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The opening reception for “Mystery Island” was held on 9 March, debuting a new collection of hotly anticipated works from artist Mojoko aka Steve Lawler. Read more about the artist spotlight on Mojoko in Harper’s Bazaar and in our recent blog entry.

 

 

The hang took place a day earlier and we snapped some shots before the crowd came in:

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From left: Generation Gap, Burn Burn Burn, Mysterious Island

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Mirror Man and Spirit Animal

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DJ JINMART showing his support in nautical stripes against The Witchhunter General and Who Killed Laura Palm

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At the backroom from left: Goldrush, Vampire Weekend, The Magicians Tomb, In The Shadow Of The Palms and Temple Of Dhoom.

There were also folios to browse the print editions of the framed ceramics.

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Mojoko also brought the actual screen-printing frame for Mirror Man – paint stained and all

And impossible to miss: the Jalan Bizarre Sculpture sits among our retail shelves with a miniature witchmaster general seated at his right hand.

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Made from wood and impaled with steel nails, JB has his share of admirers

Guests began to stream in from 7pm…

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Artist Mojoko speaks with a few firstcomers

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Family support! 🙂

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DJs JINMART and Ginette Chittick getting the party started with a curated set of Tarantino-inspired tunes!

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With their ladeled cocktail – Taste Of The Orient – made specially for the reception by the good people at Kite!

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Centre of attention

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Mojoko with our director, Sue-Shan!

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We also had delicious heritage snacks thought up Chef Joseph and the kitchen team! With the likes of fried risotto balls on sayur lodeh, pork floss crostinis, chicken satay skewers and rice krispies…

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Cheryl from Articulate Consulting in an animated moment!

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Taking the conversation outdoors

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Even his shorts are stained that blue!

It was a lovely evening and we want to thank everyone for taking the time to come down! Mystery Island runs from 10 March to 10 May so do swing by SPRMRKT to check out the work up close!

Thanks again to Cheryl from Articulate Consulting for co-curating another great show 🙂

Contributing writer: Hui Li

 

 

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The opening reception for “My Tokyo State Of Mind” was a RSVP only party held on 14 January 2016, with invites sent out online and via our event page.

Tokyo-State-of-Mind-EDM-Final.jpgPreparations were already underway the day before as we worked with Cheryl of Articulate Consulting to arrange all of the work on our walls.

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“My Tokyo State Of Mind” is a collection of 43 ink portraits ranging from pop icons…

 

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and pin-up girls…

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to prints drawn from nature and myths.

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Lucky Guns finding a snug place on our retail shelves

All done by the end of the day and ready for launch night!

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Though Mr. Fix could not grace us with his presence, he was very much there with us in spirit through this clip he made specially for the exhibition.

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Ceiling projection!

The evening began with a little primping, with help from Bobbie and her wonderful crew at The MakeUp Roomimage1 2.JPG

Ice cold craft beers courtesy of Eastern Craft  tabled and ready for clinking.DSC_6211

Assorted cream puffs by Amiral Patisserie decorated with a nod to Jap Pop and the artwork!

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DJs Ginette Chittick and JINMART warming up the house

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The first of the guests arriving and taking a look at the backroom hangs

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Beers beginning to flow as more guests arrive

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Serving up housemade kamikazes

 

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Taking home digital copies 🙂

Modern Asian snacks by Chef Joseph were so popular we didn’t manage to take a picture of the grilled risotto 😦

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Egg & Roe Crostini

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Mixed Mushroom and White Truffle Oil Crostini

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Chad Potato Salad with Mayo & ‘Togarashi’

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The night ensued with some poring over the portraits…

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Rock ‘n’ Roll legend David Bowie’s passing 4 days earlier made these ‘Rebel Rebel’ prints all the more poignant.

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Bump-ins and getting acquainted… DSC_6272.jpgDSC_6509DSC_6463

Smiles for the camera…

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Our resident geishas with the amazing Sae of Amiral Patisserie

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Our director Sue-Shan with Cheryl from Articulate Consulting

Not forgetting the outfits and our subtly applied geisha rock theme…

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And these game poses!

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Thank you all for coming down and we hope you guys had fun because we hella did! More photos from the night can be found on our Facebook page.

For more information about the exhibition and art for sale, write to us at contactus@sprmrkt.com.sg.

“My Tokyo State of Mind” runs from 15 January to 6 March at SPRMRKT so if you didn’t manage to swing by on launch night, it’s not too late!

