art and the futility of art.

What: Art Buffet- Singapore Art Exhibition

Where: SAM

When: 22 August to 18 October

I was at the Singapore Art Museum on Sunday for the Singapore Art Exhibition (haha) and I must have looked like such a noob! Okay no. I didn’t look like a noob because I was lugging around a DSLR that day and I think I normally look quite artsy (: (: and I tried to look like “oh, I know all these stuff” haha, BUT I FELT LIKE SUCH A NOOB.

They had an ‘art buffet’ concept for the exhibition with themes like Food, Material, Ritual, Spectrum, Signs, Gesture, Craft, Body, Time, Space, Order and Humour. I don’t understand why they didn’t have curatorial statements! Especially since it was a kind of competition and they’re having the public ‘judge’ the works. Let me tell you, curatorial statements are very important to me because they provide an ‘entrance’ for me to start extrapolating my views and I feel lost without them. That day, I just felt all the art works scoffing at me ):

There was <We ‘Eat’ Money> by Melvin Tan which I thought was quite a good allegory to how more money means better ‘connections’ and (therefore) a more abundant life. (If I read this right then this is rather straightforward, the rest were S: ) He had this installation of many windup musical boxes connected to metal studs and coins by the side. The point was if you put more coins (more money) to connect more metal studs (more connections), more musical boxes would be triggered, so you have more music playing (abundance!).

In another gallery, I stared at Ang Song Nian’s <And now, like sleeping flowers> for the longest time. Didn’t get it. Photography was quite nice though. It consisted of 3 blown-up shots of small white rectangular paper pieces thrown against backgrounds of green shrubbery. I got so frustrated I kept eyeing this art student-looking girl taking notes around the gallery. Finally couldn’t take it so I caught up with her and asked if she could share with me what she saw in the pieces cos I DID NOT UNDERSTAND. (I know. Bleah.) Of course I didn’t do that with the caps. But I think I looked sufficiently distraught.

Guess what.

Yes, she’s an art student. Yes, she understood the pieces. Yes, she would love to share her views with me! But.

She couldn’t speak my language. ):

She’s Thai. (Oh the irony. Should have picked up Thai seriously when I was there.)

But really, the irony. This is supposed to be art. It’s supposed to transcend the spoken or even written word. BUT WE DON’T SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE. The artist and I. Isn’t art supposed to reach where the words cannot take us. You know why I haven’t been writing recently? It’s just so futile. That’s a sad realization for a writer. I’m beginning to agree with Beckett’s philosophy. Creative art is meaningless. Communication is futile. It is always going to be incomplete. And we’re never gonna understand each other. Maybe the very basis of art is on a foundation of miscommunication. That’s why they didn’t bother with the curatorial statements!

Please go to the exhibition and tell me if you got anything from it. I’m just gonna busy myself with something I do understand now. (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.)


3 responses to “art and the futility of art.

  1. HIMYM trumps all.

  2. hr hur Please. it is overflowing awesome. virtual five! haha

  3. virtual five! hahaha. season 4’s not as good though. i dont laugh out loud as often.

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