This is a show that derives its tone and tenor from science fiction, a conjuring of the future that derives sensorial pleasure from the act of retroprojection. Providing the real-world context for the mood of despondency is, of course, the current pandemic, and the climate of fear, uncertainty and paranoia in which the global population has been mired in.
Yeo Workshop presents part one of only losers left alive (love songs for the end of the world).
This group exhibition is a two-part project with a central proposition: if our world were to come to a screeching halt tomorrow, what would we be left with?
only losers left alive (love songs for the end of the world) is an exhibition featuring a roster of local and locally-based artists. Occurring in two parts, the exhibition takes its visual and conceptual cues from cinema, featuring tableaux populated by objects, images and sounds that evoke the moods of a universe ravaged by unknown forces. This is a show that derives its tone and tenor from science fiction, a conjuring of the future that derives sensorial pleasure from the act of retroprojection. Providing the real-world context for the mood of despondency is, of course, the current pandemic, and the climate of fear, uncertainty and paranoia in which the global population has been mired in. Where the first instalment focused on human bodies, technological objects and an almost monochromatic palette, the second half of only losers left alive (love songs for the end of the world) foregrounds instead bright and pastel colours, and visual motifs centred on flora, fauna and alien shapes - almost as if human presence has now departed the equation, and only a post-human world remains.
The exhibition is curated by Louis Ho. The second instalment runs from August 7 to August 29, and features the work of Mark Chua & Lam Li Shuen, Georgette Goh, Victoria Hertel, Geraldine Lim, Masuri Mazlan, Sarah Isabelle Tan, Juria Toramae and Samuel Xun.
As in the first half of the exhibition, Singaporean filmmakers and sound artists, Mark Chua & Lam Li Shuen, have produced several songs that provide a melancholic, sentimental soundtrack for the exhibition. Along with the three tracks from part one of the exhibition, the songs will be put together as a concept album, “Never Seen the Roof”, and available as a limited edition package in the form of a cassette tape. Singapore-based Victoria Hertel’s work, Short Circuit (2021), a site-specific, floor- and ceiling-based immersive installation, remains in the show. The work intervenes in the physical space of Yeo Workshop, drawing attention to the two liminal architectural poles of ground and roof.
Sarah Isabelle Tan and Juria Toramae are also included. Tan worked with camera-less photographic techniques, such as the photogram, to produce light-based captures of local flora, which she works into both still and moving images. Toramae’s hypnotic, mesmerising video piece presents fictional, metamorphic morphologies based on the artist’s personal documentation of various marine species found in Southeast Asian waters, churned out by what is known as generative adversarial networks (GANs), where unsupervised machine learning is trained to process patterns in input data so as to generate or output new examples based on the original dataset.
Geraldine Lim’s series of 79 drawings in colour pencil and pen treat the practice of drawing as journalling, dealing with the artist’s feelings of isolation and anxiety, and serving as an expression of her compulsion to fantasise an alternative world where the self is placed in various imagined scenarios, from strange intimacies to suffering. The figures in her work are amorphous, with shifting colours, limbs, protrusions, organs and wounds, a reflection on what it means to own a body, and the identifications of gender and sexuality.
Masuri Mazlan’s installation of sculptures and lights are inspired by his personal fear of contamination and infection through sexual intimacies, and uses latex as a metaphor for protection, as well as its approximation of the textural quality of skin. The material’s tensile strength and stretchable surface allow for a play on our conventional notions of painting and sculpture. Samuel Xun’s soft sculptures likewise represent experiments in colour, materiality and form; his personal sensibilities evince qualities of campiness and kitsch, and their alien-ness. Finally, Georgette Goh’s installation is a botanical one, incorporating fresh specimens, and foraged and artificial floral and botanical elements.
only losers left alive (love songs for the end of the world) is supported by the National Arts Council Singapore.