Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

2 May 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY: SINGAPORE

Sherman Ong: Spurious Stories from the Land and Water

For Spurious Stories from the Land and Water, Singapore-based Malaysian photographer Sherman Ong has chosen 28 photographs for Singapore’s Art Plural Gallery from his two photographic series Monsoon and Spurious Landscapes (and also a short film too). The exhibition explores the relationship between humankind and the environment with many works expressing a sense of loss and helplessness as the subjects depicted try to go about daily life in the face of natural forces. Picture #2 from the Monsoon series depicts a passenger riding pillion on a motorcycle while trying shield the bike’s rider from the rain of a tropical thunderstorm, while Mow (pictured) shows a boy puzzling over a lawnmower in the middle of a stark concrete football pitch – puzzling yet poignant exercises in futility.

Art Plural Gallery, 38 Armenian Street. Open Monday to Saturday, 11.00-19.00. Until 31 May.
artpluralgallery.com

ILLUSTRATION: NEW YORK

Lebbeus Woods, Architect and Len Lye Motion Sketch

At the US’s only fine arts institution dedicated solely to drawings, two exhibitions are on view until early June. Lebbeus Woods, Architect pulls from 40 years worth of the American designer’s works that reflect on the built environment – illustrating design cycles, shifts and repetitions – and their impact on public space and individuals. Motion Sketch presents works by New Zealand artist Len Lye – whose career was driven by a fascination with movement. The exhibition presents Lye’s kinesthetic approach to drawing and how the age-old concept of “doodling” underpins much of his work.

The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street. Open Wednesday, 12.00-18.00; Thursday, 12.00-20.00; Friday to Sunday 12.00-18.00. Until 15 and 8 June respectively.
drawingcenter.org

FILM FESTIVAL: WINNIPEG

Architecture + Design Film Festival

Running until Sunday, Winnipeg’s third Architecture + Design Film Festival is a modest but thoughtful selection of films on urban planning, art and architecture in locations ranging from Spain to Australia. Taking place at the Cinematheque theatre, US director Patrick Creadon’s If You Build It is showing on Saturday and documents designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller’s work with high-school students on a design-and-build project in the poorest area of North Carolina. On Sunday, catch Block P by Danish filmmaker Rikke Diemer, about Greenland’s largest residential building – considered an architectural disaster – that was demolished in 2012.

Cinematheque, 100 Arthur Street, see website for screening times. Until 4 May.
adff.ca

ART: LONDON

Spring Poppy Fields

Chinese performance artist, sculptor and painter Zhang Huan is almost synonymous with the rise of contemporary Chinese art. His most recent oil-on-linen paintings exhibited in Spring Poppy Fields resemble psychedelic coloured landscapes from afar, only to transform into Buddhist iconography interspersed with skulls upon closer examination. The series’ mix of light and dark influences alludes to both the obstacle-strewn path to Nirvana and also serves as a critique of popular consumerist culture.

Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00-18.00. Until 31 May.
pacegallery.com

MUSIC: GLOBAL

Calgary-based Canadian musician Chad VanGaalen occupies a few peculiar perches in the creative arts. Not only does he create beautifully dissonant-yet-melodic guitar pop records such as newie Shrink Dust but he’s also a highly sought after illustrator, animator and visual artist whose distinctive otherworldly imagery has to be seen to be believed (or understood). VanGaalen also makes warped electronica as Black Mold, produces other fantastic bands such as Women, and invents his own instruments from scratch at home but we only have around 31 words left and the record review hasn’t even started – such is the talent of one man. Track down a copy of Shrink Dust. It’ll make life better. Or fuller, at least.

‘Shrink Dust’ is available to buy now.
subpop.com/artists/chad_vangaalen

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