About Chandrasekaran S.
Renowned in Asia as a sculptor, installation and performance artist, Chandrasekaran has exhibited and been commissioned to create sculptures around the world. A recipient of the National Arts Council's Young Artist Award in 1993, Chandrasekaran has been invited to participate in many international arts festivals, including International Artist's Conference, Japan; Bagiuo Arts Festival, Philippines; French Arts Festival, France; Havana Biennial, Cuba; Asia-Pacific Performance '97, Canada; and the International Performance Art Festival, New Faces of Asia, Poland. Recently, he represented Singapore in major shows including the Outdoor Banner Event Artist and Poets for the 49th Venice Biennale, Italy; 10th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh; and the Yokohama International Open Air Exhibition, Japan. Some of Chandrasekaran's commissioned sculptures can be found in Portland Quarry Sculpture Park, UK, and the World Sculpture Park, China.
Chandrasekaran's never-seen-before drawings to raise funds
for Brother Joseph McNally Development Fund
La Salle Press Release: Tuesday, 1 October 2002
Established artist, Chandrasekaran S., explores the relationship between contemporary space and the human body in a solo exhibition of drawings to raise funds for LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts' new campus. Entitled "akasa" (meaning "ethereal space" in Sanskrit), the exhibition will be officially opened by Guest of Honour, Mr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman of National Arts Council, at Earl Lu Gallery on Wednesday, 9 October 2002 at 6.30pm.
akasa in One Series No. 12
pen on paper
210mm x 150mm
Renowned in Asia for his performance art, sculptures and installations, Chandrasekaran will showcase never-seen-before drawings which comment on the effects of urbanisation on contemporary space and how the human body has been modified to fit that space. In the past, architecture and spatial design revolved around people and the buildings' intended purpose. Today, people have to adapt to contemporary space, sometimes changing their body structure and social interactions to suit their surroundings.
Chandrasekaran has been working on drawings since his 1996 exhibition, Icons. "Drawing is the most fundamental process in art making. It's a scribble of a thought and the backbone of all art forms", he says. The curator of the exhibition, Binghui Huangfu, Director, Earl Lu Gallery, adds "Often the privilege of seeing drawn work is that the artist bears the 'tracks' of an idea. This is often lost in the final realisations of art be it painting, installation or performance. In those expressions, we are given the refinement of a thought. We are presented with the end result of a process. In drawing, we witness the process." The drawings, inspired by Sanskrit and Indian aesthetics, reflect Chandrasekaran's diversity as an artist.
Chandrasekaran, who is the Head of School of Fine Art at LASALLE-SIA, has committed to donate half of the sale proceeds from the exhibition to the Brother Joseph McNally Development Fund. The Fund was established in September 2002 in memory of the College's founder, the late Brother Joseph McNally. akasa is the first of a series of planned fundraising activities since the establishment of the Fund that will contribute to the development of the new campus.
Guided tours for the public may be arranged with Earl Lu Gallery. akasa is supported by Lee Foundation Singapore.
LASALLE-SIA New City Campus
As part of the Singapore government's plans to upgrade LASALLE-SIA into a world-class arts institution, LASALLE-SIA will move to a new city campus on a one-hectare site in the Rochor area, bound by Prinsep Street, Short Street and Albert Street. The new site will provide easy access for the public to attend the College's growing number of concerts and exhibitions and will have convenient access for the College's full-time and part-time students and the many people who enrol each semester in LASALLE-SIA's Art Enrichment Programme. Construction work is anticipated to commence by January 2004 with the project expected to be completed by end-2005. The College is scheduled to move into the new campus by mid-2006.
Source: LaSalle College of the Arts
Chandrasekaran's drawings for Brother McNally's Development Fund
Established artist, Chandrasekaran S., explores the relationship between contemporary space and the human body in a solo exhibition of drawings to raise funds for LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts' new campus.
Entitled "akasa" (meaning "ethereal space" in Sanskrit), the exhibition will be officially opened by Guest of Honour, Mr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman of National Arts Council, at Earl Lu Gallery on Wednesday, 9 October 2002 at 6.30pm.
Renowned in Asia for his performance art, sculptures and installations, Chandrasekaran will showcase never-seen-before drawings which comment on the effects of urbanisation on contemporary space and how the human body has been modified to fit that space.
In the past, architecture and spatial design revolved around people and the buildings' intended purpose. Today, people have to adapt to contemporary space, sometimes changing their body structure and social interactions to suit their surroundings
Chandrasekaran has been working on drawings since his 1996 exhibition, Icons. "Drawing is the most fundamental process in art making. It's a scribble of a thought and the backbone of all art forms", he says. The drawings, inspired by Sanskrit and Indian aesthetics, reflect Chandrasekaran's diversity as an artist.
