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18 September 2021 – The 15th Edition of LASALLE College of the Arts’ Tropical Lab

Tropical Lab” is an “art camp” which sees foreign art students spending 2 weeks at LASALLE for artistic exchanges and experimentation.

Now in its 15th year, this brainchild of  Milenko Prvacki has reached a crescendo in its latest edition, curated by Anca Rujoiu. Titled “Interdependencies,” 25 previous participants come together to showcase their art works.

There is a lovely sentimental nod to the hard work of the past 15 years, with previous participants returning to Singapore through their art even if their physical selves remain overseas due to the pandemic. And yet, the works are recent, speaking to the sheer volume of talent that has passed through LASALLE’s doors.

Danielle Dean's Artwork
Case in point, Danielle Dean  who will be showing at the Tate Britain in early 2022, and whose 2020 video work “Private Road” is presently on display. Here, Dean subverts idea of white privilege in a 1965 Ford ad, to create an immersive tropical rainforest.

The other thing that stood out for us, was the rare treat of seeing works exhibited around the campus, outside of the galleries— an occurrence which is surprisingly rare in this art school.

Duy Hoang’s installation of an airplane monitor
Duy Hoang’s installation of an airplane monitor image (pictured here with curator Anca Rujoiu), printed on tarpaulin, hangs defiantly in an in-between space. The artist explains that this sight on a screen was the closest he had ever come to his birthplace Nha Trang.

Special mention needs to be made of Rujoiu’s curation which makes wonderful use of limited spaces — her juxtaposition of James Jack’s “Ghosts of Khayalan,” a net drawn on a wall with natural pigments from Singapore, against Ali Van’s “The Mandarins,” glass orbs of “old fruit, blood, breath and moon” is truly inspired. As the sunshine streams in through the glass gallery walls, the effect is just breathtaking. You feel like you are suspended in water while bathing in pools of light. See below:



We also particularly loved Rattana Salee’s “Old Column”– a sculpture inspired by Windsor Palace in Bangkok (yes, there is one in Thailand, Google it).


Waret Khunacharoensap’s “Who is Sacrificing,” a scathing critique of the Thai monarchy, is also worth a closer look:

The show runs till 16 Oct— visit if you can!


Exhibition venue: LASALLE College of the Arts

Opening times – 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Mon–Sat (closed on Sun and public holidays)