S’pore Art Museum opens Friday with musical mushrooms and forced flirtation
The Singapore Art Museum opens its unique new location on Friday with a wealth of things to see and experience – and even more special exhibits.
The museum known as SAM will launch its new, larger space near the shipping ports of Tanjong Pagar Distripark with at least five installations by local and regional artists featuring everything from music-making mushrooms, flirting areas obligatory and cyborgs made from car parts.
“With its unique location in a historic port and close to heritage neighborhoods, we hope SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark will be a new art destination for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience contemporary art, create new memories and connections, and be inspired by different perspectives on our world today as well as our possible futures,” said director Eugene Tan.
Located right next to the Tanjong Pagar terminal, near its defunct but iconic train station, the museum can now show the public immersive works on a larger scale, offering experimental and multidisciplinary art, exhibitions, lectures and presentations to all. family-friendly workshops.
The future remains uncertain for his former space in Bras Basah, which has been closed for years due to delayed renovations.
But the new space covers more than 3,000 m² over two floors which include two galleries and a multi-purpose space on the first floor. Museum offices and a residence area are on the upper floor. Visitors can also sample all the art for a sip in the 20-seat café-bookshop of Epigram Bookshop and Balestier Market Collective while gazing out over the harbour.
Friday’s opening kicks off with a variety of performances by experimental band The Observatory, Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai, Malaysian artist Gan Siong King and museum residents Chu Hao Pei, Salty Xi Jie Ng and Johann Yamin.
AT Refuse, The Observatory is teaming up with mycological design studio Bewilder to show that fungi, too, can make music with their emission of carbon dioxide and other gases which are then converted into sound.
This art-science exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary of experimental art rock band The Observatory, which seeks to make art with nature. At the new SAM, they explore the decay of fungi and compose music informed by biology and music. The space is filled with 1,200 recycled wooden pallet crates filled with old musical instruments such as guitars and a drum set blooming with fantastical mushrooms.
Alongside, discover Korakrit’s multimedia creations that dive into a post-apocalyptic world where electronics, auto parts and clothing bring cyborgs to life. There is also a video showcasing Bangkok in the 21st century as a place where humans, machines and spirits have intertwined in everyday life.
At the end of the first floor, a multipurpose event room called The Engine Room will host viewings of Malaysian artist Gan Siong King’s video essays and installations of electric guitar amplifiers, pop culture, internet memes and culture in Malaysia. Even the observation benches have been specially designed to allow spectators to feel the vibrations of the installations.
Between the galleries and the spaces, look for the point of flirtation by the artistic collective Vertical Submarine. Find out how alluring you truly feel in the interactive installation meant to prove that players will only make moves in designated spots when instructed rather than spontaneously.
Upstairs, SAM Resident Artists Chu Hao Pei, Salty Xi Jie Ng, and Johann Yamin curated mini-exhibits on cultural loss across Southeast Asia, grief, rituals, worship Chinese ancestors and religions, and the history of electronic sports.
In other words, there’s plenty to see from Friday. find more online program details.
Singapore Art Museum at Tanjong Pagar Distripark
39 Keppel Road, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
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