The National Arts Council (NAC) and Singapore Art Museum
(SAM) announced that Chun Kaifeng will receive the Singapore Art Exhibition 2009 (SAE 2009) Prize for his contemporary art installation piece "Hes Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sunday He Loves to Cry."
Kaifengs winning work was chosen by the SAE 2009 Judging Committee from 29 entries selected for the SAE, the main platform of the Singapore Art Show 2009. He will receive a S$50,000 grant which can be used for professional or capability development through residencies or training, and for the creation and/or presentation of bold, new projects and works.
To encourage public appreciation of, and engagement in, visual arts in Singapore, visitors to SAE 2009 were encouraged to vote for their favorite artwork through a Voters Prize. The S$5,000 cash prize will be awarded to Jason Wee for his installation, Self-Portrait (No More Tears Mr. Lee), which received the most number of nominations from visitors to the exhibition. One lucky member of the public, Stephanie Chan Xue Qing, was selected in a lucky draw to receive a S$500 DOME Café voucher for casting her vote for this work.
Kaifengs interest lies in the notion of private/public spaces. His drawings and meticulously crafted miniatures, work as psychological metaphors and speak of the need for individuality and freedom along with conflicting desires for security and relationship with community.
Kaifengs work, "Hes Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sunday He Loves to Cry," adopts the technology of the diorama, a three-dimensional or miniature model enclosed in a glass showcase in museums. Viewing the room through the window, the viewer is drawn by the clinical, even innocuous aesthetics of mainly grey and white. The room as a psycho-space reveals surprises for the curious viewer as hidden objects signify incongruity, even violence. The relationship between the various objects in the room allows for imaginative readings by the viewer.
Said Kaifeng: 'Hes Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sundays He Loves to Cry' conveys an anxiety concerning the aesthetization and anaesthetization of everyday life. The different objects in this work space represented by the limited chromatic range of colors, presents a certain psychologically-charged atmosphere. The work is meant as a reflection of the visual and material homogeneity of life in urbane Singapore. If one looks closer and observes the carefully orchestrated placement of extrinsic objects, one will be able to notice that the work hints at a sense of forlornness and a desire for transgression in a carefully controlled environment.
Kaifeng is currently studying at The Glasgow School of Art in UK, and plans to hold solo exhibitions in 2010. He said: SAE is a good platform for local artists to showcase their works in an institutional space. The curating is all encompassing and allows for young artists to exhibit alongside established artists. The resultant exhibition has a broad range of works from amateur to professional artists and this can serve as an indicator of the level of interest in the arts among all Singaporeans. Judging from the show there certainly is a significant number of emerging local talent. I believe they, like me, are encouraged by their participation in this exhibition. I am excited by this trend and I look forward to seeing more works from our local talent.
Kaifengs winning artwork received accolades from the SAE 2009 Judging Committee. Said Low Sze Wee, Chairman of the Committee: Kaifeng has created one of the most intriguing and well-conceived works in the exhibition a life-sized room filled with familiar, yet unfamiliar objects that we can only peer in from the outside. Through his use of minimal colors, precise placement of every single item and deliberate manner of controlling a viewers gaze, the artist has generated a psychologically-charged space that leaves the viewer with more questions than answers. His work also resonates with contemporary audiences at many levels, speaking eloquently of lost moments and anxieties stemming from the conditions of modern life.