In recent years, Singapore has become somewhat of a hotspot for art exhibitions. The latest exhibit, Disini, will be held at Gilman Barracks until September 2018, with no entry charges!
Disini isn’t just a series of installations but a festival that also includes events held from time to time. The current installation features works from seven local and international artists.
Here are five of the outdoor installations currently on display and my thoughts on whether they’re worth a visit.
The most eye-catching installation of Disini is the Nenas Estate, which also serves as the heart of the exhibit. Contributed by fashion collective MASH-UP, it’s a nod to the former pineapple-shaped playground at Tampines.
If you’re entering Gilman Barracks from the main entrance, this will likely be the first exhibit that you spot.
With its quirky design and pastel pops of colour, this exhibit has already become a popular photo spot, appearing on the feeds of influencers like Daryl Aiden. It was also featured in a local clothing brand’s lookbook.
However, the exhibit isn’t just Instagram-friendly but also serves as a functional pavilion for events and performances! Keep a look out for announcements of upcoming events on Disini’s facebook page.
Located beside Nenas Estate is an installation by Anon Pairot from Thailand. The vibrant colours of this exhibit was what caught my eye.
I couldn’t resist reliving childhood memories of riding up and down on a see-saw, though those were typically a lot less colourful back in the day.
But, the flag that stood right in the middle of the see-saw was perplexing. Why did Anon Pairot include something that’s so obstructive to one’s field of vision?
Upon closer scrutiny, I realised that the flag was actually a screen grab. The structure is supposed to prompt the audience to think about cyberspace and one’s identity.
A short walk down from Nenas Estate stands Block 07, featuring a wall that has been painted by Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone. This particular wall stands out immediately against its other monotone counterparts.
Chromodynamica refers to the interaction of colours and in this case, showcases Felipe Pantone’s signature style of mixing colours with blacks. The colours are a mix of smooth ombre blends and jarring juxtapositions, resulting in a strong frame of contrasts.
What looks like a giant billboard of sorts is actually Dawn Ng’s contribution to Disini. This text-based installation is unique compared to its more visual counterparts.
I loved how the arrangement of the words echo the ping-ponging mentioned. By forcing the reader to jump from left to right to read the words in sequence, it mimics a game of ping-pong.
Here’s proof that art in the written form is equally as interesting!
If reading the title of this installation has left you perplexed and frustrated, that’s exactly how I felt when I saw it in real life. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to any of the structures and I couldn’t figure out what they represented. It bugged me to no end.
However, the writeup of the exhibit explains that sculptor Nabilah Nordin’s intention was indeed to have a series of a nonsensical structures. These are made of welded metal coated in cement and paint and inspired by each of the sounds in the installation’s title.
Think of it as a physical onomatopoeia, perhaps?
Nabilah Nordin wanted the audience to appreciate the uneven textures and surfaces as well as to take note of how they’re presented — commanding a large area of space.
Art is meant to provoke and to soothe and Disini has achieved both. Though I honestly couldn’t understand the interpretation behind some of the installations, I did appreciate how they were visually compelling.
Also, many of the exhibits are interactive, like the see-saw from No Country For Tomorrow, which adds a nice touch.
Since Gilman Barracks is located in a slightly obscure location, perhaps spend an evening exploring the exhibits and end it off with a meal at one of the restaurants and bars there?
A lot of walking will be involved since the installations are quite far apart so you’ll definitely work up an appetite. It’ll be a fun experience trying to decipher the meanings of certain exhibits and holding an artistic and intellectual debate with your friends!
Otherwise, some of the exhibits like the Nenas Estate will also make for a good photo backdrop!
Dates: 26 January 2018 – 30 September 2018
Price: Free entry
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