Chandrasekaran, who is the Head of School of Fine Art at LASALLE-SIA, has committed to donating half of the sale proceeds from the exhibition to the Brother McNally Development Fund.
The Fund was established in September 2002 in memory of the College's founder, the late Brother Joseph McNally. akasa is the first of a series of planned fundraising activities since the establishment of the Fund that will contribute to the development of the new campus.
Guided tours for the public may be arranged with Earl Lu Gallery. akasa is supported by Lee Foundation Singapore.
As part of the Singapore government's plans to upgrade LASALLE-SIA into a world-class arts institution, LASALLE-SIA will move to a new city campus on a one-hectare site in the Rochor area, bound by Prinsep Street, Short Street and Albert Street. Construction work is anticipated to commence by January 2004 with the project expected to be completed by end-2005. The College is scheduled to move into the new campus by mid-2006
Source: Special thanks to the author: Kwok Kian Chow
In 1988, Salleh Japar, Goh
Ee Choo and S. Chandrasekaran, all graduates of NAFA in the late-1980s,
presented Trimurti, a multi-media presentation comprising paintings,
sculptures, installations and performances. The three artists -- a Malay, a
Chinese and an Indian -- had chosen the Hindu composite of Brahma, Vishnu and
Shiva symbolising creation, preservation and dissolution to show that different
cultural and religious backgrounds could exist together harmoniously.
"Trimurti", wrote the artists, "transformed (sic) air art space into an energy space, a stage where the cosmic happening of creation, destruction and preservation which occurs in continuity and exists side by side using multi(media) expressions in paintings, sculptures, installations and performances. All three manifestations and expressions will be merged into one single happening, relating one to the other, expressing the total art concept."
The three artists continued to do multi-media innovative works, drawing from multiple inspirations - indigenous materials, ethnic and religious themes, social commentaries and philosophical concepts. Examples of recent works are Salleh's Mechanical Learning, Chandrasekaran's Visvayoni and Goh's The Word.
Cosmic Bug II
Cosmic Bug II
This performance will be a static performance which will try to problematize the logic relationship between Man and Space in having to be domesticated or institutionalized; therefore, it creates the possibility of disorder/order within its own structure.
As the work struggles to achieve the total experience between disorder and order within the spatial architectonics, it goes through a process of having to re-negotiate new meanings and make decisions that create new boundaries.
This very struggle for re-negotiating new boundaries is defined in process of this performance, which indeed poses a problem for modern civilization and calls for an investigation to the complexities of finding new meanings for cross-cultural identities and our own psyches.
The performance will also intend to build a spatial trajectory with the audience through tension and strain, challenging the ‘normal’ walking process in the walkway.
Chandrasekaran is currently the
Head of School of Fine Art at LASALLE-SIA. He is also pursuing a doctorate in
Contemporary Art with Curtin University, Australia
Chandrasekaran S. was born in Singapore and received his art training from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Distinction) from Curtin University, Perth, Australia. He was also awarded a scholarship grant for his Master’s in India under Curtin University and is currently working on his Doctor of Creative Arts with Curtin University (2002-2005).
Recently he represented Singapore at the 49th Venice Biennale. He has participated in many international art festivals including the International Artists Conference (Japan), Bagiuo Arts Festival (Philippines), French Arts Festival (France), Havana Biennial (Cuba), and International Performance Art Festival (Poland). He was also commissioned to work in World Sculpture Park at Changchun International Sculpture Symposium, China 2001.
Excerpt from Gunalan Nadarajan's Notes Toward a Diasporean Aesthetics
S. Chandrasekaran is a second-generation Indian migrant whose art practice embraces a variety of media and genres: specifically, painting, sculpture, action-installations and performance art. He has at various points in his artistic career characterized his art as parasitic and himself as a parasite in his performance works. It is useful therefore to unpack the theoretical possibilities within this concept of the parasite especially on how it coheres with a diasporean aesthetics.
Parasite - the term "para" - in Greek refers to beyond, being outside of and being beside. Interestingly the word, parasite is seen to have a historical connection to an ancient Greek practice of admitting poor to certain feasts after sacrifice. These poor who were dependent on others for their meals were by Roman times referred to as "parasites" (deriving from the Greek, "para" - "beside" and "sitos" - "food". Thus, the more scientific usage which employs the word to refer to organisms that depend on and feed off others. The parasite, however is a dependency sustained by a simultaneously proximate and distant relationship to its host.
