台上 • 台下 Time Present Time Past
台上 • 台下
Time Present Time Past
Situated on a temporal space at Prinsep Street, a time portal manifests as a Chinese street opera stage to present new works by five artists who explore this traditional performing art form and its relevance in our contemporary society.
Ken Cheong revisits his personal photo archives to present the changing presence of Chinese street opera in Singapore between 1989 to 2007. To contextualise this installation, the selected photographs and video footage also depicts the popular photographic culture of the 90s, which deploys pictorial aesthetics to record the disappearing ways of living.
Intrigued by the vibrant theatrics, Mary Bernadette Lee investigates the meaning behind ritual plays, auspicious symbols of the dragon and phoenix on stage and in opera costumes. Her mixed media installation highlights the latent power of the opera to protect and to bless its troupe and audiences.
Inspired by traditional stage painting, Wu Yanrong collaborates with Mr. Leong Fong Wah, the last surviving generation of a family-run art studio established in the 1940s. The triptych wooden panels framing the stage reveals the balance between modern and traditional, young and old, masculine and feminine, the yin and yang.
Drawing inspiration from hand gestures performed in Chinese street opera, Lai Yu Tong uses images of hands from the internet to tell stories about the modern world. The resulting sculptures on the open ground bring acts of performance into the everyday occurrence of life.
Occupying the entire ground, Yenting Hsu’s sound art prompts visitors to trace the diasporic roots of Chinese street opera within public spaces. Blending sounds from Chinese street opera performances in Singapore and Taiwan, the dramatic singing in Hokkien is now received by the current Chinese generation as an unfamiliar sound that bears a distant relationship to their ancestral cultural roots.
Situated on a temporary space at Prinsep Street, a time portal manifests as a traditional Chinese street opera stage to present new works by 5 artists who explore and examine this traditional performing art and its relevance in our contemporary society. Rendering context to this installation are 150 photographs drawn from Ken’s long term documentary made between 1989 to 2007. The exploration sparks collaboration with local traditional craftsmen to stage a new vision on this performing heritage of Singapore. Part of SAW 2022.
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