Singapore Contemporary Young Artists

Playing With & For The Community

A review of ‘Family Pictures’ exhibition by Shafika Ghani


On 13 January 2011 at 6.30 PM, the Singapore Youth Contemporary Artists (SCYA) launched its Family Pictures arts exhibition- a multi-medium arts showcase featuring works of Photography, painting, video, Installation Art and Literature from 9 different artists. Each of the 9 artworks differs greatly in styles but reflect clearly on each of the artist’s take on family.

Across the spectrum of artworks, some were more thought-provoking and serious about discussing family while others were simply more light-hearted. Nevertheless, as one completes the walk around the gallery, the diversity of opinions about the significance of family seemingly converges. The works were in essence, about togetherness and simple appreciation for familial love.

What captured my attention first was the wide-array of different sized photographs from Rachel Chan’s Timespotting 1984. It involved using a magnifying glass to peer through the close details of her family photographs. The photographs depict events like weddings, graduation and celebrating the birth of a new family member. I did not have a chance to interact with the artist but I can still feel how much she treasures the littlest memories of her family. Through viewing with the magnifying glass, visitors can see through the artist eyes’ how she remember her family-to the smallest and simplest details.

‘The Things I Never Knew’ by SCYA chairperson Jacquelyn Soo is a quirky video installation about the behaviours and characteristics of her family at home. Jacquelyn was all smiles when she said it was a hidden camera that was used to record such behaviours like her mother eating while chatting. Perhaps if one saw the way the artist talks, there is an uncanny resemblance in her laid-back style similar to her mother. I saw how this video artwork explained that family members might pick up natures and habits from one another. The title itself explains how it may not be realized but living together makes people emotionally connected in a way.

Another artwork that is worth mentioning is Untuk Popo (For Grandma) by Kelvin Atmadibrata. Being part of the audience, I was captivated by the haunting image of the young Li Cassidy-Peet projected on screen while she was going around giving ‘Hongbaos’ to selected audiences. The memory of the artist about his grandmother in her youth speaks of the beauty of remembering her itself. The installation is interactive and bound to impact audiences deeply. As we take away the ‘hongbaos’ containing elements of her in words and drawings or objects, again we get the sense that the best way to remember our families is through the smallest things.

Other artworks were just as poignant and some even edgy like Malvina Tan’s A (vO.1); a mixed installation of video juxtaposed with jars containing pictures of scars. She quipped that to her, the human body when put together functions like a family. Hence, she ironically places bruised body parts in jars. It was not a normal sight to see unpleasant memories being preserved but at the same time reminding us that it was essential because they are a part of life too.

In this exhibition, I see simple and difficult ways of how families are presented. Some through simple photographs, video or physical installations. Each of the artworks hold great personal value to the artists that lies more than what we interpret. It is simply amazing to see how loved ones can influence and affect us more than we can imagine.

FAMILY PICTURES IS STILL ON TILL THIS FRIDAY, 27th JAN. WE ARE TEARING DOWN EXHIBITION ON SAT 28th JAN.
DO DROP BY TO SCYA GALLERY at 90, GOODMAN RD, BLK B, #03-08 S(439053) on Tues – Sat, 12pm – 6pm.

For enquiries, please email to siimynn@contemporaryart.sg

About scyablog

Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Project (SCYA) is a non-profit Art Society that highlights Contemporary Art by Young Artists in Singapore through several platforms in exhibitions, websites, talks, workshops & commissioned services. SCYA was initiated by Jacquelyn Soo who is an artist, curator and director for SCYA. SCYA has over 10 members in the society contributing ideas, activities to support the organisation. SCYA represents up to 70 Singaporean/PR Artists in their works. SCYA launched their first project in Nov 2008 with a website collaboration with FIVEFOOTWAY that featured 23 Contemporary Young Artists Portfolios on an interactive website. Since then, SCYA have had several collaborations and events organised with corporations, government institutions, NGOS and education institutions, Please visit our website for more details: www.contemporaryart.sg Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeContemporaryYoungArtists Thank you!

One comment on “A review of ‘Family Pictures’ exhibition by Shafika Ghani

  1. Pingback: Dusty Springfield | Dusty Springfield

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2012 by in Exhibitions, Interviews, Reviews and tagged , , , , .

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