In order to further elaborate the complex meanings of the notion of the parasite for our purposes let me employ briefly the works of Jacques Derrida. Though he has at various points in his career discussed this notion at some length and with different associations I would like to cite his essay, "Limited Inc., a.b.c..." The parasite, he says there, is "never simply alien to and separable from the body to which it is transplanted or which it already haunts." The affinities of the notion of parasite with that of the diasporic individual is already apparent. He argues further that the "the parasite is by definition never simply external, never simply something that can be excluded from or kept outside of the body "prope", shut put from the ?familial? table or house. Parasitism takes place when the parasite (called thus by the owner, jealously defending his own, his oikos), comes to live off the life of the body in which it resides - and when, reciprocally, the host incorporates the parasite to an extent, willy nilly, offering it with a place. The parasite then ?takes place?. And at bottom, whatever violently "takes place" or occupies a site is always something of a parasite. Never quite taking place is thus part of its performance, of its success as an event, of its taking place." (90) The spatial logic of the parasite which is that of taking place even while being "implacable" is affinal to that of the diasporic individual who continuously struggles with what is properly his / her place.
Having faithfully followed and carefully examined Chandrasekaran's works I have found the notion of the parasite to be extremely useful in making sense of his works of the last 12 years. However, his parasitic ventures into the diasporic imaginary have gone through several phases.
THE GUEST STUDIOS
LKV has 2 guest studios (50 m2, headroom 3,8 m) with guest apartments in a neighboring building. Each apartment has accommodation for 2 persons.
The studios and apartments are offered free of charge to artists of all nationalities for periods of 1 - 3 months (shorter or longer stays can be negotiated).
The studios are equipped with basic tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, stapl-gun. Guest artists obtain access to all workshops (except the video workshop) by paying a fee of NOK 600. Prices for using the video workshop: see workshops.
Guest artists may be asked to give a presentation of their work in the form of slide lectures for invited artists and art students.
Guest artists may use their studio or one of the project rooms to exhibit their work.
LKV is a member of the international association for residential art centers, Res Artis (for more information: Res Artis).
The artist residency program at LKV is sponsored by Trondheim kommune and Sřr-Trřndelag fylkeskommune.
Chandrasekaran from Singapore has had a residency at LKV.
Art in Transit
Memoirs of the Past by S Chandrasekaran. These evocative, sepia-toned works celebrate al lthat is unique about Indian culture in Singapore. The influence of traditional Indian folk art comes through in the distinctive metal grilles at the station entrances and the elaborate floor works in bronze and granite inside the station. Animal paintings allude to the buffalo stables that used to be in the area in the past.
SPEECH BY MR KHAW BOON WAN, SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT AND INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS & THE ARTS AT THE LAUNCH OF THE NORTH EAST LINE "ART IN TRANSIT" PROGRAMME ON 6 JUNE 2003 AT 10.00 AM AT FARRER PARK MRT STATION
Art In Transit
In 1985, when I was tasked to commission and run the newly built National University Hospital, my team decided to make it a different public hospital. Among other things, we decided to brighten up the hospital by introducing art pieces to the wards and corridors.
Art in Hospital
But we had no budget for such an adventure. So, we went around, begging for donations of paintings. Dr Earl Lu was the first to respond to our call. He was generous with his many paintings of the roses.
McDonald's adopted one X-ray suite and decorated it up especially for the children. We became the first public hospital to incorporate art in our buildings. That was more than 15 years ago.
At that time, I remembered discussing the subject of "art in hospital" with a German hospital CEO. He said that it was sometimes a headache for him. I asked why. He explained that Germans had a long artistic tradition, with strong discerning tastes. So once in a while, he would get a patient demanding to be moved to another room just because the painting was not to his liking! I told the German hospital CEO that the patient could not be very sick then. Fortunately for me, our patients here were not as fussy.
We have come some way from the early days of merely hanging up paintings in hospital wards. A few years later, when I was involved in the design and planning of the KK Women & Children's Hospital, we were able to justify a modest budget for interior-décor as part of the project cost. I was especially keen on doing it properly for the KK Children's Hospital as most children find hospitalisation to be traumatic. Any way to relieve their anxiety and distract them from their fear is therefore welcome. This was what I learnt from the NUH McDonald's X-ray suite experience, which became a popular destination for many paediatric patients.
Indeed, a sensitive application of interior décor can produce an outcome with value that far exceeds the cost. By consciously planning and incorporating the art at the outset into the hospital design, we actually do not need a large incremental budget. By further involving the community and leveraging on corporate support, it is possible to elevate the art in hospital programme to a higher plane and sustain it.
I was therefore most happy to join the TTSH staff a fortnight ago when SCO hosted a lunch time performance in their lobby. It was spirit lifting for our SARS-fighters, not to mention the therapeutic value of music in healing.
From Hospital to MRT
This morning we witness another application of the art for the common good. From art in hospital, we now see another quantum leap in the incorporation of the art in MRT.
Like hospitals, the earlier MRT stations have not neglected the display of paintings and sculptures. But this morning's event marks a major leap from merely putting up art pieces to embedding the art into building finishes. It is "art-inside": fusing art and science, art and engineering.
