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M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2016 identity and promotional materials

Overview

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, organised by The Necessary Stage is an annual art festival that brings together theatre, dance, music and visual arts. Over the years, it has brought the cutting edge and socially-engaged contemporary works presented by local and international artists to Singapore.

Exploring the theme of Art and the Animal, the 12th edition of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival seeks to investigate and reflect our relationship with animals, and how their presence and absence have shaped and will continue to affect our existence and how we see ourselves as humans.

The creative concept behind the identity is the big question of “What makes us human?”. It stems from Man’s innate fear/fascination of crossing the divide between humans and animal. Would crossing the divide entail the loss of our humanity and becoming savage, or does it simply mean that we are returning to nature?

In the key visual, the animal is humanised and the human is de-humanised through cropping to carry the message across. Using acid colour animal textures, the identity plays on the idea of animal hybridisation, genetic manipulation, myth, fantastic poeisis and linguistic experimentation as reflected in the use of taxidermy in contemporary art. Abstracted and modified with artificial and acid colours, the textures are placed in contrast with the text to speak of the imposition of Man on nature.

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Angkor – Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City Catalogue

Overview

The Asian Civilisations Museum presented the exhibition, Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City in 2018. The exhibition was organised in collaboration with the Musée Guimet in Paris, and featured many rare Khmer sculptures, alongside with french drawings, photographs, and memorabilia from Musée d’Orsay. The objects collectively tell the story of the French encounter with Cambodia and its sensational emergence onto the international stage. Just as the world slowly came to understand the mysteries hidden in and around Angkor through over 150 years of scholarship, starting from the time when the French colonialist chanced upon the monuments and the knowledge that they gradually gained, the book was designed to simulate this journey.

Using this idea of re-discovery of Angkor by the French explorers and the drawings that made at the time, the use of diagonal lines around in the book, not only allude to perspective lines using as guides in architectural and archaeological drawings, but are also placed in a way as if to reveal something within, just as the explorers might also have as they saw the monuments emerge from amongst the forest.

The relationship between France and Cambodia became irrevocably intertwined through the European colonial expansion into Asia; the lines, like markings made to indicate a presence, symbolises a relic—both intangible in form of academic knowledge and tangible through drawings and paraphernalia—that the French left as a legacy that is still actively continued till today through the immense of archaeological, art historical and ethnological work done on the Khmer civilisation.

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A Public Square

Overview

Following the trajectory over the past two years of looking at space and heritage in urban Singapore, A Public Square is The Substation‘s year-long programme in 2019/20 that questioned the proprietary of a space that one might consider to be meant for public use.

Sparked by the pedestrianisation of Armenian Street—the street right in front of The Substation—as part of Bicentennial celebrations in Singapore, the programming hoped to open up a discussion on what might be the elements or qualities that Singaporeans—artists or otherwise—deem to make up a public space, as well as who or what governs its use and has a say in its access and usage.

Taking reference from the isometric drawings shared by both public space design plans and simulation games, such as The Sims, the art direction was developed around the concept of making your own public space. As the artists and participants of A Public Square worked to expand the meaning and create new definitions of what a public space could entail through their engagement with the programming, the floating gridded plots and isometric perspective alludes to the idea that everyone is welcome to re-constitute existing public spaces, or create their very own.

The three-dimensional typography used for the programme logotype, as well as the titles of individual events, makes reference to the larger-than-life 3D lettering signages used to mark and name parks, housing estates, town centres in Singapore. This marking of a space, then, makes specific reference the complicated questions that The Substation sought to ask about the control and access of a public space.