ROJAK 13: Interiors

23 January, Friday, 2009. 8pm at National Museum of Singapore, Glass Atrium at Level 2.

Thank You, Ng Yi-Sheng and Kelvin Ang for co-hosting, Avenueone for the poster, Casey Chen for his lamps and ottoman, Randy Loh and Koh Yee Ling for photography and Octopus for printing. Thank You for National Museum of Singapore for hosting us so graciously and providing with all the logistics help. Special Thanks to Amaranta Lim from the NMS!



Presenter 1

Gilles Massot
The Lover's House [Art]

For the past few years, Gille Massot has been pursuing a long-term project taking the Ganges and the Mekong as the running threads of a body of work, which hopes to result in an overall vision of Asia. It is while travelling recently in Vietnam for this purpose that he came to Sa Dec, the little town where Marguerite Duras grew up and where she met with Ong Huynh Thuy Lê, the man with whom she was to live a love story that would inspire the famous novel “The Lover”.

In 2006, Gilles completed a MA in Fine Arts that focused on the ruins of an 18th century castle in southern France. The work entitled “Valbelle, Myth of Fiction” looked at the legacy of the Century of Lights in today’s context, in particular from the point of view of the history of photography, while investigating the thin line that separate myth, fiction and reality and how these three realms interact with one another. It is more particularly this aspect of his research that he found poetically embodied in the house of Marguerite Duras’ real life lover.

Presenter 2

Benjamin Tan
Space in theatrical film [Film]

Titled ‘The Girl with the Red Balloons’, it tells a tale of reconciliation between mother and daughter as each become estranged from each other’s reality
– their own respective perceptions of the world. Ultimately it deals with the concept of maturity and finding our inner children as we become desensitised by the unrelenting pace of a materialistic, urban society. A quirky surrealist experimental, adapted from a script written in the style of theatre, the film employs a unique visual style of cardboard sets which mirror their real world counterparts, where the space within the film is treated as per a stage play.

Benjamin Tan is pursuing his undergraduate studies at NTU’s school of Art, Design and Media, majoring in digital film production. Currently in his foundation year, his forays into the film and video art mediums under the directorial pseudonymn of jmin.

Presenter 3

Hans Tan
Don't Stand On Ceremony [Industrial/Product Design]

As an independent designer, Hans Tan focuses on contextual research that yield conceptual propositions through design. With an abiding interest in ploughing
the relationship between tangible objects and their intangible meanings, he pursues opportunities to discern the world afresh.

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Presenter 4

Mark Wee
Made in UNION [Architecture and Interiors]

Union is a multi-disciplinary research-based creative consultancy that is dedicated to the creation of beautiful human environment that inspire hope, and the celebration of positive living.

Formed on the belief that successful projects require the development of good briefs, UNION, as a collective of Architects, Designers, Business consultants, and Researchers work together seamlessly to provide valuable Business and Design solutions that are sensitive to the environment, people and culture.

Union works with clients to develop a holistic strategy through a variety of research tools, fieldwork, facilitated discussions, interviews and analysis. The synthesis of these precesses lead to design solutions that not only facilitate purposeful living, but also stunning environments that explore the imagination and the narrative.

Union’s unique portfolio ranges from exciting projects such as The Majestic Bar, and the exhibition design for the Singapore Biennale 2006, to luxurious hospitality interiors for the ShangGri-La and Movenpick group and the iconic Kempinski Palace of the Emirates Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Presenter 5

Lin Weidong
Quilt [Photography]

Of course you have, at one time or another, wondered what a stranger’s bedroom looked like. It takes a wily voyeur, or an undaunted photographer (the distinction tends to get fuzzy here), to be led by that curiosity into the actual inner sanctum of eight random young men.

What resulted from one such foray is an intimate and ambiguous suite of portraits that you will see in an exhibition called ‘Quilt’, a promising debut by photographer Lin Weidong. Capturing the subjects at that unstable intersection between boyish vulnerability and manly self-possession, Facebook persona and secret self, these portraits are taken in the subjects’ bedrooms – sites nested with the fiber of the subjects’ emotional and fantasy lives.

Lin Weidong is a full-time student and a part-time disc jockey. you can hear him play jazz every saturday night on union works radio 100.3 fm.

Presenter 6

Alecia Neo
Hiatus [Photography]

Through images exploring urban spaces and fictional and non-fictional characters, ‘Hiatus’ represents a body of multiple psychological portraits. The environments, chosen subjects (a combination of primarily strangers and a few friends) and the photographer simultaneously cast influence over the reading of the image. Clearly, these fictional snapshots are staged, yet there is a reality in their emotions that resonate with the audience. The resulting ambiguity and mystery of the narrative reflect a common fear of the unknown.

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Presenter 7

Maxine Chionh
The Condition [Art]

Chionh’s work is marked by the gesture of erasure, and primarily involves photography, video and drawing. Her work deals with the condition of circumstantial, forced and voluntary removal from a domestic environment.

Her bodies of work include photographing previous home environments from which she had been evicted or otherwise removed, developing the photos, then scratching on the prints to erase all portable objects in those spaces, and/or scratching away the environment while leaving the objects “floating” on the picture plane. The removal of objects then becomes a form of memento mori. Through her work, she wishes to explore how loss is prefigured in the state of desire for a place of inhabitation, as well as to explore the extent to which absence can be contiguous with presence.

Presenter 8

Larry Peh
OBJECTS&LARRY: Taking My Pleasure Seriously [Art/Graphic design]

Larry Peh, founder and creative director of design studio &Larry shares his insights on a creative journey that coalesced his love for art and design into a series of intriguingly crafted objects. Beginning with a tangential project to re-build an old chair for a charitable cause, he soon discovered the inherent pleasures of creating tangible things that stand apart from the daily creative challenges faced in the studio.

The output is equally eclectic: from 2005 to 2008, &Larry has produced Objects that include tables, lamps, stationery, apparel and more, all with a distinctly Singaporean narrative woven into their being. With these Objects, design ceases to ‘provide only answers’ and begins to hold a dialogue with the end-user.

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Presenter 9

Donna Ong
Asleep, A Room Awakens [Art]

“Asleep, a Room Awakens” is series of work by Singaporean artist, Donna Ong, that explores the phenomenon of feeling familiar in a strange room, or vice-versa, the sensation of feeling alien in a known environment. Does every room recall or describe another? Are rooms dreamt into being from a shared sea of images, or are they dim reflections of a single original source?

Every second, rooms are being conjured up and brought into being, by both the conscious alert mind as well as the unconscious sleeping psyche. Disparate images surface and merge, a bastardised collage of “real” images experienced and stored as memory.

Presenter 10

Raihan Halim
Sunat [Film]

I have always wanted to make films.

One day, when I was six, my father had rented two movies from the neighbourhood video rental shop. One was a Jean Claude Van Damme flick. The other was a heady sci-fi film, which I thought had a cool poster.

My whole family loved the Van Damme flick. It was awesome. Everyone else fell asleep ten minutes into the sci-fi film. Me? I loved it to bits as much as I did with the Van Damme flick.

Looking back, that was probably the day I realized that there are films and then there are movies.

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