WINDOWSHOP is a cabinet of curiosities quite like no other. Scoured, bartered, coaxed, stripped, painted and polished, hundreds of common objects hand-picked from local junk stores, homes and nostalgia collectors in 2014, fill a peculiar collection of tailor-made, brass-titled furniture pieces. Each title tells a story of the objects within. From merry-go-rounds to marble cases, the titles constitute a visual litany of funny, irreverent and often painfully honest observations about people and objects in relationship to time, place, memory and love. By symbolically translating the collector’s control of the world through a miniature, indoor reproduction, WINDOWSHOP takes a look at the psychological, cultural and aesthetic value of “things” and the visual language, which the latter forms. The work seeks to curate and celebrate the infinitely everyday and beautifully ordinary of our times.
Conversations on Love is a bespoke Ping Pong table, crafted in white marble (historically, a common material used in Colonial or local aristocrat furniture of yore) and steel. This piece immortalizes in stone, the resurgent game of Ping Pong, whose bewildering popularity amongst this nostalgia-laden, hipster generation is unparalleled. A glass-encased pair of vintage bats and three custom-printed balls titled “Lies,” “Truth” and “Jokes,” humorously invites the viewer and his or her partner, to partake in a game of exchange, which forms the timeless basis of all relationships and conversations on love. This work makes light of our romanticization of most things past, and our incapacity to quite grasp the basis of our affections.
Physical Education is a glass case of innocuous household items – a rattan stick, a dozen clothes pegs, and a wire hanger, all of which were iconic and inventive tools of discipline used upon generations of Singaporean children. The guileless, innocent color palette of the curated objects stands in ironic contrast to their use for torture, whilst echoing the faint pink lines their swooping whacks and pinches form on young, partially-broken skin
Waterfall is a handmade cabinet filled with a cascading array of vintage marbles. Sourced from different homes, vintage shops and junk collectors throughout Singapore, hundreds of marbles stand in accordance to a meticulous orchestra of blue hues, height and distance-width apart. Now lined in glassed-silence, is the once familiar sound of rolling marbles, which percolated the thin floors of HDB flats. Once a fixture of our youth, the simple marble has disappeared from local aquarium sellers and toy stores due to their lack of demand. Waterfall is a time capsule of a particular era of childhood gone by, and a documentation of the earliest and most earnest collector-behavior in those of us who once saw preciousness in the tiniest ball of glass.
Someone Like You is a deconstructed two-seater carousel, which draws architecturally from merry-go-rounds built in local playgrounds of our youth. Its steel seat handles are reminiscent of the iron bars, which form a supporting asterix across the circular platform of old merry-go-rounds. This hand-made work is constructed so that two individuals may either sit with their backs facing each other, or kneel towards each other in an embrace. With this choice, they may either follow the same course around the carousel, never to meet; or move in circles together, with the other person eclipsing all surroundings. Someone Like You embodies the role of the spinning laws of chance, where two people can well remain strangers even if they are sitting right beside each other, or become entwined if they simply turned around.
is a set of 40 vintage keys from the 1970’s to 1990s that have been hand-picked from various junk stores and homes across Singapore. The act of cutting a key is akin to etching a memory into its metal, yet none of the keys, which once unlocked local flat gates, doors, chests, cabinets and bank safes, can be matched to their original locks. As such, their memories have been ironically locked within them, turning these 40 keys into sole, silent bearers of 40 treasures, rooms or secrets that have since vanished. With the influx of modern digital locks and password technology, keys will soon become an antiquated and obsolete object. Atlantis has grown from the artist’s personal fascination with keys and her obsession with the stories they keep.
Banana is a hand-made, bold yellow, elongated wooden cabinet resting on 4 thin legs. Glass windows on both sides showcase an orchestrated landscape of 1970-1980s vintage and childhood knickknacks. White on white in every detail, most objects were collected from various junk stores and homes across Singapore in their original state while some were hand painted to complement the white palette of their counterparts, forming a unique gradation of white to cream. “Banana” is a physical parody of the term “banana,” used to describe younger generations of locals who were deemed “yellow on the outside but white on the inside” by older generations, due to our Western education and influence. The work stands as a time capsule in and of itself, fossilizing the infinitely ordinary, the beautifully everyday of the here and now.
is a custom-built glass cabinet populated by a horde of over a 100 different toy animals. Gathered across local neighborhood toy stores and Mamashops, these common childhood collectible toy animals are hand-painted white, the color of sheep or the government party in power. Lined perfect distance-widths apart from left to right, the animals form immaculate rows of white. As its title suggests, the work makes an underlying satirical commentary on the Singaporean herd mentality despite our multi-cultural, creative, or global guise. Its brass label “SHEEP” points to this pristine animal farm, whose members come in different shapes and sizes, but are ultimately of one and the same skin.
is a hand-made musical chest containing 5 hand-wound musical recordings, which earmark five key tunes and associated memories in the first 12 years of the artist’s life. Her research on memory in relation to music has found that music is one of the most acute memory triggers, so effective that hospitals sometimes treat Alzheimer patients with music to help them remember the past. As such, this wooden ‘tabula rasa’ of music is constructed akin to a large treasure chest, which can be accessed with the turn of different keys. Two local vintage stools of corresponding 1980s heritage, allow listeners to adjust their seating to different heights in order to lean their heads against its surface, almost like as if one is straining to hear the beating of a heart, where all memories are stored indefinitely.