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Home is where the Art is….

TODAY ONLINE Nov 24, 2009 Resident/Artist Home is where the art is – or, in this case, shophouses by Mayo Martin   A MONTH ago, someone came knocking at No 24 Niven Road. He wasn’t selling Yakult for charity. Instead, he asked if the owners, writer Anbalagan and his wife Thilakavathi, would be willing to turn their shophouse into an art gallery of sorts for three days – and literally have their very own “resident artist”. After the success of Blackout in July, which saw a group of artists exhibiting at an empty warehouse space in Paya Lebar, organisers Salon Projects is holding another unique event: Open House! (OH!). Held from Dec 4 to 6, the event will see eight shophouses – three of which are being used as offices, while the others are homes – along Niven Road as well as nearby Wilkie Edge mall opening their doors for strangers to view art. OH! will include around 120 works from 22 artists, including art collectives :phunk and Vertical Submarine, Ho Tzu Nyen, Jason Wee, Milenko Prvacki and Zhao Renhui. WELCOME, ARTIST Salon Projects founder and curator Alan Oei said the idea to hold OH! was broached by a mysterious unnamed friend and business associate who works in the finance industry. “My friend comes from London and they have a similar event, which is an architecture trail. Except that in Singapore, we’ve destroyed all our interesting buildings so, well, we had to think of what else we can do. And the most natural thing was to put art inside the spaces.” Organisers are aiming high. While Blackout had a turnout of around 3,000, they are expecting OH! – which is running on a budget of between $80,000 and $100,000 – to draw an audience of up to 6,000. Oei said they expect a mix of “high net-worth people like collectors, the younger generation of young professionals and kids”, with the works up for sale going for as high as $65,000 for a Prvacki painting to “a cockroach for $500″. That would be one of Zhao’s quirky insect installation pieces. There will also be some merchandise available, but it isn’t just about business. “It’s a new way of looking at our environment, ” said Oei. “For us, it’s also a philosophy of thinking of the spaces around us, especially in Singapore where urbanisation is taking place so quickly, they’re tearing down buildings all the time. “As a people you build your memories around physical objects and markers. What do you do when with your memories when they get torn down?” The artists’ works have different ways of approaching the concept. For example, :phunk will be doing a “kooky and fun” tour where, at some point, you’ll be asked to wear 3D glasses to view their work. Two works from the recent Singapore Art Exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum will be shown again: A version of Ho Tzu Nyen’s video “painting” Earth and Jason Wee’s ingenuous shampoo bottlecap “installation” portrait of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, No More Tears. “After all that portrait looks like someone who’s known as the chief architect of Singapore, in some sense,” quipped Oei. IN A NUTMEG But what’s special about Niven Road anyway? Apart from the fact that it just so happens to be home to Salon Projects’ newest baby, an art space cheekily called Evil Empire. “It’s a fairly quaint neighbourhood that has a lot of character,” said Oei. “We did some historical research and, for one, it was named after a nutmeg planter – which I think is hilarious. It’s also where early colonialists lived because they could get a sea view from Mount Sophia.” Some of the artists involved in OH! also immersed themselves in the populace of Niven Road for their works. Lynn Lu will be doing a performance based on her discovery that several girls had at one time committed suicide in the area in a space of one year. Meanwhile, for her piece Little Conversations, young artist Ong Xiao Yun has been doing oral interviews with the neighbourhood’ s denizens, including those working in the nearby Punjabi textile shops. But what about the basic legwork to get to know the people in their neighbourhood? “We basically knocked on their doors and said hello,” said Oei. “Alan’s very friendly,” said homeowner-turned- temporary- gallery-owner Thilakavathi. “I’m very proud to have this. Nobody knows there are residences in the area. Usually they think it’s all offices here.” “I think the artists are very, very talented,” she said. Talented and considerate. According to Oei, they decided on controlled guided tours rather than the initially planned free-for-all scheme because “we all decided it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for the owners.” And the works – consisting of mostly paintings, photographs, some installation, small sculptures and lightboxes – had to fit the spaces. “The main thing when we went to each person’s house was to (understand) that house’s personality. So it’s the artwork that fits within that space rather than us trying to change their place. It’s up to the work to find its space in there.” NEW FRIENDS Whether or not OH! becomes a resounding year-end success for the group, Oei said they’re planning to downsize future events – and possibly even bring it to the heartlands. “What we foresee for Open House is to maybe do a once-a-month thing in one person’s house, sort of nomadically go around. Keep it smaller scale.” For now however, Thilakavathi is looking forward to “hosting” visitors and, of course, go and visit the other shophouses in the neighbourhood. “I’d like to see new faces. Maybe I can make new friends.” Open House! runs from Dec 4, 6pm, to Dec 6, 11pm, at Wilkie Edge and Niven Road. Admission is free with ticketed admission to select shophouses. For more information, email info@salonprojects. com, or visit www.ohopenhouse. com or the OH! Open House Facebook page. URL http://www.todayonl ine.com/Plus/ Arts/EDC091124- 0000027/Resident /Artist

