A swinging projector is not what one expects at a print exhibition. But this eye-catching object will be part of Urich Lau’s installation for The Private Museum’s new show.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Revising The Phenomenon Of Printing, which opens on Friday, brings together seven young artists working in the print medium. But the results are a far cry from traditional prints.
Guest curator Zaki Razak, 40, challenged the artists to think about the history of printing, its evolution and its impact on society in a letter laying out his curatorial framework.
The resulting works, ranging from Lau’s three-part installation to Miguel Chew’s jellyfish-shaped prints, address different aspects of the curator’s vision.
Lau’s work, titled Mission Statement: Trichotomy Version 1.0, also includes an electric flytrap and a surveillance camera which will capture visitors’ images to map onto a text to be projected on the wall.
Mr Zaki says teasingly that the copy will be an extract from a “nationalistic text” which will not be identified, but which visitors may recognise: “We prefer to leave it open-ended.”
Mission Statement relates to the history of print in a tangential fashion, pondering the impact of the printing press on political and social communication.
Mr Zaki points out: “Information before Johannes Gutenberg was restricted to a small audience. After he invented the printing press, information was released, so to speak.”
Ironically, in this digital age, people are dealing with an avalanche, rather than a paucity, of information, he adds. “Now, we need the priests and wise men again to make people reconsider information.”
Not every work in the show deviates so dramatically from the print medium.
Weixin Chong’s touched screens, two framed etchings on paper, hews more closely to the tradition of print work while tackling a very contemporary subject – the modern obsession with smart devices. And Korean artist Shin-Young Park’s Ephesians 5:22-23 are decal prints on ceramic plates, a play on the plates used in the process of printing.
Yeo Shih Yun’s Impossibility Of Repetition, a series of five ink on glass and paper works, challenges the idea of standardisation and uniformity in print works. And Mona Choo’s Multiply, in which repeated prints of human figures are layered and pinned to a wall by red threads, contemplates how people are trapped by structures.
Rounding out the exhibition is Nadia Oh’s Affinity, a series of dreamy, semi-abstract digital prints on fabric, which are the artist’s attempts to capture her memories.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Revising The Phenomenon Of Printing
WHERE: The Private Museum, 02-06, 51 Waterloo Street
WHEN: Friday to July 7, 10am to 7pm (Mondays to Fridays), 11am to 5pm (Saturdays and Sundays), closed on public holidays
ADMISSION: Free. For more information, go to theprivatemuseum.org
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.