Contributing writer: Hui Li

MY TOKYO STATE OF MIND

Artist: Zane Fix / Curators: Articulate Consulting & SPRMRKT

15 Jan – 6 Mar 2016

We’re all getting pretty excited about the upcoming launch next Thursday and here, we bring you closer to the wonderful world of this one kool kat:

Q: Your dad was a professional musician and you were once in a rock and roll band, could you tell us more about your band and why you decided to move on from music? 

Well, I was working as a professional musician for several years.  I worked as a sideman on the bass for some of the most popular and successful pop/rock groups in the 80’s, touring the world in a way that is not really done anymore, since people don’t buy records anymore and the arena gigs are not really a regular part of the business. Then I played bass and guitar with some of the famous old timers from the 50’s era during their last hurrah tours; that was really great because I got to meet and work with the guys I grew up listening to as a kid!  After that I was in two nationally successful glam rock style groups, Lovemaker and then Starr which culminated in a major recording contract.  However, by 2001, the bottom all but dropped out in the music business, particularly in the rock genres that were my niche, so, utilizing my talents and particular interest in pop art and Japanese block printing, I reinvented myself as a visual artist.  Overall, one heavy trip!

 

Q: Do you still play any instrument in your free time? Would you be able to share a recording? 

I play music a lot, though I haven’t played in clubs for over 5 years.  I play piano, guitar, and drums these days. Here’s a little bit of rock n roll for ya!:

 

 

Q: Do you listen to any music while creating art? 

I never listen to music when I am doing my art…I work to the music in my head.

Q: You mentioned in another interview that your mom wanted you to take up architecture and that’s what you did. Did you find the degree useful in achieving what you’re doing now? Would you have studied something else? 

You have to remember that I studied architecture 40 years ago.  When I was in school, we did all the drawings by hand; old school drafting, with layers of precise layouts and measurements, before final drawings in ink were prepared.  Very time consuming, and a great lesson in discipline.  I utilize the same techniques when I prepare my original artwork, and all that discipline (which is involved in being a musician, too) is ingrained in my brain.  That is the key to what I do as a pop artist.


Q: It seems that both your parents were influences in your life. What does your mom do? 

Before I was born my Mom was in advertising art; Madison avenue stuff.  She is 84 years old now, and pretty much does whatever she wants!

Q: We had a pop up show of your work a couple of months back last year and it sold very well. Did you know you had fans in Singapore? 

I guess I’m finding that out.  Since you guys began promoting this exhibition, I have been getting several notes from people that live there.  It’s pretty cool.  I guess the key is that if people like the work, they will buy it, and it will become known by more people. The better it sells, the sooner I can get there!

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A pop up and 5 day exhibition at SPRMRKT in July 2015

Q: Hailing from one of the more exciting boroughs in New York, Brooklyn, do you see yourself living anywhere else outside of the city? 

I guess I am a true New Yorker.  As of now, I think I’ll stay where I am.

Q: Have you been to Japan? What about Japan did you enjoy the most? 

I have been to Japan many times, and spent some extended time there exploring woodblock printing and sumi-e painting.  I guess my favorite part was Kyoto in all it’s splendor, in every season.

Q: At SPRMRKT, we’re a lifestyle cafe serving all day breakfast, brunch, salads, sandwiches, cakes and more. What are some of your favourite food/cuisine? 

I like different kinds of foods.  Maybe my favorite cuisine is Italian.  I also love cooking, and am pretty good at it, if I say so myself.
 Q: Would you be able to share with us what you like to cook?  
I love to make a fresh tomato sauce.  I start with olive oil, plenty of garlic, peppers (red, orange, or yellow) & anchovies.  As that mix is lightly frying up, I add some fresh parsley, oregano, and basil.  Next comes the fresh plum tomatoes (seeded and chopped). Then the juice of a whole lime, more fresh parsley, oregano and basil; cover and simmer for a while, then turn off the fire and let it sit for a while.  Later, I make whatever pasta I’m using, and let the sauce cook a bit more during that process, adding a bit more fresh herbs and a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper. Serve with generous amount of grated Romano cheese. Another simple sauce is olive oil, lots of garlic, a bunch of anchovies, lime, and a bunch of fresh parsley; I call it “the Al Pacino”; very, very Brooklyn!! I can eat that at least 3 times a week!

Q: You did a commission for a food court. Please tell us more about that. 

