4 August – Familiar Others at the National Gallery Singapore
Dalam Southeast Asia at the National Gallery Singapore has developed a reputation amongst art geeks for offering up some of the most cerebral presentations in town. Its second exhibition Familiar Others does not disappoint.
The show which opens to the public today, is about the representation of Others in art, i.e. cultures or communities that are foreign to the artists concerned. This is done through the works of three artists – Malaya’s Yeh Chi Wei, Indonesia’s Emiria Sunassa and Eduardo Masferre who spent most of his life in the Philippines.
Curator Phoebe Scott explained that, “This kind of representation brought with it certain ideas about the represented cultures. Sometimes they were exoticising and linked to colonial notions.”
Candidly, the exhibition’s curators admit that even Between Declarations and Dreams (The National Gallery’s own permanent exhibition on Southeast Asian art) has applied a kind of ‘internal exoticising,’ in the way that Singapore has itself looked at regional art.
The works on display here offer a critical look at the curation and presentation of such art.
All in all, it’s a super thoughtful show, full of intelligent prompts and beautiful art. It runs from 4 August 2022 – 19 Feb 2023. Visit the National Gallery Singapore for details.