A few months ago, Boedi Widjaja, someone whom I've known since I was a lowly student project intern, sent me a text message about a project that he was working on; a commissioned solo artwork that deals with "Book complex, salons, oral histories, shelves of memories, reunions and separations, the city". A full-time designer turned full-time artist, Boedi shared with me his exploration of Bras Basah Complex, a place loaded with memories and culture that is often embedded in the vehicles of books and stationery. We chatted about the building, shared our experiences and memories of it, and Boedi suggested that we should continue the conversation as part of his artist talks for the artwork that he is presenting at Esplanade.
I'll be joining Boedi at Esplanade in late November and I hope you'll come join us for that conversation. Details below and also at this FB event page.
Boedi Widjaja: Path. 6, Unpacking my Library
Jendela Visual Arts Space | 3 OCT 2014, FRI - 4 JAN 2015, SUN
Mon – Fri: 11am – 8.30pm Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: 10am – 8.30pm
Three books, three libraries, three generations. Book complex, salons, oral histories, shelves of memories, reunions and separations, the city.
1 Nov, 4:00 - 4:45pm Join the artist for a tour of the exhibition, followed by a brief Question-and-Answer session.
1 Nov, 5:00 - 5:30pm Live Art by Boedi Widjaja in collaboration with Dawn Fung. Dawn is a folk singer-songwriter who has released two albums to good reviews. Fans of Dawn are attracted to her brand of storytelling, her knack for connecting with audiences intimately and her cosy gigs.
15 Nov, 4:00 - 4:45pm Teo Han Wue is a writer and former director of Art Retreat, a private museum. He wrote an article “Debunking the myth of the Chinese-educated” where he showed that the multi-cultural environment of Chinese bookstores in 1950s and 1960s Singapore “eloquently debunks the popular myth that the Chinese educated are inclined to be conservative, … chauvinistic.” Originally sited along North Bridge Road, many of these Chinese bookstores moved to the Bras Basah Complex due to urban development. Han Wue will talk about these Chinese bookstores of the past, some of which were also salons hosting intellectual discussions.
22 Nov, 4:00 - 4:45pm Adib Jalal, design curator, writer and urban activator, is interested in turning urban and domestic spaces into meaningful and memorable places. He will talk about his special relationship with Bras Basah Complex and conversations that he had about the place. Adib is currently Creative Director at Shophouse & Co. Previously, he served as the Festival Director of Archifest (2012 and 2013), and is also co-founder of Fivefootway, an online journal about cities in Asia.
Exhibition is commissioned and presented by Visual Arts Esplanade