PUBLISHED April 22nd, 2020 06:00 am
With each of us alone together in COVID-19 lockdown, it’s truly a lonely planet out here right now. Cut off physically from loved ones and social distractions, what happens when we must confront our bare selves? When we tumble down the rabbit hole of our solitude, what inner realities will we discover?
Tackling these questions head-on is 14-days Stay Home Notice, an online exhibition that holds up a much-needed mirror to our stay-home times. Curated by homegrown artist-run institution INSTINC, this bold new exhibition brings together the quarantine creations of 14 artists from Singapore and across the world. Turning isolation into inspiration, these works bring us face to face with the ugliest, loneliest, and most luminous facets of this global crisis.
You’ve probably seen plenty of snaps of ugly Singaporean behaviour going around, but none like Shih Yun Yeo‘s warped, whimsical shots. This LASALLE-trained artist used AI programs to colour scenes of hoarding in lurid, unnatural hues – bringing out the ‘true colours’ of Singaporeans. Meanwhile, Korean-born New Zealander Park Shin-Young confronts the covert racism that this outbreak of ‘China virus’ has surfaced. Powerful works like Blind Nation underscore the blindness of Western society to the qualities and humanity of its Asian immigrants.
So near, and yet so far – local artist Ezzam Rahman examines this sentiment poignantly in his photography series In closeness for me there is still distance for you. Shot on the day of Malaysia’s border closure, it explores how we deal with worry and grief in social distancing. Loneliness is for spaces, too, now that they’re emptied of their usual visitors. Urich Lau’s series Exposure: Sites & Spaces captures the ghostly strangeness of Singapore’s art institutions in the time of coronavirus.
All these intriguing works and more are free for viewing online from now till August 26. If you’re looking for some wall art (and after all, you’ll be facing the same four walls for at least the next month), don’t hesitate to purchase for a good cause. 25% of all sales proceeds will be donated to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
14-days Stay Home Notice runs from 13 April to 26 August 2020.
Top Image: Ezzam Rahman, ‘in closeness for me there is still distance for you III’