It’s not every day that you see shipping containers located in the heart of town, a jarring sight for most, breaking up the monotony of our day-to-day commute. For the curious and intrigued, be captivated by the pastel dreamscape that is Till The Last Blossom.
Back for its 9th edition, Art Encounters presents Ashley Yeo, a Singapore-based artist who has garnered international renown in recent years for her painstakingly hand-cut paper works. She was the first Singaporean to make it into the finals for the prestigious Loewe Craft Prize in 2018.
Dreamy, winter flowers
Similar to previous iterations, the presentation is spread out across 3 containers. There’s a gallery container and a studio container where Yeo has completed an on-site mural.
Finally, the welcome container offers children and adults the chance to try paper-cutting and work with techniques which the artist uses for her patterns.
This brand-new installation is no exception. Stepping into the gallery segment, there is an immersive field of colour, ranging from cool purples and rich blues, that progressively transition into slivers of warm, hazy orange.
Drawing inspiration from her travels to Norway — where she attended an artist residency in 2014 — the colour palette draws on the never-ending day of the summer solstice. This is when the sun doesn’t set, but rather sits on the horizon, creating a gradient that spreads across the sky.
Set against the purple ombre of surrounding walls, the stark white installation features plumes of hand-cut paper flowers that cascade downwards, gently swaying in the draft. These paper structures are the artist’s interpretation of the wisteria flower, a species that continues to bloom even in winter.
Yeo’s practice is greatly inspired by nature, as she contemplates and observes how natural elements often uphold a certain sense of geometry. This becomes the starting point for many of her motifs. (Check out the welcome container to watch a behind-the-scenes video of Yeo in the studio!)
Beginnings in pastel
In the studio container that bears Yeo’s mural, one can’t help but admire the renderings within. Yeo frames various scenes of a mystical landscape filled with flowers that are in perpetual bloom, transporting us to a field removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For many, the work she is most known for is her intricate paper cuts. However, pastel is Yeo’s primary medium which she formally trained in.
Making full use of the platform, Yeo wanted to showcase this other aspect of her practice — one that is near and dear to her heart. It’s always exciting to discover different facets of an artist’s practice. This not only informs you of their sprawling interests, but also possibly reveals an undercurrent that runs through the various elements of their practice.
From the fields of flowers in the drawings to the installation, it was rather enchanting to situate myself in these landscapes which the artist created.
Till The Last Blossom runs until 24 October at Plaza Singapura (Outdoor Atrium). Click here for more details.