Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art in a Warehouse with No Lights

[Editor's Note: Click the title link to go to site for video and photos.]

By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 26 July 2009 0251 hrs

SINGAPORE : Most of us would be used to viewing art pieces in a gallery or museum with lights to highlight the works.

But a group of artists went off the beaten path recently - by showing off their works in an industrial warehouse with no lights.

And the response was overwhelming - over 2,600 people ventured into the dark and enjoyed the show.

Organisers of the exhibition titled 'Blackout' wanted visitors to step out of their comfort zone.

"When the lights go off, what happens is your senses come alive - your sense of touch, the way you look at things, the way you walk. So that's why the works are so interactive," said Alan Oei, curator for 'Blackout'.

And visitors got to step on eggs, for example, in an art piece that's about challenging people to do what they normally wouldn't.

Another piece has dozens of paper planes dashing out from one single point. The artist wanted viewers to feel the sudden rush of flight when the light flashes.

Then there's a piece that addresses consumerism. It comes in the form of a sculpture made up of junk food wrappers and in the shape of a man puking over toilet bowl.

"This is a big difference from what normal art exhibitions are like. (It's the) first time I'm seeing something like this... The kids love them," said one exhibition-goer.

"It’s very new, to have an exhibition in the dark, and it’s quite groundbreaking," said another.

Organisers said the idea for a free art show in the dark at a warehouse came about when the building owners had a gap period.

13 artists then got together over three months to present their take on darkness with a space slightly larger than a football field.

Over 1,000 visitors turned up the night the show opened.

Following the overwhelming response, organisers now have plans to do similar exhibitions in other locations in Singapore. Talks are also underway to bring the concept overseas to places like Japan. - CNA /ls

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