I consult with Ms Ong Sor Fern’s commentary on the National Gallery Singapore, More Focus On Singapore Art Please (Life, Feb 6).
She takes challenge with the structure of the gallery and its poor signage, dismissing the restored City Hall and Supreme Court buildings as an “unholy matrimony” that’s “hostile” to guests.
The two buildings are, nevertheless, replete with reminiscences for the folks who used to work in them.
For many younger attorneys (myself included), these buildings had been the positioning of our calls to the Bar and the locations the place bonds had been shaped with the authorized fraternity and with our mates.
From a private perspective, I subsequently very a lot respect the conservation efforts which have tried to maintain the buildings intact so far as potential.
Mild logistical inconvenience appears to be a small worth to pay for the preservation of those particular areas. Given Singapore’s price of improvement lately, we don’t have many buildings left which maintain such deep significance on each historic and private ranges.
Ms Ong’s criticism of the captions within the Gallery as being “inconsistent” and “ricocheting from compact contextualising to bare bones non-statements” can be bewildering.
Space in any museum is at all times going to be restricted. Choices have to be made on info to prioritise and I can not consider any well-known gallery or museum within the world which provides equally lengthy wall texts and explanations for each single murals on show.
The Gallery is a nationwide establishment and will be capable to enchantment to as broad an viewers as potential. It is a fantastic steadiness and, to this finish, the Gallery has accomplished a greater than first rate job.
Finally, Ms Ong criticises the narratives within the Siapa Nama Kamu exhibition, saying that the “show feels patchy and shallow”.
Regardless of questions of style and private desire, the Gallery needs to be applauded reasonably than reviled for enterprise this bold mission and for making an attempt to situate Singapore artwork throughout the bigger context of the area and the world.
“Small casual dates” with single artists could nicely create extra intimate engagement, however an excessive amount of of this and we’ll find yourself navel-gazing with none sense of the artwork world past our (very restricted) shores.
Have a view on a narrative in Life?
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