25 August 2023—Wei-Ling Gallery pops up in Singapore with Merdeka Project – In(ter)dependence & A Tapestry of Us
Kuala Lumpur-based Wei-Ling Gallery has come to Singapore with two pop-up exhibitions, Merdeka Project – In(ter)dependence and A Tapestry of Us. Located at Henderson Industrial Park, the shows will run from 25th – 29th August 2023.
A Tapestry of Us brings together the works of seven prominent contemporary Malaysian artists: Anurendra Jegadeva, Choy Chun Wei, Ivan Lam, Rajinder Singh, Sean Lean, Wong Chee Meng, Yau Bee Ling, and Singaporean artist Joshua Yang while Merdeka Project – In(ter)dependence by Malaysian artist Ivan Lam is a collaborative project, marked by a partnership with Singaporean artist Joshua Yang.
It’s evident from the sheer breadth of aesthetic styles and inspirations that each artist on show fiercely contemplates their own identity in in relation to migration, location, and nationhood. Showcasing works that touch on everything from life in a tech-driven, multicultural society or what it’s like to grapple with one’s ethnic roots, the end result is a selection of exuberant works that foreground diverse personal experiences and historical motifs.
Seeing how both Malaysia and Singapore celebrate their independence in August, the pop-ups are certainly timely as they encourage us to consider our place in society and the historical circumstances that led us here. It’s safe to say that the pop-up exhibitions are worth the trek to the Henderson industrial estate!
The pop-up exhibition is taking place from 25th – 29th August 2023 at Block 203 Henderson Road, Wing B, #04-07 Henderson Industrial Park, Singapore, 159546. The exhibition is only available by appointment, please call +603-22601106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to do so.
Check out the images below for a peek at the exhibition!
(Left) A work from Joshua Yang’s 2015 series Wave and Particle. With this series, Yang draws lines as “expressions and expressions of time.” This work features several circles, with each of them consisting of uninterrupted lines and marks. (Right) We were impressed at how the circle made of diligent cross-hatches looks like it’s made of wood shavings! Rajinder Singh, Redemption, 2016. Oil, powder and gold leaf on canvas. The larger-than-life work depicts a towering figure that’s meant to encapsulate numerous deities and gods, featuring the lotus flower associated with the Buddha and Jesus’s crown of thorns. The work contemplates how similar the teachings of various religions can be, especially with regards to universal experiences of life and death.Ivan Lam’s fabric tapestries Unforgettable X – I (left) and Unforgettable X – II (right) form an ode to his late grandmother, who was born in Guangzhou, China and worked as a seamstress in a factory in Ipoh, Malaysia. The pink quilt is one that Lam’s grandmother made for him as a child, with its numerous torn seams and triangle-based patterns still in tact. In response to the idea of an heirloom, Lam learnt to sew in order to create Unforgettable X – II, a black-based quilt made from scraps of fabric found in his studio. Look closely and you’ll see the paint smudges on them!Made from steel, Sean Lean’s works take the form of blue and white porcelain vessels, to reflect on how the porcelain trade linked China with Western countries. To think about his Chinese roots and complicated feelings towards the country and its past, the artist painted the surface over with automotive paint, skilfully replicating the softened brush strokes and glossy glazes of porcelain. However, his forms are also disjointed with sections of visible steel, commenting on his view of China as a country with a fractured past. Rajinder Singh’s work considers how the sounds of one’s mother tongue can remain a great part of one’s cultural heritage. Here, he turns the sounds of Punjabi into paintings, with this canvas expressing the sound of b-ba. (Left) Wong Chee Meng’s Golden Flower takes the form of two vertical acrylic paintings side by side, featuring intricate, psychedellic motifs of Chinese culture, such as deer, koi, and blooming flowers. (Right) While the paintings draw on these traditional symbols, you can also scan an AR code to bring the paintings to life!Touching on the history of the Sri Lankan civil war, Anurendra Jegadeva’s Fairest of them all (2022) features a young girl in military-style clothes wielding a gun. While this recalls how girls and women fought for the Tamil Tigers during the war, the postcards in the background poignantly depict the numerous items–everything from a gold necklace to a bottle of beer and shoes–that one might take while fleeing a war-torn country.Yau Bee Ling’s The Unfold (Study I) draws on her experiences as a mother. Here, vibrantly coloured skateboard parts are arranged all over the canvas, pointing in different directions to “demonstrate the unfolding of blooming life”, as well as the ups-and-downs of raising her teenaged children.Installation view of works by Ivan Lam and Wong Chee Meng