That was one of several commissions I did last year.  It was for a creperie (Bar Suzette) by Grand Central station.  I have done work for this company before, and the owners and I understand each other.  Of course the pieces were pretty damn big, and were printed digitally, mounted and laminated.  In the end, they came out great and I think I created a very recognizable set of graphics for the location.  It is interesting, because I do many commercial commissions including restaurant decor, cd jackets, logo designs, portraits, etc…and once they are done, I rarely ever see them again!!

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Q: Any new works in the pipeline for 2016 that you’d like to share with us? 

A couple, but best not talk about them until I start doing them!

Q: Although we won’t get to see you here in Singapore, we’re certainly feeling the zeitgeist of My Tokyo State Of Mind. Would you be able to send us a self-portrait/selfie imagining yourself in Singapore? 

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Thank you!

Longing to be Knotted together FA

“Don’t wait, do.

You can spend your energy to complain about the opportunities you don’t have, or focus on creating and making things happen.

This is what I am.

I started from scratch, and I consider this as a chance…

My name is MEGA for a reason.

It’s not much about other people.

It’s a constant competition with myself.

I want to do more and to become better every day of my life.”

– MEGA

Born in France and currently living in Bali, MEGA is an artist who has chosen to live a life on his own terms, resurrecting a deep respect for the art of illustration after a life-changing motorcycle accident. Read more here.

“Longing to be Knotted Together” was borne from a personal near-death experience, after which the artist decided to relate his personal pain and anguish in a way only he understood best – through visual expressions of colour, imagery, musings, pop-culture, and his unwavering love for life. The trauma and energy which resulted from the accident allowed him to open his heart and mind in order to simultaneously preserve and reveal the raw elements from both his mental and physical universes within the inner workings of his mind.

Now at SPRMRKT, Singapore marks the end of a heroic and extensive touring exhibition, hailing previously from an epic adventure across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Paris, Berlin and Marseille.

 

 

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 1, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 3, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 3, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 4, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 5, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 6, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Framed works greet guests as they enter the space.

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 7, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

 

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Black and Red screen-print #90/100 framed and displayed against our cement walls.

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 8, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 9, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 10, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

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Close-up of the numbered, signed, and embossed black and pink screen-print.

The masked creatures featured in each print are part of an on-going art series he calls ‘La Société Des Griffeurs’ that continues to string together his entire body of work.

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Longing To Be Knotted Together 11, 50 x 70cm (unframed), #81/100 – #90/100

 

 

 

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Adjusting during the hang.

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Framed pieces in the inner section of the space.

The series of eleven screen-prints are limited edition, with only ten pieces of each design remaining. Each 2-colour hand pulled silk-screen poster is printed on heavy-stock art paper and every #90/100 edition is currently framed and on show at SPRMRKT.

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MEGA and his wife could only stop by SPRMRKT very briefly…

To find out more about MEGA: I Love MEGA

Special thanks to Articulate Consulting for helping put together a striking show and congratulations MEGA on your first solo exhibition in Singapore.

SECRET INGREDIENT

Artist: Nicola Anthony / Curator: Daniela Beltrani

15 Oct – 30 Nov 2015

Q: Nicola, let’s start with what you’re going to do at the final performance at SPRMRKT on 27 Nov. 

NA: For the final performance I will be transposing more secrets to the window installation to give an airing to the confessions gathered during the final days of Secret Ingredient. I will be spending time focusing on the performative act of writing, sometimes writing in mirror image as I stand on the other side of the glass, other times writing upside down. Through the process of this exhibition I have become very used to writing on a different plane to what is usual.

Q: The entire exhibition has been captivating from collecting confessions before the opening reception of Secret Ingredient to your collaborative performance acts with curator, Daniela. Both of you created quite a spectacle two Sundays ago. Daniela, was this the first time you performed a piece in a public place? How long were you seated outside SPRMRKT? Nicola, could you describe your first experience or how you felt?

