President's Young Talents show celebrates rising Singapore artists

President's Young Talents exhibition featuring commissioned works by Singapore's most promising artists under the age of 35, opens at the Singapore Art Museum's Queen Street annex, SAM at 8Q, on Friday.
President's Young Talents exhibition featuring commissioned works by Singapore's most promising artists under the age of 35, opens at the Singapore Art Museum's Queen Street annex, SAM at 8Q, on Friday. PHOTOS: BRITA KOETZOLD, DESMOND FOO , BERITA HARIAN, KAR-WAI WESLEY LOH

The eagerly anticipated President's Young Talents exhibition featuring commissioned works by Singapore's most promising artists under the age of 35, opens at the Singapore Art Museum's Queen Street annex, SAM at 8Q, on Friday.

It presents promising cutting-edge new commissions by multi-disciplinary artists Ang Song Ming, Bani Haykal, Ezzam Rahman and Ong Kian Peng and artist and film-maker Loo Zihan.

Driven by different conceptual interests, each artist offers a multi-layered approach as well as represents various aspects of Singapore contemporary art through works spanning disciplines of performance, new media, sculpture and sound.

So, while Ezzam Rahman creates fragile, miniature flowers from his own dead skin and raises unpalatable questions about matters of the flesh in his work Here's Who I Am, I Am What You See, Loo Zihan uses 5,000 books from the museum's resource room in his installation titled Of Public Interest: The Singapore Art Museum Resource Room. In making these materials accessible, the artist says he wants "to critically reflect on the role of the art museum as a center for the dissemination and transmission of knowledge".

Each of the works have been developed under the guidance of mentors from the arts community, making this Singapore's only mentoring and commissioning exhibition. The award, which was inaugurated in 2001 to recognise contemporary art practices of emerging local artists, is open to Singaporean artists below the age of 35.

One artist will be awarded a prize of $20,000. The announcement will be made at the award ceremony on Oct 21.

Says Dr Susie Lingham, director of the Singapore Art Museum: "The diverse concepts and mediums presented in this exhibition reflect the depth and rigour of contemporary art by our young Singaporean artists.

"In the milestone year of Singapore's Golden Jubilee, the President's Young Talents exhibition recognises and celebrates the nation's ever-evolving spirit of artistic creation and innovation."

deepikas@sph.com.sg