Louis Ho, Singapore Art Museum Curator

Venue: Art Central 2018, Hong Kong

Tell us about your outfit. What are you wearing and where is everything from?

I’m in a pullover and button down shirt. The colour scheme is what we call “curatorial” black (or grey, in this case). The most noteworthy thing I have on me is my bow tie: it’s a piece of pottery!

It’s cream-coloured ceramic, festooned with polka dots.

Tell us more about this ceramic bow tie.

I have a collection of bow ties in various unusual materials. Wood, metal, clear plastic, Lego bricks, a Brillo pad and even a battery-operated one that lights up!

This ceramic piece is my latest acquisition:

A closer look

I mostly get my bow ties off Etsy, which is an online marketplace for unique craft objects.

There, now my secret is out!

How do you decide what to wear at art fairs?  

Men have far less sartorial choices than women. My one golden rule is that one should look smart. If you find something unusual to jazz an outfit up, all the better! 

Why don’t more Singaporean men dress up?

It’s the weather. It’s hard to look good in the heat and humidity. Women try, but most men can’t be bothered – it’s shorts and flip-flops all the way. Wearing a  jacket is about the fanciest thing that Singaporean men do.

Do you dress like this every day?

I have a signature look: suspenders and a bow tie! You can’t see the suspenders today because they’re hidden under the sweater.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen today? It doesn’t have to be art.

Occupational hazard: I’ve only been looking at the art!

Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran has an installation of monumental idols in the Encounters section of Art Basel Hong Kong. He subverts the visual language of figurative statuary and his sculptures seem like totems out of some primitive imagination. They’re surreal, confrontational, disturbing. Pretty amazing:

‘Mud Men’ Volume II (2017), is an installation of 5 sculptural works representing New Age idols. In making these works, the artist drew upon his Hindu and Christian heritage, as well as reference points from the internet, pornography, fashion and art history. Both male and female organs are present in the figures, suggesting “gender-fluid realms of new possibilities.”

 

A closer look

If you could sit down and have a chat with any artist living or dead, who would it be?

It’ll have to be Wayne Thiebaud. His paintings are both profoundly melancholic and expressive of a certain innocence. He’s famed for his still-lifes of Americana like pies, gumball machines, hotdogs and ice-cream cones, but it’s his landscapes that move me in ways that I don’t have the words for …

I’m curious about what he’s like as a person. 

  

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