Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Kaifeng Chun wins Singapore Art Prize

ONE corner of the Singapore Art Museum has been transformed into an office.

A desk and chair are placed in the middle of the space. A laptop computer lies open on the table. Files are neatly arranged on shelves and a paper tray sits on top of a cupboard.

Everything seems to be in order. It looks like the office of a very neat worker. But as your eyes glide over the mainly grey and white furniture lit by the harsh fluorescent lights, little things look slightly out of place. A grey knife juts out of a penholder, hinting at violence. A tiny flag lies in the waste paper basket. Could it be a symbol of surrender?

This installation, hinting at the regimented office life, yesterday bagged the richest art award in town: the Singapore Art Exhibition prize, which comes with a $50,000 grant.

Relative newcomer Chun Kaifeng, 26, beat 28 other artists with his installation, He's Satisfied From Monday To Friday And On Sunday He Loves To Cry.

Chun, who is studying for his master's in fine art at The Glasgow School of Art on a National Arts Council (NAC) overseas bursary, told The Straits Times in a phone interview from Glasgow: 'My work always draws from my experiences of living in Singapore. The room is a reflection of life in Singapore, which is very controlled. There is a sense of stillness, of waiting.' (The Straits Times 7th October 2009)