From 28 May to 14 August 2022 at SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, activate your senses to interact with ubiquitous but often-overlooked material, paper at Superfluous Things: Paper. Unveiled in time for the June school holidays parents and their children can discover contemporary art together for some great family fun.
Superfluous Things: Paper
An exhibition spread across two spaces for the young and young at heart, Superfluous Things: Paper highlights the work of contemporary artists as storytellers and showcases various works that demonstrate the long tradition of paper manipulation. As part of the museum’s commitment to sustainability, up to 80% of the material used is paper-based, a renewable resource.
Gallery 2’s Superfluous Things: Paper Artworks
Just a Little at a Time
Just a Little at a Time is a self-initiated project by Cheryl Teo, a Malaysian-born Singaporean artist who specialises in creating intricate paper sculptures and tactile illustrations. The project was a personal challenge to make a paper sculpture the size of a matchbox each day, each taking about five to six hours to complete. The 100 Days Project is Cheryl’s relentless pursuit of excellence in her craft and visitors can admire the various craft-based media that embrace the memory of play.
Joli Jolan, a word coined and derived from the Javanese term ijol ijolan, references ideas of making an exchange— to swap, to trade and/or to replace. Artist Jumaadi’s artwork seems random but upon a closer look, it reveals a personal iconography of human and organic motifs, where natural and spiritual worlds converge. Recurring motifs include the buffalo, tree of life, rootless tree, and tree-less roots and the style of the art is partially influenced by wayang kulit, shadow-puppet plays originating in Java and Bali.
Land of Fairy Tales
Fascinated by traditional Chinese toys and festive decorations made of paper since young, artist Li Hongbo reinvents and creates kinetic paper works, which elegantly expand, contract and retract. The Land of Fairy Tales features an imaginary map of the world where continents are constructed from layers of paper meticulously glued together in a honeycomb-like structure by hand. Each structure can be laid flat, twisted or stretched. This beautiful large-scale installation of colourful malleable continents subtly reflects the geopolitics of borders and boundaries as active forces and resources in international and domestic political, social, and economic relations.
A collaboration between Singapore-based contemporary art and design collective, PHUNK and Keiichi Tanaami, Eccentric City is an imaginary floating city that is constructed of tatebanko or Japanese paper dioramas. This traditional Japanese craft was popular in the late Edo period and the Meiji period and caught the eye of Keiichi Tanaami who then subsequently introduced the style to PHUNK for this collaboration in 2010. The cityscape is populated by PHUNK’s black-and-white carnivalesque theme-park universe on one side and Tanaami’s psychedelic dreamscapes on the other. The chosen images are specifically chosen to reflect personal experiences.
100ish Meaningless Statements
A collection of 100(ish) sentences that communicates a spectrum of meanings and provocations to the reader, this exhibition meditates on, explores, and subverts the uses and functions of paper in our lives, as well as the various meanings ascribed to it. The artist Nabilah Said is a Singapore-based playwright, editor and artist who works with text as material across different forms and lets the paper in her artwork become a “placeholder for the self, full of randomness, emotion, and life.”
The Engine Room’s Superfluous Things: Paper Artworks
This extension of the exhibition invites audiences to activate their imagination and curiosity through play.
Visitors can create and tell their own shadow-play story with Jumaadi’s paper cut-outs; explore perceptions of scale with Cheryl Teo’s miniature sculpture, adapted and supersized; and get up close to the world of PHUNK in the form of a giant pop-up book.
There will also be programmes such as artist-led papercraft and creative writing workshops, shadow-play performances, and upcoming editions of SAMily Funday, which feature fun-filled afternoons of art activities for families.
For more information on the exhibitions, visit the link here.