Anti-white cube arts organisation OH! Open House is back at it, with a new programme of immersive art kicking off this March. A separate series from their usual neighbourhood art walks, Passport is a curation of individual pop-up experiences in six different neighbourhoods, where you get to choose exactly which artist you’d like to get cosy with.
Happening on individual weekends from Mar 16-31, the series goes beyond OH!’s characteristic stuffing of great art in residential homes. The process this time round is much more collaborative. Six Singaporean artists were paired with six hosts, to converse and create brand new artworks and experiences held inside the latter’s homes.
In response to the title ‘Passport’, each coupling produced works reflecting on identity, belonging, home, and other relevant themes. As there is no one overarching tour, all six stories are the co-creators’ own. Join Anthony Chin on a dramatised tour in two parts, to investigate the boundaries of nationhood situated around hosts Christophe and Sharon’s home. Or sit down for a show of video and light installations scattered around the home of lovers Hernie and Andre, whose long-distance romance was what inspired artist Ezzam Rahman’s work.
Not every pop-up takes place inside a home though. Artist Jimmy Ong and host Han Chung will present a participatory performance and installation in public spaces, where audiences go through a simulated immigration process to test their Singaporean-ness—a fun but poignant examination of placelessness and citizenship amid the ongoing refugee crisis happening elsewhere.
A ticket entitles you to one of the six experiences, and the exact locations of each will be revealed upon purchase.
Artist Anthony Chin flanked by his hosts Christophe and Sharon
Naturally, such an arrangement brings to the fore the untapped creativity of the everyday man—non-artists who might not always get the opportunity to make art. It also seeks to encourage the audience to take a more active role in art-making and appreciation, as opposed to passive consumption of art in galleries or at events, where the artist remains a faceless name on the wall.
This intent to build and maintain genuine relationships between audience and artist is a thread that runs through many of OH’s programmes. Last year, the company launched a new experimental programme called Singapore Calendar, working on a subscription-style format to deliver slivers of an artist’s work to participating audiences each month. Centered on a unique date in the local calendar, every iteration of the pen-pal programme culminates in an intimate showcase with the artist, to “mark the start of a continued relationship between artist and audience”, according to the curators.
The inaugural edition was based on the Hungry Ghost Festival, and sent subscribers digital “offerings” created by the artist online. The second, currently in motion, spotlights Labour Day; and this time involves sending audiences on scavenger hunt quests around Singapore to retrieve the artworks themselves.
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Passport takes place Mar 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31 at various timings in six secret venues. Tickets are $20. More information available here.