Century of Light
The archways are made exaggeratedly tall. They are painted a golden hue, as a reference
to the gold frames used by the paintings in the show. They are also intentionally skewed
to constantly frame key artworks and guide the visitors orientation.
Location: Singapore  /   Year: Completion 2017
Type: Culture   /  Services: Exhibition
Team: Willie Koh, Lee Hui Lian, Benedict Tay, Georgina Tan, Wong Xiu Hui   /  Photographer: Studio Periphery
 
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Century of Light, the second blockbuster exhibition we designed for National Gallery Singapore in 2017 features two exhibitions, Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay and Between Worlds: Raden Saleh and Juan Luna. The two exhibitions demonstrate the range of painting styles and art movements that developed in 19th century Europe.

To capture the essence and spirit of the two shows, we envision a series of huge rooms, similar to those drawing rooms of old, interlinked by arches and openings that play upon the transition from one space to the next.

For Between Worlds, the two artists are each assigned a strong thematic colour that plays off their works - a deep blue for Raden Saleh, and a dusty salmon pink for Juan Luna. And as one traverses from artist's space to the next, the wall colours literally blend and transition into the next colour as well.
The archways that interlink between the various sections are made exaggeratedly tall, dwarfing the visitors as they pass under them. They are painted a luminescence golden hue, as a reference to gilded gold frames used by the paintings in the show. They are also intentionally skewed to constantly frame and re-frame key artworks and guide the visitors orientation.

Over at Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay, seven different thematic colours are chosen, each of them picked for their relationship to the subject matter and ethos of that particular section. They serve as subtle backdrops to aid the sub-conscious understanding of the artworks.

The arches here are more simplified and deconstructed, as a response to the scale of the space. Sometimes, they peel apart. Other times they simply demarcate a visual break between the different sections.