painted lines, covered plains

Artists: Sufian Samsiyar, Victoria Tan

Curated by Moses Tan

painted lines, covered plains is a duo show by Sufian Samsiyar and Victoria Tan. Using various vestiges of construction sites, showrooms and locales within Singapore, the works become manifestations of these transitions, temporal ruins and desires. A combination of photographic works and site-specific installation, painted lines, covered plains proposes detached views of the constant impermanent landscape of Singapore.

Lone structures stand hidden in plain sight from the landscape of Singapore. Meant as a covering during construction and maintenance works to protect the public from irritants and debris, and, perhaps, to obscure unfinished architecture that might taint the green landscape of the country, temporary coats adorn these structures. As photographed and printed by Tan, the isolation of these covered structures, primarily inspired by her interest in these sites, speak of various underpinnings. From ideas of amnesia brought on by these coverings to the constantly changing landscape, the same visual is brought and translated into the gallery space where now we present them as imaginations of what spaces were, rooted in distant, fleeting memories.

In Samsiyar’s work, he surveys various imageries, from show flats to hoardings that make up the perimeter of construction sites. Green washes of vinyl print mirror potted ornamental plants within built show flat environments, becoming backdrops in these temporal spaces that mean to propose a future. Employing elements of performativity, site-specific installation and photography, Samsiyar’s attempts at unpacking the various layers of this proposal are set against strong gusts of cold air from the air conditioning unit, lush bold colours embellishing wooden panels, and expensive-looking furniture, all built for the purpose of visualising a possibility.

A question also arises out of the two practices: how do we consume space? The show proposes a detachment and a re-orientation necessary to view the various manifestations presented in the space–a detachment to read between multiple lines painted over covered hoardings, hidden in plain sight.