IMAGINATION BEHIND IMAGINARIUM

Published on 2 May 2017

Three Singapore-based artists exhibiting at this year’s Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth share the inspiration behind their works. 

By MELANIE LEE

CALVIN PANG

Artwork: Calvin Pang Photo: National University Hospital

Pang will be presenting  a site-specific work “Where Am I? (2017)” where he will be placing clusters of coloured mushrooms in oft-overlooked corners of the Singapore Art Museum.

The seed for “Where am I?” was planted in my head when I was walking home from the MRT station one afternoon and noticed a white cluster on a small field beside the walkway. Upon a closer look, I realised it was actually a cluster of mushrooms! This work is my attempt to recapture and present the wonder I experienced that very moment.

The work uses familiar spaces in the museum as its canvas, with hope that visitors will realise how art might exist quietly in their everyday surroundings. The curatorial team have placed the clusters at different elevation levels so people of all ages can “find” them. It is my wish that through this work, visitors will slow down to appreciate our interpersonal and immediate environment more.

NANDITA MUKAND

Artwork: Nandita Mukand Photo: Pragya Bhargava

Mukand will be presenting two works “The Origin: The Tree and Me (2017” as well as  “The Unborn (2017)”, both of which are made out of materials such as newspapers, vegetables, grass, seeds, cones and pods.

My works are inspired by long nature walks. I have always loved the old trees along the East Coast Park. One morning as I walked along the beach, one huge tree made me stop in my tracks. The size and grandeur of this tree made me feel a sense of homecoming and awe all at once. I wanted to express these intense, beautiful emotions in my art and that is how “The Tree and Me” was born.

The second work, “The Unborn” was inspired by the Spanish wilderness of Catalonia. The idea of what is possible from humble beginnings seems miraculous to me. Seeds and pods embody this idea. They are small yet they hold within them huge trees and even forests.

I hope visitors will appreciate these works in quiet contemplation, and lead families to thinking about the healing, nurturing world of nature.

MARY BERNADETTE LEE

Artwork & photo: Mary Bernadette Lee

Lee will be presenting “Wanderland, 2017” – an installation with tactile, responsive mobiles of plants and creatures that evoke vivid experiences with the natural environment.

I believe that discoveries are brought about by exploration. I had a vision to create an artwork that evokes an inviting sense of warmth and safe-ness through a combination of light, textures and shadows. I was also inspired by this quote from “In Praise of Shadows” by Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki:

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates. Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.

“Wanderland” invites visitors to play with their imagination as they are bathed in the maze of colours, shadows and obscure landscapes. In this playground, both art and audience wander to wonder and their co-existence brings meaning to one another.

Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth will be held at Singapore Art Museum from 6 May – 27 August 2017. It is a family-friendly contemporary art exhibition suitable for all ages. Click here for more information.

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