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Anonymous Secrets. Collaboration & performance by Nicola Anthony & Daniela Beltrani. Photo credit: SPRMRKT, October 2015

DB: Thank you. We are glad about the positive response. No, I have performed in many public spaces in Singapore and abroad, that is an essential part of my performance practice (next week I’ll be in Melaka and perform in an abandoned/deconsecrated church). Anonymous words was first performed in June 2013 in a house destined to be torn down (that’s where I met Nicola! 🌸). We were @ SPRMRKT for only 45 minutes because of time restraints, but we could easily do as much as we did at AAF (105 minutes) and I dare say even more. Nicola agreed with me. We intend to continue the series…

NA: Bringing Anonymous Secrets to the public that weekend was a really intense and wonderful experience. By eliminating our other senses, we became hypersensitive to the minute sounds of people nearby, watching, breathing, considering if they should join in. And when someone steps close to whisper to us, the sense of touch also comes into play as hands are held and secrets are shared.

I have been collecting words through the Word Collection Project for the last ten years, which has been a fascinating journey into the human mind. It has been an exciting evolution of this ongoing practice to collect confessions for SECRET INGREDIENT. Through working together, the opportunity to bring together our two projects arose and so even though the exhibition is coming to an end soon, it has also been the start of an ongoing collaborative performance series that I am really looking forward to continuing!

DB: YES! The main idea is to keep eyes and mouth closed, so that our ego does not interfere in the process of unburdening of the sitter. How many times we offered solutions to friends who perhaps only needed to be heard and not judged? So words spoken in intimacy by a stranger become words written by us, thus collected and acknowledged.

Q: Does the idea of collaborating then become a source of inspiration or just a tool to help you express your ideas? What was it like working with one another?

NA: It is both. I think new ideas such as the performance and the Artist Multiple grew organically because of our collaboration as artist and curator, and it creatively expanded our working relationship to encapsulate more. Collaboration can help you push boundaries. For example I am on new territory with performance, and Daniela is pushing her own boundaries with more physical making processes involved in creating ‘Box of Secrets’*.

For the actual roles as artist and curator, yes we each have our own distinct areas here, but I also saw my work take influence from our dialogue, and simultaneously her curation was shaped in part through my use of sea, waves, organic lines – resulting in the flowing hang of the artworks as they undulate across the space.

*Box of Secrets is currently being sold at SPRMRKT for SGD 29. Limited in production and while stocks last.  

Q: So some of the best ideas evolve organically between artist and curator. What other successful collaborations have u done before? Would u be able to share some of the less successful ones too or ones where u felt u needed more control as an artist ?

NA: I have tried many kinds. Most recently I created a sculpture which was also produced through a collaborative process with the community – working with over 5000 local children for them all to become part of a light sculpture called Ouroboros (Marina Bay, Singapore, 2015). I know they inspired me and I think I inspired them too!

I have worked on projects with many other artists through our Edible Art Movement projects. In this I was guiding the overall concept and inviting other artists to bring their creativity into the installation. I have also collaborated directly with visual artists which brings the partnership right into the heart of the creative and visual process.

DB: For me it was not so much as pushing boundaries as blurring them to the point that the experience is no longer about art and ego but life and humanity and spills over those boundaries altogether. It has also allowed me to appreciate Nicola more not only as a sensitive artist but a sensitive human being. The quiet and meditative approach of the stamping has been a grounding experience; I only wished that I had done it more in her presence whilst she was making her mark on the boxes. As for the performance it has opened the door to standalone series which branches/ complements her research into words and my practice in company of a visual artist (since often my performance art practice can be quite solitary.)

In terms of curator-artist, I enjoy the organic and intense relationship particularly when it entails the artist making new works. The exchange was extremely healthy and even and I felt we both learnt something. I have had one unsuccessful experience of working with an artist whose ego was often in the way and despite the exhibition not showing signs of strains, on a human level it felt like a very contracting experience.

Q: Thanks for sharing Daniela. Secret Ingredient was certainly a hit with our audience.

Coming back to the exhibition at SPRMRKT. Nicola, you created a site specific installation, taking references from the historic Telok Ayer neighbourhood, such as rice and joss sticks to form the basis of your work on sewing hoops. We’re curious to see where Secret Ingredient would appear next. Are there plans to recreate Secret Ingredient elsewhere?

NA: In terms of the artworks, many of them have sold, so the exhibition complete was truly a one-time event. My remaining artworks will still be available for purchase and may be continuing their journeys into future exhibitions too.

Meanwhile the secrets themselves seem rather too precious to replicate on another window. I feel they were entrusted to me specifically for this exhibition. I will be archiving them on my website so they are still available for reference, and perhaps this archive would work well as a physically printed archive or publication in future to add to the outcomes of Secret Ingredient.

