Gajah Gallery Singapore proudly presents See Like a Heretic: On Vision and Belief, a solo exhibition by acclaimed international artist, Suzann Victor. Based in Australia since the late 1990s, Victor’s art continues to be a regular feature of the contemporary art scene in Singapore, collected and exhibited by Singapore’s major cultural institutions and significant to Singapore’s contemporary art history.
Spanning almost a two-year collaboration with the Yogya Art Lab (YAL) in Indonesia, a residency initiative organised by Gajah Gallery, the exhibition See Like a Heretic continues Victor’s ongoing experiments with the qualities of light and her inquiries into how we perceive, experience and make sense of our being in the world. The materiality of stained glass is prevalent throughout the works in this exhibition; the YAL team and the artist worked in tandem to produce a series of Christian religious icons, angels, wings-without-angels, and intricate heart sculptures.
While the stained-glass medium is reminiscent of the translucent coloured light that gently filters through church windows, in See Like a Heretic precious stained glass is violently crushed and meticulously reworked into opaque shimmering coverings and exquisite sculptural forms. Approached with delicacy and precision, the YAL team has managed to successfully translate Victor’s vision into an extraordinary body of work that exudes an iconic status and divine sensibility of a different kind.
If the heretical worldview evinces commitment to another way of seeing and being in the world beyond accepted beliefs, then See Like a Heretic call us to this particular action and positionality: to view, envision and believe from a perspective at odds with and outside of prevailing orthodoxy, conventions and traditions. See Like a Heretic is an invitation to see Victor’s art and the beliefs that sustain us, in yet another light.
Best known for her public artworks and contemporary art installations, Victor was part of a formative generation of contemporary artists working in Singapore in the 1980s and 1990s who sought to expand the possibilities of art, experimenting in bold installation, sculptural, and performance art practices.
Victor has participated in prestigious international exhibitions including the 49th edition of the Venice Biennale, the 6th Havana Biennale, the 6th Gwangju Biennale, Singapore Biennale 2013, and High Tide, New Currents in Art from Australia and New Zealand at the Zachta National Gallery of Art. In Australia, her participation includes the 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, Adelaide Biennale 2008, and Australian! at the Casula Powerhouse. Most recently, Victor’s installation Veil-See Like a Heretic was created for the major retrospective exhibition Sunshower held in Japan in 2017-2018 surveying contemporary Southeast Asian art from the 1980s to now, following which Victor was commissioned to create her new public art installation A Thousand Skies at Jyotenji Temple, Hakata, outside the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.