WHAT GOOD IS THE ARTS?
That philosophical question is
very different from measuring
the value of the arts.
Measuring value might net you some terms like cultural multiplier, which says that the arts adds 1.6x value to economy, or Gross Value Add, which is GVA riffed from the GDP (gross development product). You might also suggest the arts can build national identity and communities (although to measure it by wanting 1 in 3 Singaporeans attended an arts event seems a bit fuzzy there). The latest buzzword is "cultural placemaking," a fancier way of technocrats saying, "The arts and culture can make this place seem more exciting."
What if we embraced the logic and operations of how the State measures the arts as a public good, and pushed it to its limits — make art work for us, make it functional, make it measurable, what would this kind of home look like?
This November, don't just look at art. Play it! And to be more placemakey, we've added an arcade machine, foosball and air hockey!
Exercise Now and Fit a Standard Size Coffin (Games)
KRay chen • THE BLACK BOX
"This is a series of works that deals with the body, using its size, appearance and action to suggest one’s relationship with a place and culture. I used the medium of games because of its entertainment quality, specifically with the motion sensor. It also allows me to either surface or create a bodily experience, in hopes that such physical activation translates into social activation, reinforcing awareness through movements and repetition."
Piece for 350 Onomatopoeic Molecules
ANG SONG MING • GALLERY
"350 is probably the first artwork I made, which explains the silly, pretentious title. With the work, I was just trying to emulate John Cage and Fluxus – to make an open work driven by chance and audience participation. I like the fact that it draws from avant garde music and conceptual art, but is at the same time quite ‘punk’ in spirit – even if you don’t know how to play music, you can make some noise with the installation."
Ping Pong Go Round
Lee Wen • Gallery / THE BLACK BOX
"Ping pong is a sport that is 100 over years old, and it is known as a fair game between men and woman. They can play against each other and be equally good. It symbolizes equality, unity and diplomacy. It is both recreation and art."
Two Porcelain Plates, The Last Supper, and Their Chairs
YEO CHEE KIONG • corridor
"In Two Porcelain Plates, The Last Supper, and Their Chairs, material and movement intermingle to displace the audience’s environment. Certainty of form breaks into illusion as the smooth, glass-like surface eventually reveals its dysfunction – materials visually resembling solid structures are in truth, ever weightless, ever formless. "
Tales of Saintrest
TAN SHAO HAN/CURIOUS CHIMERAS • THE BLACK BOX
“I like games a lot! To me, games and play can create worlds of new possibilities, where our imaginations have the space to flourish... it's my hope that games can help us develop our imaginations and help us empathize more deeply with others, as we behold other worlds and expand our horizons."