A View with a Room was a project realised in the biennial President’s Young Talents 2009 exhibition at 8Q SAM (Singapore Art Museum). It began with the collective's fascination with text, image and object, and demonstrates the disjuncture between these categories. The installation begins with detailed descriptions of interior spaces excerpted from writings by Georges Perec, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Edgar Allan Poe. From a word found amongst the line of wall texts, viewers might notice a peephole with a view into a room. Through a closed wardrobe situated at a corner, amongst other artworks in the gallery, viewers, who dared to venture beyond, would pass a long tunnel that led to the concealed room. First, the installation is a localised visual translation of the wall texts. Second, the work attempts a playful inversion: a three-dimensional space that ‘imitates’ the flatness, and other ‘pictorial characteristics’ of a black and white photograph of a room. Thus, all the objects and furniture in this ‘scene’ – based on a fictitious character – are in greyscale. Anything that touches the margins of the ‘image’, or the ‘borders’ of the room, are ‘cropped’ like in a photograph. For instance, the cropped painting, which is a copy of Isaak Brodsky’s Lenin in Smolny, with only the limbs and lower-half of the figure visible; and the cropped television set showing the film is Lenin in October, dubbed over in Mandarin. Apart from the books and groceries of strong regional flavour found in the room, traces of anachronism and nostalgia could be further extended to the clock rotating anti-clockwise, and the old calendar dated May 1968. Resembling dusk, the light from the window, which is the only light source, petrifies the room with perpetual twilight.


Dimensions variable

Collection: Singapore Art Museum