Last year, I did a piece on the artworks at the first 16 Circle Line stations and I enjoyed many of them, like Tan Kai Syng’s video work at Bras Basah (which was temporarily taken down) and :phunk Studio’s shiny chande-whoah-liers at Promenade.
Today, I got to see the remaining 12. Woot. If you don’t mind badly taken photos with a trusty iPhone, read on!
Hazel Lim’s The Cartography Of Memories
Unlike the first 16, a lot of the remaining works are found on the lifts, like Lim’s (that’s her) literal text map of the Thomson area. Created using English phrases and words by some 100 respondents to Lim’s queries about the memories of the places they’ve lived in.
Kai Lam and Chua Chye Teck’s Aquatic Fauna No. 1
We didn’t really get to see the actual thing because there was a private event at the venue, so here’s a photograph of what it’s suppose to look like. From the looks of it, it’s lots of colourful plants inspired by BG’s flora. The artworks are supposed to be functional as well, giving each station an identity, so yes, I suppose when you see this you’ll know you’re in BG.
Erzan Adam’s Art Lineage
To create this wild, and wildly colourful piece, Erzan got the public to come in and go crazy over three canvasses. He then digitised and overlayered these to create a single piece.
Jeremy Sharma’s Holland Beat
One of my favourite works in this batch, Sharma assembled a bunch of images from random photographs he took at HV, including the iconic windmill (Fun fact: did you guys know that the place wasn’t named after the country but the architect Hugh Holland?). Sharma was also inspired by an old airline safety instruction card and via digital manipulation he combined the design with his photographs and voila! It seems hazy and out of focus from afar but it’s actually quite sharp. And I really like the work’s casual and hip feel. It’s like a huge T-shirt design. Heh.
Gilles Massot’s The Tree Of Life
Massot has “planted” a tree inside the station. A photograph of a eucalyptus tree near the station that has been, again, digitally manipulated and filtered to create an image with the same effect as David Hockney’s photo montages.
Yek Wong’s A Visual Narrative Of Pandemonic Rhythmic Movement
Despite the convoluted title of the piece, you can actually just enjoy the huge triptych’s pretty abstraction. But according to the write-up, each one, with its lines and curves is apparently a depiction of MRT commuter traffic from, left to right, morning to evening.
Mixed Reality Lab’s Poetry Mix-up
The only other “multi-media” work in the Circle Line apart from Tan Kai Syng’s, this interactive programme created by scientists from nearby National University Of Singapore encourages you to becoming a poet. Sort of. You can SMS a line of up to 60 characters and the computer cobbles together a bunch of lines for your very own quatrain. The results are kinda bad but hey. Take note, though, there are over 1,000 banned words so don’t expect to key in words like *bleep* or *bleep* because the system will ignore you. That said, when others tried it out, phrases like “is about love making” and “pulsing palisades” came out a bunch of times. “Pulsing palisades”?! Who uses “palisades” these days?!
HAW PAR VILLA
Tan Wee Lit’s Eroclamation
Nah, just kidding. That’s just scaffolding for some last minute construction. It’s actually the one below, an interesting contrast to the actual garish grotesquery of the station’s namesake, the black and white simple image inspired by traditional papercuts is also a commentary on how much of the western side of the island is reclaimed land. Look closely and you’ll see images of tractors and stuff.
Ho Tzu Nyen’s Lieutenant Adnan
There’s been very little humour in the Circle Line works, which is why I’m quite happy about the next couple of works beginning with Ho’s mock movie posters about the story of a real-life war hero. Lt Adnan Saidi, who has a memorial at the nearby Reflections At Bukit Chandu museum, fought in the Battle Of Pasir Panjang during WWII. Aaron Aziz “plays” him in this movie that’s “coming to a theatre near you.” But it doesn’t say when. Hee.
Heman Chong’s Without Which/ Would Have Been/ Impossible
An enigmatic phrase and lots and lots of circles – Chong’s trademark deadpan, tangential humour (or not?) will terrorize commuters. The motif, as described in the write-up, came from a “microscopic view of a single rock found at the park, highlighting the distinctive identity of Labrador Park as the last surviving rocky sea cliff in Singapore. (Another fun fact!). I was kinda looking at it as a cross-section of the heavens and earth… if everything was made up of different coloured circles. An impenetrable work? Not really. The LTA folks who commissioned it said that during an earlier tour by LTA colleagues, Chong’s work was the one that everybody remembers.
Michael Lee’s Notes Towards A Museum Of Cooking Pot Bay
Like previous works employing diagrams and fact-meets-fiction at SB2011, National Museum of Singapore and SAM, Lee presents a work that can probably entice people to stay a wee bit longer. Cooking Pot Bay, apparently, is the translation of Telok Blangah. Here, monuments, pop culture elements, real-life people and fantastical elements are intertwined. Lee’s in it, putting in the year of his imagined death. Also spotted were playwright Alfian Sa’at, watercolourist Ong Kim Seng, movie billboard master Neo Chon Teck, and radio storytelling legend Lee Dai Soh, among others.
Jason Ong’s Commuting Waves
Finally, there’s this abstract work (there’s actually two), laminated glass 3D renditions of commuter traffic at the HarbourFront station on weekends (one piece) and weekdays (another one).
There you go, the last 12 Circle Line stations opening very soon. Don’t forget to top up your EZ-Link!