MUSEUM OF DAYS

A group exhibition featuring the works of Tony Albert (AUS), Miyanaga Aiko (JPN), Kanchana Gupta (SGP), Latthapon Korkiatarkul (THA), Meliantha Muliawan (IDN), Dawn Ng (SGP) and Adeela Suleman (PAK).

Museum of Days exhibits details of days, notes of observation and thoughtful reflection of each artist's study of everyday objects and the analysis of material forms. This comes from the thinking that an object can never be the author of its own biography or of another object in the way that humans are able to author theirs and other's life stories. The exhibition presents the personal interpretations of objects and its re-contextualised forms over space and time by 7 artists.

Drawing upon personal and collective histories, Tony Albert questions how we understand, imagine and construct difference. Certain political themes and visual motifs resurface across his oeuvre, including thematic representations of the ‘outsider’ and ‘Aboriginalia’ (a term the artist coined to describe kitschy objects and images that feature naive portrayals of Aboriginality like ashtrays, tea towels, cross-stitch, and other domestic and tourist artefacts decorated with images of Aboriginal people). Regular trips to local thrift shops with his family since he was a boy, collecting ‘Aboriginalia’ grew to be one of his lifelong passions. Albert was particularly drawn to Aborignalia's familial images, in the belief that his new treasures might picture a distant uncle, aunty or cousin.

Miyanaga Aiko has a concrete interest in time at a certain moment and challenges to capture or even to stop it. Known for her use of naphthalene as a medium, she casts the shapes of daily commodities such as a shoe or key as a symbol of life and encases them in a resin box. A volatile compound which sublimates and re-solidifies in response to temperature and humidity, the trapped gas in naphthalene is now slowed, dormant and unbothered by the passage of time. 

The series, ‘Edges and Residues’ marks an extension of Kanchana Gupta’s recent quest of combining her process with social materials/objects such as tarpaulin and jute, used extensively at construction sites in India and by migrant communities to build temporary homes. Each work in the series is created with over 30 layers of oil paint skin, stripped off  divergent Jute surfaces, these paint skins conceal, reveal and embody patterns of Jute weaving. Materiality of Jute offers a strong resistance to forces of gravity and tearing, creating unpredictable cracks, rips and edges in the paint skin, which are then assembled to create object like / sculptural works.

Latthapon Korkiatarkul’s works delved into the idea of physicality, value, and meaning of objects, inspired mostly from the daily commodities. Each of his work gains its significance from the specific context of the purest form or material. The work, Quality, is a series comprised of 24 different Bank Notes from various currencies, values, and sources. Upon closer inspection, the identity and value of each Bank Note have been reduced, leaving only a very small extent of what it was before. Korkiatarkul has spent his time and labour in a repetitive process of rubbing and removing images on the Bank Notes. The process transformed the context of these 24 Bank Notes, they are now objects that are being reinterpreted and re-estimated. Without the ‘numbers’, they no longer specify or estimate value of objects, goods, and labour.

Adapted from the Cabinet of Curiosities idea, Dawn Ng's 'WINDOWSHOP' series serves as a personal memory theatre in the context of Singapore’s own Golden Age where the psychological and aesthetic value of things are on display. Her work, Waterfall is a cabinet filled with an array of marbles sourced from different homes, vintage shops, and junk collectors throughout Singapore. Once considered as priced possessions for kids and rolling around HDB flats resonating familiar sounds, these marbles are now lined in glass-silence. As described by the artist, "'Waterfall' is a time capsule of a particular era of childhood gone by, and a documentation of the earliest and most earnest collector-behaviour in those of us who once saw preciousness in the tiniest ball of glass."

Meliantha Muliawan’s ’16 Mere Things’ is a personal study on one particular object: a piece of fabric. Exploring the possibilities of different identities, sixteen pieces of fabric with the exact same size were transformed into sixteen different things with different functions, and thus, viewed as sixteen different objects. While all the objects share the same materials of canvas, paint, and resin, Muliawan manipulated them into the forms and materiality of everyday objects. This act of re-contextualisation attaches a supposed usefulness to the otherwise 'found' objects in her works and yet concurrently removes their original functions. The same ‘found object’ visual is also applied in another series ‘On a Pedestal’. Muliawan repurposed carton boxes into pedestals for a languid piece of plain fabric to be perched atop, similarly to that of the presentation of artworks. The artist's intervention at switching the roles of the two objects forces the eye to examine its new placement and assigned meaning; one that is essential to the quiet everyday.

The mainstay of  Adeela Suleman’s artistry explores a series of dichotomies that point to the fragile and fleeting ephemerality of life. For her, Pakistan has some of the world’s most breath-taking landscapes and contrarily, the world is familiar with the country’s dark, brutal and violent reality. In her works, Suleman utilizes the beauty of vintage ceramic plates ornamented with carved Eastern wooden frames and embellished with delicate traditional motifs. However, upon closer inspection, she has painted gruesome and bloody images of murder scenes commonplace in Pakistan. The use of ceramic plates depict the local residents’ acceptance and desensitization of the violence that has now become the norm of Pakistanis.

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