Home News Art for art's sake, please

Art for art’s sake, please




- Advertisement -

By Tan Bah Bah

I suspect that the people behind any project to promote art in the HDB heartland has a kind of self-preservation checklist.

There must be no obscenity – check. No reproduction of The Scream or Mona Lisa or risk getting sued – check. Don’t anyhow draw Shrek, or end up paying copyright fee – check.

Avoid producing scenes of filthy lifts or cluttered corridors – check. If you have to portray any race, make sure the other races get equal play  – check. This cannot, that cannot.

- Advertisement -

Someone then has a bright idea and presents it to the Committee:  “Members of the Committee on Artistic Endeavours and Excellence in the Heartland,  try Fusion HDB Style. Apply the Picasso modernist touch to any subject. The beauty of this approach is that you can draw anything you like –  kampong maidens carrying buckets of water, Night Safari animals staring blankly at visitors, kopitiam goings-on, neighbours quarrelling and so on and all in approved cubistic shapes. Voila.

All are very standardised and anodine, as to be a massive yawn. And we want art to inspire and evoke emotions?

I look at the ‘work’ done for the Void Deck Art Gallery in Gek Poh Ville and am saddened. Is this the best we can offer by way of wall murals after 50 years of existence as a nation?

The ‘murals’ have no more life than a wallpaper.

We have turned two iconic buildings  – the Supreme Court and City Hall- into a spectacular $530 million National Gallery housing the world’s largest collection of South-east Asian art. One of the plans, I gather, is to promote art in the heartland, really promote, art.

Don’t just go for the lowest common denominator. It’s downright insulting.

Credit image: The Straits Times

- Advertisement -

Alamak! IKEA misprints reusable bags, sells them as limited edition

Singapore -- A typo in IKEA Singapore's KLAMBY reusable shopping bag resulted in a discount on its price. The store has admitted to the mistake with an "alamak" and has since tagged the shopping bag as a "limited edition" item that...

Bi-national couple charged with breaching SHN at Ritz-Carlton

Singapore—A British-Singaporean couple are facing charges for offences pertaining to Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements, having flouted an SHN at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Hotel last September. The couple, British national Nigel Skea, 52, and his fiancée, Singaporean Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39, were...

29-year-old inmate gets straight As for O levels, tops her cohort

Singapore — A 29-year-old inmate has topped her inmate cohort in the results for last year's GCE O-level examinations, according to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) on Wednesday (Jan 13). Her story was released on Captains of Lives, the Facebook page...