problems faced by Singapore � pri- marily overpopulation (after Monaco, it is the most densely popu- lated country in the world) and air pollution (largely due to forest fires to make way for oil palm plantations in neighbouring coun- tries) � the government has launched new projects to line the city with trees, green spaces and flower beds. Drawing inspiration from the High Line park in Manhattan, generated on a disused elevated railway, Singapore is creating its own version, ten times as long: twenty-four kilometres for walking, jogging and cycling along the route of the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway line, built in the colonial period to transport tin, rubber and other re- sources from the Malay peninsula to the port of Singapore.

Lost polaroid #1: Aerial Ariel, Yen Phang, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Lost polaroid #1: Aerial Ariel (2015) by Yen Phang

Significant attention is also being devoted to culture, which is considered another key asset in making Singapore the reference metropolis of the 21st century for the whole of Asia, rather like London in nineteenth-century Europe. Because, in the words of Antonio Bertoletti, the Italian head of a research pro- gramme at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, aThis is a laboratory. But the most important thing is the over- view: ideas are assimilated and exchanged, like a neural networko.

Earth 50, Jose Sintnicolaas, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Earth 50 (2015)
by Jose Sintnicolaas

Tick-Tock, Joyotee Ray Chaudhury, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Tick-Tock (2015)
by Joyotee Ray Chaudhury

Deforestation, Anuar Bin Hassan, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Deforestation (2015)
by Anuar Bin Hassan

Sentiment of Country, Alan Tan Jwee Meng, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Sentiment of Country (2015) by Alan Tan Jwee Meng

The writer Yeng Pway Ngon, one of the most important literary voices of South-East Asia, winner of the Singapore Lit- erature Prize 2012 and the South East Asian Award 2013, sums up the formula for this success as follows: aPassion is the driv- ing force of love, art and politics. Without it, it is hard to go far, because real life, with its difficulties, kills fleeting interests (...)if you are not willing to make sacrifices, you will never achieve what you love. Only passion enables you to succeedo.

The past, Nur Afiqah Fitriah Muhamad Hafidz, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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The past (2015)
by Nur Afiqah Fitriah Muhamad Hafidz

In his novel Atelier a group of young painters study with the Master Yan Pei in the Singapore of the fifties. They are ideal- ists and pursue their ideals in politics, art and love. They paint because they love to paint and this is their primary reason for doing it. Today, looking at the 140 10x12 cm works in the Imago Mundi collection, this artistic passion once again catches the eye.

Irresistible, Geraldine Lim Jia Yi, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Irresistible (2015)
by Geraldine Lim Jia Yi

The Chinese, Malaysian, Western and, obviously, Indian influences which contribute to making Singapore a unique and cosmopolitan city-lab emerge through a variety of styles and languages.
The avant-garde spirit of Singapore, apparent in the va- riety of interpretations, is, above all, an approach to life: try new things and try them again. Accept that sometimes things do not go as we envisage. And try again.

Luciano Benetton

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