Building closures aren't getting in the way of SAM's art endeavours

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) buildings at Bras Basah might be closed for redevelopment, but it certainly isn’t interfering with the art gallery’s plans to put forth art. Still very much alive and kicking, SAM is now collaborating with Kuala Lumpur’s very own Ilham Gallery for the first time, in an effort to explore facets of contemporary art and its genealogies in Malaysia.

Named The Body Politic and the Body, the exhibition runs from now till Apr 12, 2020 at the Malaysian contemporary art museum, featuring a total of seven artworks from SAM’s collection, alongside a new commission, artwork adaptations, and pieces on loan from Malaysian artists.

While you wouldn’t be wrong to expect the examination of the human form in this showcase, the pieces in this collection actually looks at the socio-political body of Malaysian society too. Works about our neighbouring country include pieces such as Recollection of Long Lost Memories by Ahmad Fuad Osman, Bayu Utomo Radjikin’s Lang Kacang and The Voyage by Mohammad Din Mohammad.


Ahmad Fuad Osman, Recollections of Long Lost Memories (slide), 2007, Collection of Singapore Art Museum, Image courtesy of the Artist
 

And presented in relation to the collection is a performance piece by Chia Chuyia, plus works on loan by Hasanul Isyraf Idris, Wong Hoy Cheong and Yee I-Lann; which get into the anxieties and subjectivities of a singular body as it is experienced in modern Malaysia.

There are plenty more. A selection of experimental shorts curated by Kok Siew-Wai titled Portraits.Stories.Beneath will be featured to complement the exhibition, offering thoughts about the unreliability of first impressions as well as the unseen realities behind external appearances, which is pretty cool if you ask us.

FYI, this isn’t the only exhibition SAM is involved in while its beloved art sanctuary remains closed to the public. This Friday (Dec 13), Kopi, Teh, and Contemporary Art, a guided tour of the SAM Mini Mobile Museum exhibition, will take place at the Jurong Regional Library. Plus, they’re also heavily involved in the ongoing Singapore Biennale too. So although SAM's compounds are not open, they’re definitely not to be forgotten.


The Body Politic and the Body will be held now till Apr 12, 2020 at the Ilham Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Admission to the exhibition is free. More information available here.