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Call For Applications: IPA x SHS Photo Mentorship Grant

Posted by VolunteerSG Admin | Posted in Announcement | Posted on 14-07-2016



Following our successful Workshop Grant with Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) last year, Singapore Heritage Society and IPA are partnering again to offer a second grant to participate in the 12th Edition of the IPA Mentorship Program commencing in August 2016.
The IPA Mentorship Program is an intensive 3-month program by Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) for those who wish to further their personal photographic vision and goals. The aim is for mentees to conceive, continue or finish a photo project or series as a method to strengthen their photography and understand the concerns of their individual practice.
The IPA X SHS Photo Mentorship Grant recipient will be encouraged to investigate and interpret history (local or national, private or public), topography, community and locality to author creative site-responsive projects using photography as a medium.
Participants may choose to work on a place or neighbourhood in Singapore of personal significance, or a site of national heritage or historical interest. Research material, be they family or public archives, text, drawings and photographs, serve as raw ingredients to meditate and author the individual responses.
Our previous grant was awarded to filmmaker Clarice Lee and her final project The Island of Everlasting Utility was presented by Singapore Heritage Society at the Ubin Day 2016 community event in Pulau Ubin.
The grant recipient will be mentored by Kevin WY Lee, founder of Invisible Photographer Asia. More information about the IPA Mentorship Program: http://invisiblephotographer.asia/ipamentorship/

About the IPA x SHS Photo Mentorship Grant:

This Grant offers free participation in the IPA Mentorship Program with fees waived. While the application is to open all members and friends of the Singapore Heritage Society, the selected recipient must become a subscribing member of the Singapore Heritage Society before commencing the mentorship. Details about joining the Singapore Heritage Society: http://www.singaporeheritage.org/?page_id=72

To apply for this Grant, please follow the instructions below:

Send an email to shs.secretary@gmail.com with the subject header: “APPLICATION – IPA x Singapore Heritage Society Photo Mentorship Grant” And include the following information:
  • Name:
  • Nationality/Country of Residence:
  • Age/Sex:
  • Biography:
  • Provide a brief outline proposal of the site you would like to work on during the workshop.
The sites must be located in Singapore and priority will be given to strong proposals on any of the following:
  • the social life and intangible practices around heritage places
  • sites or neighbourhoods threatened by significant change
  • sites or neighbourhoods with a long history (pre-1900)
APPLICATION DEADLINE: SUNDAY, 24TH JULY 2015. Applications will be shortlisted by Singapore Heritage Society. The winning applicant will be selected by Invisible Photographer Asia and contacted with further participation details.


Founded in 1987, the Singapore Heritage Society is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation and registered charity with Institution of Public Character (IPC) status. As independent voice on heritage issues in Singapore, it is dedicated to research, education and advocacy relating to Singapore’s history, culture and and identity. Run by volunteers, the Society’s active members include academics and professionals in related industries as well as serious enthusiasts from all walks of life. Learn more about the Society through this video: https://vimeo.com/58862922 Our President’s Report (2015): www.singaporeheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/SHS-Presidents-Report-2015.pdf Follow our daily updates on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sgheritage


Invisible Photographer Asia | 亞洲隱形攝影師 (IPA) was founded in 2010 by Kevin WY Lee, and since then has grown into a leading and influential platform for Photography and Arts in Asia. We participate vigorously in the movement of Photography in Asia through talent showcases, events and exhibitions, publishing, workshops and education, and community outreach. Since inauguration, IPA has partnered with organizations such as PLATFORM.SG, National Museum Of Singapore, The Angkor Photo Festival, KL Photo Awards, AO Photo Books (Hong Kong), SONY Electronics Asia Pacific, Leica Camera Asia Pacific, Epson Singapore, and Awagami Factory Japan to name a few.
IPA website: http://invisiblephotographer.asia About the project mentor, Kevin WY Lee: www.kevinwylee.com

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