In Dialogue: Urban Collages

Saturday, 22 June
3.00pm – 4.00pm

Elaine Chiew, Writer and Visual Arts Researcher
Fyerool Darma, Artist
Vikas Kailankaje, Designer and Lecturer

Moderated by Melanie Pocock, Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICA), LASALLE College of the Arts.


This panel is held in conjunction with Filipino artist Manuel Ocampo’s exhibition, Ideological Mash-Up/Remix (18 May – 22 June).It takes Ocampo’s syncretic approach to image-making as a point of departure, and considers what collaging might further look like as a mode of constructing personal and cultural realities in the urban.


How do signs operate through concepts of ‘mash-up’ aesthetics? How have digital technologies impacted the ways in which we read, generate and distribute signs? How do the materials of signs — paint, fabric, pixels — affect their semantics? Can signs be empty, or are they perpetually vehicles of meaning and value? Might the polemics generated by ‘mash-up’ culture then require a more urgent and careful reconsideration?


About the speakers:
Elaine Chiew is a fiction writer and visual arts researcher. Twice winner of the Bridport Prize, she has a U.S. law degree from Stanford and an MA in Asian Art Histories from LASALLE, and in addition to being the Research Officer at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, she also writes freelance on arts and culture in Singapore; her reviews have been included in ArtReview Asia, Arts Equator and Theatre Times, among others, She hosts interviews of contemporary Asian writers at AsianBooksBlog and writes about Asian art on her blog Invisible Flâneuse.


Fyerool Darma plays with the privileged status of display, his practice interrogates and complicates the cultural consumption of history and myth in relation to contemporary markers of identity and class. His artefacts are based on an extensive visual vocabulary drawn from popular culture, literature, archives, the internet, and his life. He has held solo presentations through ‘Sunny, your smile ease the pain’ (2019), ‘Monsoon Song’ (2017), and ‘Moyang’ (2015). He has presented his artistic projects at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2019), NUS Museum (2017 – 2019) and the Singapore Biennale (2016).


Vikas Kailankaje is a lecturer in Design Communication at the LASALLE College of the Arts. His professional experience covers visual communication and editorial direction for institutional clients and publishers. Outside of his practice and teaching, Vikas leads walking tours that draw upon local issues and historical intrigue. He was previously the Principal Designer of STUDIO VBK, a critical design practice in information and document design.


About the moderator:
Melanie Pocock is a curator and writer. Since 2014, Pocock has been Assistant Curator at LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, where she has curated Dissolving Margins (2018–19), Native Revisions (2017) and Countershadows (tactics in evasion) (2014), a series of group exhibitions exploring paradoxical aesthetics. In Singapore, she has curated solo projects by Genevieve Chua (2019), Jason Lim (2018), Boedi Widjaja (2016–17), Jack Tan (2015) and Michael Lee (2014), and organized numerous exhibitions with students, staff and alumni from LASALLE College of the Arts.


Pocock has published essays, articles and reviews in Art-Agenda, ArtAsiaPacific, Eyeline, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, LEAP, The Financial Times, Third Text and The Journal of Curatorial Studies. She is also the editor and co-author of Sulaiman (2014), the first monograph on the work of Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman, published by Kerber Verlag.


Photo courtesy of Elaine Chiew, Farhan Darma, Vikas Kailankaje, Melanie Pocock.


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