Gajah Gallery presents New Now V: Towards Unlearning, featuring young Singaporean and Singapore-based artists Lauryn Beth Fernandez, Lee Sunwha, Lee Yi Xuan, Lim Zeharn, Mark Lim, Stephanie Leonardi, and Yang Hanwen – recent graduates of LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), and Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media (NTU ADM). The artists in this exhibition reflect on how they were trained to think and create in school, or other systems of knowledge that shaped their practices; the ideas or artistic methods that left powerful impressions on them; and, simultaneously, the teachings that they strive to break free from. The exhibition will take place in Singapore from 27 August – 19 September 2021, at the gallery’s industrial warehouse space in Tanjong Pagar Distripark.
The process of unlearning is not necessarily about regressing, but having the maturity to draw those delicate lines between what needs to stay and go. While unlearning may be a lifelong process, it is particularly significant for someone at the early stages of their career, having been freshly molded by the pedagogies and philosophies that underpin educational institutions. ‘New Now V: Towards Unlearning’ thus examines the often unseen balancing act that young artists must wrestle with as they acknowledge and embrace the benefits of their schooling, while at the same time begin to draw a distance from the parts that restrict their creativity.
The artworks presented are a diverse array, ranging from intricate book sculptures; abstracted asemic paintings; complex, meditative drawings and engravings; delicate clay sculptures to conceptual, kinetic works, the pieces in the show reflect the beginning fruits of that subtle tension between learning and unlearning, of young artists deepening their self-reflection and carving the space for their individuality to emerge.
Lauryn Beth Fernandez
Lee Yi Xuan
NEW NOW EXHIBITION SERIES
New Now is Gajah Gallery’s annual exhibition series dedicated to highlighting emerging artists from the Southeast Asian region. To support young artists, each year the gallery creates a curatorial direction for the exhibition and invites artists to participate by submitting portfolios for review. Now in its fifth iteration, this year’s exhibition focuses on young artist graduates in Singapore. Previous editions have included artists from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India. Several rising talents have participated in the New Now series, such as Kayleigh Goh, Mahalakshmi Kanappan, Dini Nur Aghnia, Fika Ria Santika, Tan Shao Qi, and Koh Kai Ting.