Q: You were also found collecting confessions at the Affordable Art Fair this year and similarly carefully executed them on one of the glass windows at the main entrance. You even attracted some attention where one passerby commented that your work reminded her of Yoko Ono. Was Wish Tree a source of inspiration to your work at all? Where do other sources of inspiration come from?

NA: I love the idea of wish trees. Coincidentally there is one outside the 170 year old Singapore Yu Huang Gong temple on Telok Ayer, which I added some wishes to during my walks around the area whilst making the Atlas Series artworks.

Yoko Ono’s work often has a poetic side, so her use of words and means of engaging the public has often inspired and influenced me. I think a key conceptual difference with the confessions is that instead of promising the wishes would be unread and then buried, I am promising the confessions will be ‘aired’, given a chance to be shared with others, and perhaps leading to a sense catharsis or at least a chance for the individual to address them. In the end quite a few confessions were indeed confessed wishes, but many others were looking to the past rather than looking to the future.

S: Were there any confessed wishes you might like to share with us which you thought were beautiful? Daniela, did u give one? 

NA: (with reference to the confessions collected at SPRMRKT) Oh, so many amazing ones! I was genuinely moved, the whole spectrum of human emotion is there. Some were quite poetic and reflective – “True self awareness is the understanding that we are all characters in someone else’s dream”; some show a wonderful moment of goodness in life – “I have found the one that completes me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”; while others were poignantly beautiful in their honesty and the depth of what they revealed – “I’m sorry and I miss you everyday. I do love you, my aborted child”.

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Taking confessions at SPRMRKT by Nicola Anthony. Photo credit: SPRMRKT

Some of my favorites were from children who may not have so many dark secrets yet, what a wonderful thing to have a confession of “I love you mummy”. In the end we can see this very essential human element of family filtering through to adult confessions in both positive and negative ways: “I was lied to, out of love, and out of other people’s human weaknesses, during my upbringing…” or “Mum I miss you everyday, you were my best friend and I never knew how truly unconditional your love was until I had my own child. I wish you could meet her now.”

DB: (with reference to the performance act for Anonymous Secrets at SPRMRKT) For me it was the children’s ones that struck me and belied timid or unspoken and innocent desires: “I want a kitten” or “l never kissed a girl” but l admit that the openness of the space only offered a short and language-based sharing. People never sat and only shared in passing, standing. Unlike what l experienced in 2013, where the privacy of the space allowed the sitters not only to verbalise (one even spoke to me in Spanish) but also to cry, to touch me, to hug me, to hold hands with me. Then, it felt a more complex engagement than words, which is why I often rely to silent performances so that I can encourage the audience to abandon intellect and words and retrieve the language of the soul more accurate and authentic than words could ever be…

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Anonymous Secret. Collaboration with Nicola Anthony at SPRMRKT. Photo credit: Luca, 15 Nov 2015

Q: Do you cook?

NA: Yes! I love to cook and have lots of Asian recipes passed down from my father’s side, and English recipes passed on from my mother’s side.

Q: Would u share any one of them with us?

NA: My family is very ‘fusion’ in a rather unusual way, and I am constantly finding things that have been brought over from Asia and then anglicised, for example when my family first arrived in the uk Chinese style noodles were not possible to buy, so I have a family recipe for a curry with a fresh coconuty/tamarind/limeleaf flavour but served over spaghetti – obviously very wrong but I wouldn’t eat it any other way!

But as we are in Asia now I will share a European tradition we have every Christmas. In the 16th to 19th century, salt beef was very popular in the English navy as a way of preserving food. My family doesn’t eat beef so each year we buy a big joint of lamb, squeeze a massive sack of lemons, add a lot of salt and preserve the raw meat in it, before roasting it after a few days.

Q: And since we’re on the topic of food, there seems to be recurring associations to food in your work and you even founded an influential club called The Edible Art Movement. What does food mean to you?

NA: Ironically while you would think this comes from my English relatives, this recipe comes from the Anglo-Indian side of my family, where the British presence in India many years ago had an influence on the cooking traditions. So food and family and history are very interlinked for me. For example my Nan’s Bread and Butter Pudding, the recipe for which originated in London during the Second World War. Food is really a big influence in my life – and conceptually it links with history, geography, environment, science, biology, personal memory, cultural memory, the senses… It’s a very rich subject to devour. This is why myself and my fellow co-founders began to develop creative art events as the Edible Art Movement.

