President’s Young Talents 2018, Singapore Art Museum

The President’s Young Talents (PYT) is Singapore’s premier and only mentoring, commissioning, and award programme, which recognises promising artists aged 35 and below, whose practices chart new dimensions in Singapore contemporary art. Previous PYT artists include Boo Junfeng, Heman Chong, Charles Lim, Donna Ong, Tan Pin Pin and Vertical Submarine, to name a few, all of whom have gone on to develop outstanding work in and beyond Singapore.

Inaugurated by the Singapore Art Museum in 2001 to promote critically engaged practices through discourse and experimentation, the 2018 edition of the President’s Young Talents seeks to afford greater artistic and curatorial growth for the artists involved and curator-mentors respectively. Invited curator-mentors, ranging from past participating artists to independent curators, will form a curatorial committee to shortlist artists for this edition. An independent jury – which will include members from SAM – will be convened to award the President’s Young Talents prize.

The ‘President’s Young Talents’ exhibition (PYT), organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), is the nation’s premier mentoring, commissioning and awards exposition. Into its seventh edition, PYT 2018 maintains its core focus as a platform that nurtures emerging artists aged 35 and below.

The scars that write us, Yanyun Chen, 2018
‘The scars that write us’ is dedicated to wounds, scars,markings, traumas of all kinds. It is an installation that speaks of the most personal of experiences that every person holds.

Soil Works, Debbie Ding, 2018
Through ‘Soil Works’, Ding considers the strategies of researching the physicality of soil in Singapore by highlighting both its perceptible and less perceivable qualities. In doing so, she destabilises the concept of the scientific laboratory by staging her own multi-station ‘testing’ gallery.

An Exposition, Hilmi Johandi, 2018
Visitors are welcomed to traverse a space marked out by components that together appear to resemble a deconstructed theatrical set. The installation is immersive whilst reminding the viewer of the void that exists within the theatricality of set designs and amusement parks. In a presentation of decontextualised signs and symbols, ‘An Exposition’ engages with the local history and collective memory of Singapore.

sft crsh ctrl, Weixin Quek Chong, 2018
Shaped by the concept of the contingency plan,’sft crsh ctrl’ by Weixin Quek Chong invites visitors to engage with a range of objects and series of material encounters that seem to evade traditional inquiry.The work unfolds, unfurls, suspends and drapes in ways that challenge the visitor’s understanding and expectation of materials. Its components evoke a sense of precarity and the notion of non-occurrence.It is an installation of ‘surfaces’ as explored through material form and transformation. ‘sft crsh ctrl’ guides the visitor towards sensations underlined by uncertainty, persuading a disengagement from the instinct to rationalise.

Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold, Zarina Muhammad, 2018
Historic and mythic, ‘Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold’ aims to, in the artist’s words, “disrupt and irrupt time and move beyond the single narrative of place”.

Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) focuses on international contemporary art practices, specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Housed in a restored 19th-century mission school, Singapore Art Museum opened its doors in 1996 as the first art museum in Singapore. Also known as SAM, the museum is now a contemporary art museum.

SAM has built one of the world’s most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary artworks, with a growing component in international contemporary art. SAM draws from its collection and collaborates with international contemporary art museums to co-curate and present contemporary art exhibitions. Contemporary art of the region is also given international exposure through SAM’s travelling exhibition programme and collection loans.