Performing Utopias/ Dystopias In The Public Spheres: Asian Myths, Cliches and sYMBOLISM

SATURDAY, 23RD JANuary 2016, 11am TO 12pm

A challenging and complex discussion about how artists re-define/ re-imagine myth making, ritual and fantasy, and cliché, in order to choose their cultural responses to this age we live in. As a given and common thread, the artists Quynh Dong, Joo Choon Lin and Jack Tan work towards the notion that this new age of technological advancements and changes demand a new Romanticism. Through this discussion, audiences are given an insight into the artists entanglement with myths, clichés and stereotyles and thus their claim to the “contemporary”. 

The artist Quynh Dong uses as her subject “Vietnam” and “Asia”, and as a starting point her seductively clichéd stylized video and sculptural artworks as shown at her solo exhibition at Yeo Workshop. These works evoke nostalgia, identity and the failed self-imposed female asian voice. 

The artist Joo Choon Lin, through her public art project “Abdominal BASS Cavern of a Stricken HEART” is interested in the distance between form and essence, the surface understanding and how deep an idea or symbolism is and what happens of audience perception when these (cults, niches, horror, associated objects) are objectified and re-contextualized. 

Jack Tan reinterprets familial and traditional Singaporean myths as a starting point in his public art project in order to create new myths for society. His main project is a folkloric parade, using children as the participants, which is typical of his interest in social interactions and public exchange through legal design, performances, and interventions. This technique is coupled with his belief that the start of new ages calls for a certain myth makings and rituals and symbolism that was crucial in order for people to process anxiety about change and to reconcile the changes with the past. These techniques for society thus inspire our ethical and aesthetic ability to imagine. 

Jack Tan
"Mythologies", 2016
Artists: Jack Tan, Quynh Dong, Joo Choon Lin. 
Moderator: Khim Ong

To RSVP for this brunch talk, please email
Limited seating, RSVP required.
The admission fee of $15 is inclusive of a catered lunch.