Q: We hope to try that curry spaghetti and bread n butter pudding some day. Any final thoughts about your show at SPRMRKT?

NA: It has been a fantastic time. An experience where the public really responded in a heartfelt way, surprising and moving me with their confessions and secrets, which shaped the artworks I produced. The SPRMRKT team has been wonderful – embracing some very experimental ideas, enabling a platform for live art, installation on the window, performance art, the launch of our Artists’ Multiple, and audience interaction – all within one exhibition! And of course it has been a fantastic period of development for me, especially with Daniela’s valuable guidance and inspiration as both curator and collaborator.

So from me, just a big thank you to everyone who made this possible, to the public for their response and support, and to all the new collectors who purchased artworks.

***

 

ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW

“More than 15 minutes” takes a current approach on Warhol’s famous expression “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. In social media’s world of instant fame and celebrity, this phrase has never been as omnipresent as it is today. “More than 15 minutes” is thus about slowing down, taking time to appreciate the present and discover the real personalities around us.

A travelling exhibition by french illustrator MEGA has finally landed on our sunny island and we’re stoked to be his final stop. Here’s a glimpse of the artist before we exhibit his works from 2nd December.

1) MEGA. Hello. That’s an eye-catching name. Why did you decide to call yourself MEGA? 

I spent most of my teenage years painting the walls of my city and the trains in my area. Back then graffiti wasn’t considered something cool like “street art” is today. Graffiti had a lot to do with having a big ego and a lot of self confidence. After I started to transition to illustration, I changed my name to Mega. It’s both a reference to megalomaniac attitudes and the megabytes files I was creating on my computer.

2) Who or what inspires you? 

I don’t look at other people’s work as a source for inspiration. I have been drawing for most of my life  and I rely to my style and skills to explore new ideas. I like to work in series. I create stories and then start working around it. I often start by writing down my ideas on paper before I even think about drawing it.

3) Have you been to Singapore before? What did you not expect to see before coming here?

10 years ago I relocated my studio in Bali, Indonesia. Since then I came to Singapore many times. On my first visit I took pictures of street art from The Killer Gerbil. A few years later I met the guy and we had some beers and a lot of laughs. Cool guy. More than anything in Singapore, I love the “Three Sisters” Claypot Rice in Chinatown Complex.

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4) We understand that you currently reside in Bali. How long have you been there and why have you chosen Indonesia as your home and studio? 

Bali offers a center position to explore South East Asia. The island has a lot of visitors from around the world and is a melting pot of cultures and influences. Most importantly I live in a small village, away from the tourism craze. Endless rice fields and luxurious vegetation are all around me. Living in a village allows me to fully focus on my work, while being able to experience the beautiful Balinese culture in a peaceful and quiet environment.

5) What’s your favourite indonesian food? 

Earlier this year I married my long-time Indonesian girlfriend. Her cooking is definitively my favorite Indonesian food!

6) Favourite place/s to hang out in Bali? 

What I like about Bali is the versatility. I love to walk by myself in the rice fields, with nothing but a green carpet waving around me. Later on that day, I can join other western people in a fancy bar facing the ocean, or go with some Balinese friends to a Hindu ceremony in my village. Five times per week I also train in boxing at “Bali Muay Thai and MMA” with pro MMA fighter Anthony Leone.

7) Coming back to your exhibition in Singapore. Why have you decided to hold your debut exhibition at lifestyle cafe, SPRMRKT? 

I love healthy food, tasty art and local life. SPRMRKT combines it all and seems like the perfect place to exhibit my artworks.

8) There’s a strong visual identity running through your work in this exhibition. Tell us more about how Longing To Be Knotted Together came together and the zeitgeist in a travelling show. 

A couple of years ago I had a bad motorbike accident. I ended up in a coma for several days and I was pretty much dead for a while. After I regained my consciousness I decided to work on a new series. I drew elements from my mental and physical universe and tied everything together. Take a closer look to share my love for travelling, graffiti, wild life and more. This series is also the introduction of masked characters from an ongoing art series I call La Société Des Griffeurs.

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9) What can we expect to see at that show? 

Singapore marks the end of an extensive touring exhibition. Before coming to SPRMRKT, the artworks were presented in a series of solo shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Paris, Berlin and Marseille. Come to the show to discover the hand-pulled 2-colors screen-prints on art paper. Please note that only 10 copies of each artwork will be available. Of course, these are all numbered and signed!