Historically, transit systems around the world have boasted artistic elements, from the elaborate pillars of the Moscow subway system to the art nouveau entrances of the Paris Metro.
Our North East Line now joins this distinguished list, not just for its distinctive station designs, but also because of the artworks of 19 local artists embedded within. These include the works of Cultural Medallion winners Chua Ek Kay, Goh Beng Kwan, Tan Swie Hian and Teo Eng Seng. There are also works by our other talents, including S Chandrasekaran, Vincent Leow and Matthew Ngui.
The 19 artists, working on diverse media forms such as stained glass, mosaic and ceramics, have each brought their own distinctive style and approach to the NEL stations. Through their efforts, they have elevated public art in Singapore to a massive scale.
The significance of this assignment is that these artworks were not an afterthought. They were part and parcel of the conceptualisation of NEL right from the start. This has enabled the artworks to be carefully integrated into each station's architecture, without causing any increase in budget. For example, the floor and the walls have to be tiled anyway. But by incorporating the art works into the design and the selection of the tiles, we achieved a wonderful outcome without any increase in cost.
As a result, we have today 16 stations, which together form a 'horizontal art museum' along our North-East corridor. It stands as a day-to-day testimony of the creative talents of the Singaporean artist community, besides enhancing and enriching our environment.
Art and Heritage
The artworks cover a wide range of subjects. They reflect not only the diverse backgrounds of their artists, but also the communities that the North East Line runs through and serves.
For example, at this Farrer Park station, the artworks bring back memories of Farrer Park's sporting history. The illustration of horses reminds us that our turf club had its origin in Farrer Park, something the younger Singaporeans may not be aware.
The first aircraft landed in Singapore here, at the old racecourse in 1919 - hence the illustration of an aeroplane in the artworks.
And at Hougang station, residents have literally left their mark on the station walls, as their handprints are now there for all to see.
The artworks give the stations identity and colour while enhancing the travel experience. Such public art will nurture an understanding between the public and the artistic community, by connecting them and bringing art closer to the people. This is a wonderful application of MITA's "Arts Everywhere" initiative.
But our work does not end with the commissioning and installation of these art pieces. What is needed now is a continuous public education programme, which will help commuters better understand and appreciate these works of art.
We will work with SBS Transit on this. Brochures about the artists and the art works will be available at the stations. Schools can then organise field trips to NEL, for the students to hop from station to station as they take in the talents of the artists.
LTA has also published a book that documents the challenges faced in fulfilling this public art programme. The book will be a meaningful keepsake for future generations.
Together, all these efforts will help raise awareness and appreciation of the arts. A MITA colleague had a further brainwave. He thinks that SBS Transit should organise mid-night art museum tours of these NEL stations, so that night birds have another activity to engage in and be inspired, besides adding to the buzz of Singapore! It is an innovative idea, but I am not sure if there is sufficient demand.
Let me take this opportunity to make special mention of some of the people behind this project. Dr Ho Kah Leong chaired the Art Review Panel. He had able team mates like Dr Earl Lu, Mr Wee Chwee Heng and the late Brother Joseph McNally. The Art Review Panel spent many hours working with the engineers, architects and the artists to develop the art concepts.
Their work was co-ordinated by Ms Constance Sheares, the former curator of the Singapore Museum. She played a key role in balancing the aspirations of the artists with LTA's stringent technical requirements.
The artworks would not have been possible without the efforts of the contractors, who combined their construction expertise with the artists' creativity to produce the artworks that we see today.
And of course, our deepest gratitude to the 19 artists who gave generously of their time and talents to this project. For them, this is national service.
My congratulations to the artists, architects, engineers and contractors for your outstanding contribution to the Art in Transit. Your vision, dedication and talents will enrich and inspire the lives of many as they ride on the North East Line daily.
It is now my pleasure to launch the Art in Transit Programme.
The 22nd UOB Painting Of The Year Exhibition
All 16 prize-winning and 34 highly commended entries from the Competition are on display at the 22nd UOB Painting Of The Year Exhibition.
The Exhibition, open to members of the public, is being held at Jendela, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay from 19 July to 17 August 2003, 11.00 am to 8.30 pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 10.00 am to 8.30 pm (Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays). The Exhibition is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
From 12 to 17 August 2003, a collective display of the recent works of last year's Painting Of The Year winner, Mr Gong Yao Min, will also be on exhibit at the Exhibition.
Judging for this year's Competition was carried out by a panel of two overseas and three local judges. They were:
Dr Kenson Kwok (Chief Judge)
Director, Asian Civilisations Museum
Mr Chandrasekaran S.
Sculptor, Installation & Performance Artist
Former Head of School of Fine Art, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts
Mr David Tay
President, Photographic Society of Singapore
Dr Cheng Haw-Chien (from Malaysia)
President, Central Academy of Arts
Mr Jogen Chowdhury (from India)