Emerging: Collecting Singapore Contemporary

Story By
John Thompson

For its tenth anniversary, the Singaporean non-profit ‘The Private Museum’ — founded by philanthropist and art collector Daniel Teo, has held the first in a series of five exhibitions. The first of which, Emerging: Collecting Singapore Contemporary’ will exhibit selections from the collections of the latent ‘Duo Collectors’.  The series of exhibitions by TPM seeks to publicize some of Singapore’s more significant private collections. The Duo Collectors curation is thought provoking, conceptual and thoroughly relevant.

‘Emerging’ exhibits the work of 16 contemporary Singaporean Artists, with featured works from Kanchana Gupta, Genevieve Chua, Melissa Tan and Faris Nakamura. These pieces consider some of Singapore’s most urgent issues including, identity, urbanization, the environment, and architecture.

Melissa Tan’s work depicts the chaotic history of landscapes, rocks, and nature, be it the river that turns the boulder smooth, the eruption that forms the mountain — or in this case, the hammer that strikes the mirror. Her featured work in Emerging is less aggressive, but no less impactful, layered paper-cuts portray the physicality of history, like the rings on a tree. Melissa Tan, graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2011, has been featured previously in the Singapore Art Museums Future Proof show and also participated in the National Art Council and Dena Foundation Artist Residency Program.

Faris Nakamura uses sculptural installations to question the utility of space. Why and how do we navigate the architecture around us? What role does a designer’s intention have in the everyday commutes of the layman? Faris’ work conceptualizes these questions in Escher-like sculptures and objects — all flat surfaces and winding stairs. Faris was recently awarded the Young Talent Programme Winners’ Solo (2017/2018). He was also the grand winner at the Shitsurai International Art Competition, Kobe Biennale (2015) and  the  Winston  Oh  Travel  Award  recipient (2013).

‘Emerging’ is contemporary in both its themes and its work. Together the pieces offer an insight into the Singaporean ‘zeitgeist’ — the cultural and social conscience of a time and place. The Private Museum is seeking to bridge the gap between the private and public, Facilitating collaboration and the exchange of ideas between curator and artist, gallery and public. ‘Emerging’ is the first of five exhibitions, celebrating TPM’s 10th anniversary and will be exhibited until the 1st of March, 2020.

For more information, visit theprivatemuseum.org