10) You started off in 1998 as a graffiti artist, then an acclaimed art director to a publisher and a professional artist today. What were some of your best creative concepts throughout your life? 

After my early graffiti years, I felt the need to reach a larger audience with my images. Back in the days, painting walls or trains wouldn’t interest anybody except other writers. I wanted to share my images with more people, so I started to publish my illustrations in magazines. Soon enough, I was hired as an art director for a urban trendy magazine. For the next 6 or 7 years, I worked for several fashion and lifestyle magazines in France and in Australia. In the meantime I kept doing illustrations for publications around the world. After I stopped working as an art director, I started to exhibit my personal works in art galleries. The images I present during my exhibition are an opportunity to share a personal perspective on life.

11) What would you do if you didn’t have a computer, a pen and paper? 

I would take a brush of course! Take my brush and I would turn a piece of wood into a device to draw with natural pigments. There is always a way. The tools don’t make the artist.

12) Before we go, as we won’t be having an opening reception for your show, could we get a quick self-portrait and sketch of yourself? 

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A performance & installation art exhibition by British artist Nicola Anthony was successfully launched on 14th October. The show was beautifully curated by Daniela Beltrani and organised by SPRMRKT and 20twenty.

Nicola at work; using joss sticks burning rice paper.

FROM A DISTANCE, seemingly innocent lines will build up at intervals during the exhibition. On closer inspection, the passer-by will realise that the lines are constituted of words in an endless and spellbinding flow that will link up with the artworks exhibited inside. These words are the authentic secret ingredients: public confessions collected by the artist in a meaningful call-out for non-judgmental engagement with a virtual or real, signed or anonymous public.

IMG_4540Nicola’s artistic practice has been informed by the spoken and written word since its very beginning. With Secret Ingredient Nicola invites us to sensitively skim through the surface of the words and go deeper. From her personal knowledge of the power of secrets kept and released, she invites the public to liberate such burdens in a process that could very likely open doors to a cathartic experience and thus to acceptance, forgiveness, hope and regeneration. SPRMRKT’s belief “Things Shared Are For The Better Good” truly corresponds with Nicola’s site-specific installation: intangible, not sellable, not priceable, yet invaluable, because dealing in the only and true currency of our life, our awareness.

DSC01256Upon entering SPRMRKT, the viewer is welcomed by a series of artworks created in response to the rich history of the surrounding area, which blends in harmonious syncretism elements from diverse cultures, religions, languages and food traditions. Nicola explores rice paper, packing paper, incense and materials carrying meaningful symbolism of life coming into the newly established and immediately thriving port of Singapore. Encapsulated in embroidery hoops, her research takes the shape of a myriad of inner journeys representing abstract and figurative (Shore, 2015) alike. The hoops echo irregular mandalas that expand on tri- dimensional levels (The only constant is change, 2015) to reflect the current complexities of our life, struggling to make sense of an intricate present from a complex past.

The most interesting character of the hoop works is perhaps the method of burning paper with joss sticks. Rather than adding, Nicola empties, thus generating void spaces that collectively create the final image. When these voids come dangerously close together, (Sea of forgiveness, 2015), they seem to recall the bubbles and echo the sounds of nearby waves before the land expanded further south. Ships, shells and undulations allow us to offer our gratitude to the auspicious sea, which has allowed Singapore to flourish.

Some of the larger drawings, from afar, appear as a series of lines, but again Nicola has brought indoor the concept employed on the window: words and meaningful mélanges of letters and numbers (a reference to the exact latitude and longitude of the exhibition space) are the essential elements of the lines, literally adding a layer to the entire work.

Finally, walking to the inner sanctum of the space, the viewer is presented with the very beginning of Nicola’s artistic journey. Constellation (2015) was the initial series that spurred Nicola to reflect on the multiple and ever-changing concepts of home. Ironically, the debut of these works was in London, her birthplace, but she travelled to it from her current home in Singapore on a journey that was a movement in space, but also a reconsideration of the essential concept of home. Thus, the embroidery loop became the symbol and material for this endless passage and return, akin to the incessant movement of the sea waves. And as Constellation made her travel from Singapore to London, Atlas brought her back to Singapore and to the place she now calls home.

Text by Daniela Beltrani

Images courtesy of SPRMRKT.

The performance continues on 15 November where both Nicola & Daniela will be sighted at SPRMRKT taking your confessions that build on more layers and complexity to their spectacular show.