High-tech creations on a shoestring budget

An exhibition titled Adaptations aims to show that one does not need a lot of money to marry art and technology

Murasaki Penguin's Anna Kuroda (centre) and David Kirkpatrick (left), and curator Ong Kian Peng (right), with the installation Motion Theory.
Murasaki Penguin's Anna Kuroda (centre) and David Kirkpatrick (left), and curator Ong Kian Peng (right), with the installation Motion Theory. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Technology can be a medium for the creation of art and one does not need a big budget for that.

That is the premise of an ongoing group exhibition at Gillman Barracks.

From a two-player video game to an installation in which visitors can "compose" music by walking down an aisle flanked by speakers, the works at the show explore the intersection between art and technology.

The show at the arts enclave off Alexandra Road, titled Adaptations, features works by 11 artists. It runs till Saturday.

Curator Ong Kian Peng, 37, co-founder of independent art space Supernormal, says: "We are looking at how contemporary artists who didn't start by using technology are bringing technology into their works.

"(There is a) shift from a completely non-technology practice to adapting and adopting technology in their work," adds Ong, who is also an adjunct lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.


  • WHERE: Gillman Barracks, Block 1 Lock Road, 01-01, and Block 9 Lock Road, 03-21

    WHEN: Till Saturday, noon to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday)


    INFO: www.artweek.sg/events/adaptations

One of the installations, called Particulate, features mechanically controlled blinds programmed to open and shut at timed intervals.

Then, there is Motion Theory, a computer-programmed kinetic sculpture inspired by the idea of a hyperboloid and the movement of a dancer's neck, wrist and ankles. A hyperboloid is a solid or surface having plane sections that are hyperbolas, ellipses or circles.

The abstract, shape-shifting structure - in which rows of elastic blue ribbons stretched across a frame are twisted in different directions - was conceived by Murasaki Penguin in collaboration with Ong.

The former is an Australian-based group comprising dancer-choreographer Anna Kuroda and sound and multimedia artist David Kirkpatrick.

Also on display is a lunar-inspired work called Sound Waves Of Empty Seas by 29-year-old visual artist Melissa Tan, who worked on it with Ong.

It comprises three slow-rotating metal discs whose surfaces have been laser-cut to evoke the cratered surface of the moon.

As the discs, which resemble vinyl records, rotate, their laser-cut indentations take turns to interlock with a music "comb" - the sort used in music boxes - resulting in the occasional musical note.

Art technician Jodi Cheung, 30, is presenting a two-player video game called Adventures Of Fortune: Run Cat Run - a playful take on the idea of team-building.

Visitors - two at a time - sit under an umbrella and push buttons that control the video-game characters that are projected in front of them.

During the course of the game, uncooperative behaviour will cause the umbrella to start closing.

Ong says with the exhibition, he is "trying to establish the fact that technology can be a poetic medium".

"Technology (in art) is not something that is limited to high-budget productions in which you have to hire scientists or engineers.

"It could be something anybody is working on."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline High-tech creations on a shoestring budget. Subscribe