The annual Arts Festival for Social Causes, i-AM Festival is into its fourth year, with a 2012 theme of Many Hearts, Many Hands, expressed through a series of visual art exhibitions, performing arts performances and outreach programmes. Altruism through the platform of the arts is an ideal close to my heart. What is even more impressive is that the team that organized the visual art exhibition Don’t Forget to Remember, are six students of the Arts Management Programme at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Featuring four local artists; Izziyana Suhaimi, Kamarule, TR853-1 and Hafidz Senor, the exhibition was curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani. It was moving to see the close bonds the team developed amongst each other and the artists. Following the opening speeches, tokens of appreciation depicting the theme of the artworks – “Memory” – were presented in turn to their mentor, curator, festival director and producer.
In keeping with the previous art posts, Jack and Friends will offer personal reflections on a selection of the artworks. Each of the artists portrayed different aspects of the theme “Memory”, and they were often personal and therefore heartwarming and relatable.
Izziyana Suhaimi’s series of six works Looms In Our Bones were immediate personal favourites. The sense of mystery that pervades her works is particularly intriguing; especially with the interplay of intricate embroidery motifs that provide movement juxtaposing the portraits of contemplation.
Embroidery is traditionally seen as a past-time of women, viewed in the domestic sphere and Izziyana is no stranger to it as both her grandmothers and mother are passionate about needlework and crochet. Not content to draw on her personal and family memories, Izziyana conducted extensive research for five years into the embroidery of various cultures and hopes to give this sacred language of women a modern honour.
Looms In Our Bones 4 (above) features an embroidery motif taken from an Iranian prayer mat, while Looms In Our Bones 2 (below) features Manchu tribal motifs.
The colorful geometrics of Looms In Our Bones 5 showcase Tunisian embroidery with a repeated triangular motif, strengthening its power to ward off evil and promote fertility while Looms In Our Bones 6 is a stunning display of Moroccan embroidery.
Kamarule’s Quick Response (QR) Art was a delight to interact with. Just download a free scanning application and your smart phone can begin to scan the various barcodes superimposed on the faces. In the midst of discovering the memories hidden within his works, you will relive the experiences of play and discovery from your own childhood.
Kindergarten, for example is a scan of his actual kindergarten class photo, filled to the brim with boyish ancedotes related by his mother.
Platoon 3 is a tribute to his Basic Military Training (BMT) days at Pulau Tekong with candid snippets we’re sure most Singaporean males can immediately relate to! Monk and Chinese Man are personal stories relating to the artist, for you to discover, we won’t give it away, but we promise them to be touching!
The artist with the intriguing name of TR853-1 tends to express social commentaries and we vividly remember his outstanding works at the Affordable Arts Fair 2011, but for the purposes of this exhibition, he chose to dedicate them to his childhood memories.
Espousing the dearth of more personalized playgrounds in the heartlands of Singapore in the 1970s, his works Dragon, Birdie and Belon (Balloon in Malay) all laud the joys of his Toa Payoh playground where he spent many a happy hour.
Even the door gift carried the theme of the exhibition “Memory”, with White Rabbit and Hacks sweets, plastic cup jellies, egg boro biscuits, Bee Bee maruku and Haw Flakes, all lovingly wrapped in the traditional takeaway plastic for local drinks. What memories!!
Jack and Friends know that there will be new memories to be made at The Arts House, before 9 March, by all who visit as familiar understandings are bridged and shared memories are experienced.
Don’t miss out on this cumulation of shared passion, rich talent and vision of our next generation of art managers!
Exhibition: Don’t Forget To Remember
Dates: 1 March to 9 March 2012
Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 10.00pm daily
Venue: Print Gallery, Ground Floor, The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, The Arts House, Singapore 179429