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  • Writer's pictureEunice Lacaste

Blackboard Schemes

Associate Artist Program

The Substation

10 to 17 December 2020

Amirah Raudhah, Ang Kia Yee, Ziwei Chen, CyberCesspool, Illa Haziqin, Isabelle Desjeux, Amelia Desmond, Michelle Han, Jireh Koh, Shirly Koh, Eunice Lacaste, Veronyka Lau, Melinda Lauw, Agatha Lee, Winnie Li, Maisarah Kamal, Masuri Mazlan, Nova Nelson, Su Yin Jennifer Ng, Deborah Ong, Ong Xiao Yun, Amber Phang, Yen Phang, Nicole Phua. Raya, Alina Soh, Eve Tan. Teo Huey Ling, Nicolette Teo. Jennifer Teo, Xin Xiao Chang

Blackboard Gallery View

Blackboard Schemes is an art exhibition that uses experimental coursework to engage artists of Fertile Art Refinery (FAR). The art collective was further stratified to work in eight chapters and adopt a process-centred approach. This structure uses reflexive collectivism as a foothold for the wealth of each artistic concern within FAR.

The eight groups navigated through distanced collaboration that is mediated by digital conversations due to the pandemic. The outcome of this project is the documentation of works-in-progress by 30 artists coming together to exhibit the challenges of connecting and collective exploration during the lockdown. Completed artworks are the by-products.

The schematics brought out conversations about the society and the pandemic, representation of women and their body, bioecology, the ideas of craft and fine art, and other artistic lenses that cannot comply with one central theme. Blackboard Schemes includes the diversity of art practices that generate different modes of artmaking.

Domestic Chapter

Amirah Raudhah, Delicate Possessions Ill
Maisarah Kamal, Kitchen Orchestra
Masuri Mazlan, Untitled

The Domestic Chapter revolves around the use of domestic items found at home, everyday items, imagery or use of industrial materials. The artworks showcase the different use of materials as subject matter to illustrate the 'domestic' that is traditionally relegated to the feminine. This alters the function of the item at times only to simply beautify a domestic space.

Curiosity Awareness Chapter

Immersed in the philosophy of the Observatoire, Curiosity Awareness emerges as a natural outcome of a process steeped in the joy of making, discovering, sharing the discovery and the conversations that follow, from a studio that is also a discovery space and a science laboratory.

The installation is the result of a three-month journey involving 2 artists, Isabelle Desjeux and Nova Nelson, travelling with the school community towards an

understanding of the living world around us. What started as a laboratory where

the artists are working as scientists and the children regularly visit will transform

into a mobile lab summarising the explorations that happened and opening

the exploration for the public to join.

Sensations Chapter

Beyond the generally known human senses directly connected to human

organs that help us perceive the world as it is, lies the many sensations we feel

on a daily basis naturally. The feeling of warmth from the afternoon sun, tension in

our muscles as we balance on board the train, balancing our weight in alternating

feet as our body moves from one place to another, watching the blood flow out of a paper cut, all within the passing of time.

This installation invites visitors of the exhibition to explore bodily sensations

using the displayed objects, interacting with it and understanding the different

ways of feeling. In Sensations, the body is reintroduced to the viewer through

the activation of senses and putting the body into a constant state of awareness

of oneself. This light conscious activity pushes the body into various situations,

activating senses with control.

The performance video displays various ways of interacting with objects and space, inviting visitors to engage the same with the objects provided and the space given. It is an extension of the seven-hour performative workshop held earlier in November where participants committed their bodies into a common space, opening themselves to embrace senses.

On the left column of the shelf holds 7 different items visitors can use, following

the video. Once the item is used, please place it on the following right column of

the shelf. This is to prevent the object from being double-contacted.

Wooden Mallet

Wooden Peg

Glass Pebbles



Ping Pong Balls

Pencil and reflection sheet

By Nicole Phua, Jireh Koh, Ang Kia Yee, Yen Phang, Veronyka Lau

Intimacy Chapter

by Alina Soh, Illa Haziqin, and Raya

This is a durational performance that delivers a theatrical and dramatized act of shaving. To expose an intimate and personal process on the body to the public. To uncover and discuss the issue of public 'intimacy' with one's own body.

Digital Chapter

This chapter will be exploring the theme "Digital" not only as the predominant

medium in the artwork, but also as a form of presenting the process of creation.

Reflecting the show's overarching theme of Process and Practice, we explore how

today's digital tools facilitate the creative process, from ideation to completion.

Using a digital platform such as lnstagram, the group will document our

creative process, which in turn would form the artworks for the show. This will be in

addition to virtual meetings through the weeks leading up to the show to discuss

the progress of the group, which will also be documented through collections

of screenshots, video captures, and audio notes.

Michelle Han, FFH (Far from home)

Amature Cooking Show Chapter

In an attempt to demystify the fictional and relational quality of participatory ephemeral work, we set up an online community cooking workshop to stage a public experimental cook show.

Through learning together and teaching each other from an onslte broadcasting station and a zoom meeting room with home cooks, we embark to negotiate how technology mediates our communication, community formation, and knowledge production. In the Amateur Cooking Show we navigate the spectacle of an onllne event and how the fluid roles of audience, host, participants, Instructors complicate

Information digestion in such a heavily mediated environment.

by Nicole Phua, Winnie Li, and Yen Phang

A Period of Incubation Chapter

Far Left: Agatha Lee, Security Blanket. Centre. Far Right: Xin Xiao Chiang, 2020

The works of the group are the artists' reaction to COVID and look at 3 aspects of time:

1. Historical: "Talking Cock in the New Normal". Taking a look at a past

pandemic event and drawing parallels to today's situation with COVID

2. Present: "2020". A data-driven approach to illustrate the COVID situation in Singapore over 2020

3. Future - "Security Blanket". A process-based piece looking at the artist's response to reconciling with the new norm.

Ziwei Chen, Talking Cock in the New Normal

Self Chapter

This chapter is a catch-all for eight artists who have not worked on collaborations with one another in Blackboard Schemes. Because of time, distance and/or preference, these artists are showing artworks which are part of their ongoing inquiry into their own artistic languages, beliefs, histories, identities and interests. As such, the works here are not meant to be coherent together, but rather clearly represent the artists' individual practices.

Ong Xiao Yun, Unstate #04-03
Left: Shirly Koh, Between You and Me (2 out of 12). RIght: Amelia Desmond, In His Eyes
Centre: Amber Phang, Connection in Balance
Jennifer Teo, A little Night Music

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