A glimpse into its Open House!Article and photos by Rahimah Rashith and Saranya Ramaya
It is truly found everywhere, even at the places you might least expect. That is the very probable idea behind the annual OH! Open House, a public art exhibition. Here, strangers get to view otherwise private spaces from an artistic perspective in this yearly art walkabout.
Imagine the quirkiness walking for an art exhibition into a family’s apartment in Tiong Baru, or an elusive landed property in Marine Parade. Mind you, these were last few years’ exhibits.
This year, the OH! Open House showcased the works of homegrown artists featured at Marina Bay’s financial district, with a similarly appropriate theme ‘The Happiness Index’. The first stop of the exhibit was at Marina Bay Financial Centre. Greeted by an oddly quiet and empty, CBD district, the art gallery starts on a somewhat calming note. Gallery goers were treated to a spectacular view of Singapore from the rise and witty self help books.
Unsuspecting is the Begawan Solo dance by the old folks who happened to be just “standing around”. This dance was performed by Indonesian migrants along the Singapore rive. This song was also where the similarly name kueh store in Singapore got its name.
In the next gallery that questions whether money makes the world go round, is a miniature building installation made of pencil led glued together. This was placed in a private tunnel meant only for residents of Marina Bay.
Close by was probably the scariest segment. It was essentially a traveller walk through a dark passageway where the artist read out an excerpt about opening doors into, possibly the gates of hell.
The next installation was within a law firm situation within another part of CBD. The old office was chosen because of its unusual interior. It had maintained the integrity of the architecture of the 80s when a design firm owned the office. Entering the office was truly like taken a step back in time. The exhibit in the office played with sounds. The first is a mountain of tapes that represents a Singapore past but can no longer be played.
The second one showcases the sounds of sound waves of the business district. The speaker is covered with sand and sound wave graphs are strewn across the room. It was somewhat an eerie experience standing in there absorbing the nostalgic vibe.
The next aptly placed art was at Google’s office and it was local painting signifying connections and networks made. (NO PICS)
Right after was a trip to Deutsche Bank whose corporate social responsibility involves promoting emerging artists. Greeting us at the reception counter is a tongue-in-cheek “love bomb”.
One of the highlights of Deutsche Bank is a series of black books seeping with fountain pen ink. This represents the “muddled” financial world.
The Oh! Open House opens your eyes to look beyond the blue and grey buildings and beyond the cold glass of CBD. It is rich with Singapore’s history and every piece of art is relevant to the area it is placed in.
The Oh! Open House is still going on at Marina Bay Financial Tower 3 on January 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20. Admission price is $20.