If you find yourself running out of shopping bags along Orchard Road this weekend, fret not. Just pop by Instinc art gallery, located just a few units from popular bars Ice Cold Beer and No. 5 at Emerald Hill, to get your hands on unique shopping bags.
The exhibition Bag It!, which features more than 20 artworks—including said bags, digital prints, photographs and installation pieces—are the collaborative efforts of a group of young local artists, including Yeo Shih Yun, Wyn-Lyn Tan, Warren Khong and Terry Ong. It’s a diverse selection of works which revolves around the theme of shopping and why Singaporeans are obsessed with it.
“Shopping is always close to our hearts,” says artist Yeo Shih Yun, the curator of the exhibition. “Be it having to elbow the incessant crowds everyday as we make our way to our workplaces, or having to dodge jewelry salesmen shoving flyers in our faces, shopping is significant to all of us.” But the artworks at Bag It! explore the diverse (and sometimes dark) notions of shopping—beyond the superficial connotations usually associated with simply spending one’s moolah.
Warren Khong’s digital prints, for example, a collaborative piece with design collective JKYRD, is a colorful depiction of the perception and influences of pop culture and modern society on arts and design. Wyn-Lyn Tan’s colorful and lovable bag “Candy Land” is just that: A bright and lively discarded green suede Mango bag stuffed with little handmade felt toys. Danish artist Anne Vilsoe mixes acrylic, spray paint and varnish on plastic bags in her piece “Liquidity,” creating an organic visual piece that comes replete with handles that resemble drinking bags for coffee (you have to see this for yourself). Terry Ong’s “Elegantly Wasted (With Thanks to Aimee Chan),” explores the concept of waste, and links shopping to getting drunk.
It’s certainly a mixed bag of works at Bag It!, but with a little imagination, shopaholics can find new meanings to associate their favorite pastime with, and perhaps have a little fun at the exhibition.