POP N’ CHAOS: Unleashing the true underground arts scene

Unless you have been hiding under a stone for the past year or so, it’s pretty obvious that there have been some exciting developments happening in the art space in Singapore – with more galleries popping up and more great exhibitions for us to please our creative souls with.

Yes yes that’s all fantastic stuff which we fully love at City Nomads, but there’s a big piece of the puzzle missing here. What happens to all the brilliant talent out there which hasn’t yet made it to that level? What is their platform? Where is their voice? There is a whole amazing underground arts scene right here in Singapore which may have completely passed you by but is absolutely popping!

Until now…

Over at City Nomads, we have for the last year been wondering how we can unleash this amazing raw artistic talent which is bubbling away, unbeknownst to many of you.

We dreamed, we schemed, and along with our partners in crime, the very awesome art collective WeJungle, we dared to create our own platform to present the island’s true artistic underground. And so the POP N’ CHAOS exhibition was born!

Taking place at Viridian Art House from 13th to 19th December, the exhibition show POP N’ CHAOS is dedicated to six of these talents – We Jungle a.k.a The Jungle, Ka’a, Kitt Santos, Edward Chan, Dan Wong, and Beng – and I’m going to give you a little sneak peek, right here, right now of what you can expect from these totally awesome artists.

So starting off with The Jungle, a local freewheeling collective which has been on the scene now for just over a year. We first discovered them back at Lit Up Festival (see our feature on them here) and have kind of fallen in love with them ever since. Not just for their awesome, psychadellic works inspired by pop culture (which are one big mash up of ideas and styles) but also because they are seriously nice people who really do believe in peace, love and all good to mankind. We can not get enough of their Architexture print series mounted on plywood and sealed in resin which will be featured in the exhibition, as well as a few other suprises….

Having first laid our eyes on Ka’a’s works when we got to work with them at the Kilowatt Free Radical Festival which we co-curated (check out the pics here), we just knew that they had to be part of this exhibition.  A collaboration of two international stencil and aerosol artists – Kirsty Furniss and Mathieu Augereau, their work bridges painting and street art, abstract and figurative, and aesthetic and social commentary. Works depict life on the streets, addressing the voice of the people in a fresh, engaging and pretty bad-ass way.

Then we discovered Kitt Santos, thanks to the La Sardina Wardrobe Exhibition at the Lomography Gallery Store (check out our review here) and we knew that somehow, someday, we wanted to work with him. A designer and illustrator originally hailing from Manila, Kitt’s works fuse elements of folktale, pop art exploring a fantasy-surreal mindset which draws on Art Nouveau, architectural, contemporary art, fashion and the female form to create his almost other-worldly works in watercolour and digital painting.

Phew three down, three more to go! The next three were – until this exhibition – new to us and now, to say we’re chuffed to be in the know about these artists, is an understatement. So without further a-do, let’s introduce them!

For those who seek beauty in nature, Edward Chan’s illustrations will certainly appeal. A local artist, Edward’s work is driven by the inherent contradictory characteristics of nature, which seems free but is bounded, through its myriad of lines, shapes and form. His love with the designed beauty of nature is an obsession described in the quality of congestion of his work which compels contemplation.  You can also check out his work at PAVE at *SCAPE Underground.

Now time to be whisked away into a land of fantasy courtesy of Dan Wong. A commercial illustrator who seeks to entertain audiences, much like a circus show, yet at the same time revealing more serious truths within. Not afraid of entering the controversial realms of politics, religion, gender issues, or treading on any other such tender ground…just afraid the police will come to catch him when he does!  He loves to draw and swears by the basics: Blood, Breasts and Beasts.

Ready for the last stop? Well last but certainly not least is Beng a.k.a. Benny Goerlach. An Australian artist based in Singapore, Beng’s artwork is inspired by the unspoken truths we face in society, the questions we avoid the answers to whether through ignorance, shame or fear. His intention is to create fun visual metaphors that speak about today’s social situations, people’s responsibility to the planet, to one another and to ourselves. His current pieces use a combination of digital illustrations, spray paint with stencils and hand pulled silk screen prints on archival paper. He is working towards his solo exhibition in 2013 to be curated by Statement.

So Nomads, we hope to see you there for the exhibition OF the year, to END the year. As well as being inspired by fresh, raw talent, these are TRULY affordable art works which you should be snapping up while you can, and are able to. Oh and did we mention that you’re all invited to the opening party on the 14th? Because you are!

POP n CHAOS is running from 13th – 19th December at Viridian Art House, 70 River Valley Road, 01-15, 179037. For more information, and updates on exhibition opening times and opening party, see here.

Emily Seow

Managing Editor

Emily heads the editorial team on City Nomads by being a stickler for details, a grammar Nazi, and a really picky eater. Born and bred in Singapore, she loves cats, the written word, exploring new places, and all things Harry Potter. Easily bribed with good cocktails.

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