Spanning over a month, STPI’s Notations in Space exhibition circles around the theme of space and time.
“To compose a finished, well-constructed poem, the mind is obligated to make projects that prefigure it. But for a simple poetic image, there is no project; a flicker of the soul is all that is needed,” wrote Gaston Bachelard in his justifiably reputable book, The Poetics of Space. Since its publication in 1958, the book has been a muse to artists, curators and philosophers alike. It also plays a significant role in the art scene and culture we know today; the Notations in Space exhibition sees influences of the book and is analogous to the poetic reverie of Bachelard’s phenomenology of the soul. The group exhibition – an inventory show comprising thoughtfully-curated archival works by 11 artists around the globe – draws on the idea of the poetic image, and how (oft-overlooked or transient) spaces can spark unprecedented emotions, conjuring up sentimental feelings. The exhibition not only acts as a conduit for the audience to revisit and re-look these artworks with new perspectives, but also functions as both exploratory notes on various types of spaces, as well as physical markers — with notes and nodes embedded in the space of the gallery.
Upon entering the dynamic space, you’ll be greeted by Handiwirman Saputra’s Ujung Sangkut Sisi Sentuh, also known as Suspended Forms in English. To direct our focus to forgotten landscapes, the Indonesian sculptor and painter took inspiration from discarded trash permeating the streets; Saputra reimagined these ghostly landscapes in the form of a paper art piece, enclosed with a circular border. This acts as a reminder of the uncanny beauty and lyricism in the overlooked and forgotten.
Similarly, the two works of Richard Deacon – belonging to his Dog Days series – see the usage of paper and print manipulation. Cutting across the photo prints of Marina Bay and Dieng Plateau are shapes layered with an “interference pattern” design, which were inspired by a hazard warning tape Deacon chanced upon when he was commuting from Blackfriars station in London. By amalgamating these elements together, it creates a juxtaposition and disrupts our normative ways of conceiving scenes in time.
Speaking of time, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Untitled 2017, (bodhisattva reflections in the silver seas) plays on the idea of time travelling and measurement to question our conventional methodologies in ascribing a logic to the experience of this dimension. Featuring a chromatic squid, splashes of pastel blue and pink, and what I would describe as squid ink, his work highlights the more personal, emotive and transcendental quality of his subject of study. Thus, the audience may contemplate their encounters of experiencing time in a non-linear fashion, as if stepping through a portal.
Elsewhere, you’ll find works by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Genevieve Chua, Do Ho Suh, Goh Beng Kwan, Hong Zhu An, Teppei Kaneuji, Melati Suryodarmo, and Yim Ja-Hyuk, all of which circle around the overarching theme and provide different landscapes and textures of space, be it physical, psychological or otherwise.
In concert with the exhibition – showcasing from 19 February to 27 March – STPI has also put forward a series of public programmes ranging from talks, workshops and film screenings, inviting us to dive deep into the world of art and curb our innate curiosity.
(Images: STPI Notations in Space)