Hour at the museum

Entity (2016).
Entity (2016).PHOTO: MONSTER GALLERY AND MULAN GALLERY

Age-old nursery rhymes, fairy tales and even contemporary Japanese literature are reframed and re-interpreted in The Art Of Reading exhibition, curated by Joseph Chiang of Monster Gallery together with Mulan Gallery. Artists were invited to create an artwork, drawing inspiration from their favourite book.

Entity (2016)

By Odelia Tang, graphite and ink on paper, 2.6x1.2m

This sprawling, visceral drawing imagines the book as an ethereal being and literally unfolds before the viewer. It is an embodiment of the life of the book, which speaks volumes about the time and effort needed to create a book, says the artist.

Palimpsest (2016)

By Sarah and Schooling, vintage book and silkscreen ink, 24x30x8cm

The graphic designers who worked on this were fascinated with the palimpsest, a manuscript that can be written on after earlier writing has been erased. They intend for this work to question what people are losing in a world where the reading of physical books is increasingly rare.

Humpty Dumpty Redux (2016)

By Sandy Ng, thread and needle, 30x25cm

The artist, who is also a mother, says her reading diet now consists mainly of children's literature. She created this work in reference to the popular nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty.

Two Face (2015)

By Aira Lim and Renn Lim, acrylic and ink on canvas, 120x91cm

This artwork melds the familiar No Face character from the Japanese anime film Spirited Away with the visage of the film's director Hayao Miyazaki. The artists, who are part of the family art collective holycrap.sg, are big fans of the movie.

Autonomy Of Reading (2016)

By Ong Lijie, mixed media, 23x23cm

This striking artwork of interlaced hands was inspired by the artist's reading of Gut Symmetries, a novel exploring human relationships and physics by British author Jeanette Winterson.

Neverland (2016)

By Lim Qi Xuan, paper and polymer clay, 23x15.5cm

This macabre artwork of a stack of dead fairies tucked into a hollowed-out book is based on the story of Peter Pan and Wendy by Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie. Says the artist: "It speaks about the loss of innocence, a heartbreaking but inevitable milestone in life."

Banned Books (2016)

By Joseph Chiang, six letterpresses using metal and wood types, 21x14.8cm each

This work is a tribute to literary classics, such as George Orwell's 1984, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and James Joyce' Ulysses, which have all been banned or censored before under different regimes.

A Boy Named Crow (2016)


PHOTOS: MONSTER GALLERY AND MULAN GALLERY

By Adeline Tan, riso print, edition of 10, 42x29.7cm

This seemingly grotesque menagerie was inspired by a scene in Japanese author Haruki Murakami's Kafka On The Shore, where the main character enters a forest and is engulfed by memories and hallucinations.

WHERE: 100 Pasir Panjang Road, Mulan Gallery's exhibition space @ Auxentios, 02-03 MRT: Pasir Panjang WHEN: Till April 1, 12.30 to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday and public holiday ADMISSION: Free INFO: Go to www.facebook.com/monstergallery

Lee Jian Xuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2016, with the headline 'Hour at the museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe