Arts Picks: Xinwei Che’s Holding Time, Idris Ali and rabbit works at Funan

Holding Time is an exhibition by Xinwei Che. PHOTO: XINWEI CHE

Holding Time

The community wall on Level Three of the Esplanade Mall has been newly filled with a kaleidoscope of images, each depicting a clay vessel or mound stained a different colour and cracking to various degrees.

This solo exhibition by Singapore- and Vancouver-based artist Xinwei Che is a meditation on time – how it erodes, contains and flows.

By mixing clay, water and medicinal pigments and observing how they interact over more than 40 hours, Che, a performance-installation artist, asks questions about care, labour and their futility that have become pertinent questions during the pandemic.

She says: “I’m always attending to materials that are changing. Through this, I practise stepping away from the rush of the everyday, and being in time more deeply and attentively.

“My actions sometimes appear futile. Clay that is painstakingly laid out returns to water to be recycled. Vessels that are filled with medicinal pigments are eroded by what they hold.”

The otherworldly shapes of the clay also remind viewers of the vast expanse of geological time – in which clay is eroded from the earth’s crust by wind and water over millenia – forcing passers-by to slow down.

Where: Level 3 Community Wall, Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue
MRT: Esplanade/City Hall
When: Till May 7
Admission: Free

Idris Ali: Hitam Putih

Cobbler by Idris Ali. PHOTO: MAYA GALLERY

Like its name suggests – Hitam Putih is Malay for black and white – this is an exhibition of monochromatic works.

While better known for his vibrant watercolour works capturing Singapore’s heritage architecture, veteran Singaporean artist Idris Ali is intentionally shown in a different light here.

More than 20 of his black-and-white works in ink, watercolour and acrylic have been curated so that his strokes come alive without the distraction of colour.

The result is something more intimate, particularly felt in his portraits. His images of shophouses and old kampungs in Geylang and Kranji are also awash with nostalgia.

Several portraits of his fellow artists – including the late Abdul Ghani Hamid, S. Mohdir and Rohaini Ismail – are exhibited here for the first time.

Where: Maya Gallery, 57 Genting Lane
MRT: Potong Pasir
When: Till Feb 6, noon to 6pm
Admission: Free

Creative Intersections: In the Year of the Rabbit

Artist Yen Phang’s partnership with The Green Capsule PHOTO: FUNAN

This is a collaboration between Funan mall and Chan + Hori art gallery, with 12 works created by artists inspired by the rabbit, the zodiac animal this Chinese New Year.

Six are partnerships between artists and retail brands. 

Former lawyer-turned-artist Yen Phang has made small soil sculptures, which are interspersed among the various plants at terrarium specialist The Green Capsule’s store on the fourth level.

The collection, titled Does The Rabbit Dream Of The Artist?, takes the form of the artist’s fingers and toes, as well as tiny rabbits. It alludes to his parents’ agricultural background, and is an attempt at reconnecting viewers with soil and greenery.

Also teaming up are playwright Nabilah Said and Swiss sewing machine brand Bernina, which has a store on the third level.

Nabilah has created poems and an installation made of embroidered fabric. According to the event catalogue, two poems – written at an angle on a column – can be read separately, although a third poem emerges when they are read together – as if pulling “the metaphorical bunny from a hat”.

There are also six large rabbit sculptures by artists, including Dawn Ang and Avril Ang, found throughout the mall. They are inspired by the mall’s colours and themes of Play, Chic, Taste, Fit, Tech and Craft.

Where: Funan, 107 North Bridge Road
MRT: City Hall
When: Till Feb 5, 10am to 10pm
Admission: Free

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