What even is time? Anyone who has had to work from home has experienced the funny feeling you get from realizing that the time itself is a social construct.
Which makes Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) latest exhibition, Time Passes, which will run from 4th September 2020 to 21 February 2021, a great vehicle for thinking and talking about living through the pandemic.
The exhibition, which is curated by Samantha Yap, will be held at the National Gallery of Singapore. Entry is free of charge for all Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents.
Time Passes will feature works from artists such as Diana Rahim, Victor Paul Brang Tun, Stephanie Jane Burt, Jon Chan, Yeyoon Avis Ann, Chong Lii & Christian Kingo, Divaagar, Fazleen Karlan, Ila*, Khairullah Rahim, Mengju Lin and Ashley Yeo.
SAM describes the pieces which make up the exhibition as works that “…manifest acts of care-taking through the handling of different materials and the commitment towards uncovering possibilities of living and relating even through difficulty and uncertainty.”
Time Passes will feature a wide range of mediums, from photography of art installations to mixed media sculptures.
In fact, I first came to learn about Time Passes from visual artist Diana Rahim’s Twitter account. In Interventions, she documents hostile architecture and stages interventions to “imagine and soften” them. Her photographs of the results and sometimes, the public individuals interacting with the interventions themselves, is the artwork.
Here, she wraps the cold steel bars, which are armrests and hand-grips that also serve the function of deterring the homeless from lying down, in bright festive colours.
The same type of steel armrest is seen here. This time it is left untouched. But note how the curtain highlights the section of the shelter with the bench is not covered, so the sun itself becomes a deterrent against overstaying in what is ostensibly a place for the public.
In her Twitter post regarding the making of Interventions, she states that her favourite part “…was seeing how people stopped to look—especially children!—when these interventions were complete. The turning of a space from the banal to the transformed.”
In the same post, she reveals that this particular Intervention was made in Khatib.
Another piece, which is #sgbyecentennial by Fazleen Karlan, is a look into what archaeologists may dig up in the distant future of Singapore. At once cheeky and thought-provoking, it’s definitely next up on my list of what I’m looking forward to see in person!
#sgbyecentennial, which was also featured in the LaSalle College of the Arts student showcase, lists her description of her own artwork as such, “This work was created in response to the Bicentennial commemorations and other forms of ‘commemorations’ (such as National Day, SG50) prevalent in Singapore.”
Location: City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery B, National Gallery Singapore When: 4 Sep 2020 to 21 Feb 2021 Opening Hours: 10am–7pm Admission is free for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents
You can access SAM’s page on Time Passes here.
How has the circuit breaker affected your perception of time? When do you think time will go back to the way it was again, or do you think that this is the new normal?