Chun Kaifeng receives Singapore Art Exhibition 2009 Prize


Chun Kaifeng receives


Singapore Art Exhibition 2009 Prize

The National Arts Council (NAC) and Singapore Art Museum (SAM) are proud to announce that Chun Kaifeng will receive the Singapore Art Exhibition 2009 (SAE 2009) Prize for his contemporary art installation piece He’s Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sunday He Loves to Cry.  


Kaifeng’s winning work was chosen by the SAE 2009 Judging Committee from 29 entries selected for the SAE, the main platform of the Singapore Art Show 2009. He will receive a S$50,000 grant which can be used for professional or capability development through residencies or training, and for the creation and/or presentation of bold, new projects and works.


To encourage public appreciation of, and engagement in, visual arts in Singapore, visitors to SAE2009 were encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork through a “Voter’s Prize”.  The S$5,000 cash prize will be awarded to Jason Wee for his installation, Self-Portrait (No More Tears Mr. Lee), which received the most number of nominations from visitors to the exhibition.  One lucky member of the public, Stephanie Chan Xue Qing, was selected in a lucky draw to receive a S$500 DOME Café voucher for casting her vote for this work.


Kaifeng’s interest lies in the notion of private/public spaces. His drawings and meticulously crafted miniatures, work as psychological metaphors and speak of the need for individuality and freedom along with conflicting desires for security and relationship with community.   Kaifeng’s  work, He’s Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sunday He Loves to Cry, adopts the technology of the diorama, a three-dimensional or miniature model enclosed in a glass showcase in museums. Viewing the room through the window, the viewer is drawn by the clinical, even innocuous aesthetics of mainly grey and white. The room as a psycho-space reveals surprises for the curious viewer as hidden objects signify incongruity, even violence. The relationship between the various objects in the room allows for imaginative readings by the viewer.


Said Kaifeng: “He’s Satisfied from Monday to Friday and on Sundays He Loves to Cry conveys an anxiety concerning the aesthetisation and anaesthetisation of everyday life. The different objects in this work space represented by the limited chromatic range of colours, presents a certain psychologically-charged atmosphere. The work is meant as a reflection of the visual and material homogeneity of life in urbane Singapore.  If one looks closer and observes the carefully orchestrated placement of extrinsic objects, one will be able to notice that the work hints at a sense of forlornness and a desire for transgression in a carefully controlled environment.”


Kaifeng is currently studying at The Glasgow School of Art in UK, and plans to hold solo exhibitions in 2010. He said: “SAE is a good platform for local artists to showcase their works in an institutional space.   The curating is all encompassing and allows for young artists to exhibit alongside established artists. The resultant exhibition has a broad range of works from amateur to professional artists and this can serve as an indicator of the level of interest in the arts among all Singaporeans. Judging from the show there certainly is a significant number of emerging local talent. I believe they, like me, are encouraged by their participation in this exhibition. I am excited by this trend and I look forward to seeing more works from our local talent. “


Kaifeng’s winning artwork received accolades from the SAE 2009 Judging Committee.  Said Low Sze Wee, Chairman of the Committee: “Kaifeng has created one of the most intriguing and well-conceived works in the exhibition – a life-sized room filled with familiar, yet unfamiliar objects that we can only peer in from the outside. Through his use of minimal colours, precise placement of every single item and deliberate manner of controlling a viewer’s gaze, the artist has generated a psychologically-charged space that leaves the viewer with more questions than answers.  His work also resonates with contemporary audiences at many levels, speaking eloquently of lost moments and anxieties stemming from the conditions of modern life. ”


Said Lim Chwee Seng, Director for Visual Arts, National Arts Council: “As the main feature of the Singapore Art Show, the Singapore Art Exhibition provides an opportunity for artists to be actively involved in art-making. In the process and through the exhibition, they bring out the richness and diversity of visual arts to a wider audience in Singapore. The SAE is also a platform for us to highlight new artworks as well as artistic talent like Chun Kaifeng, winner of this year's SAE Prize. Kaifeng had shown outstanding artistic potential through his winning work. We hope that this recognition will spur him to greater heights in his artistic endeavour. "


Said Director of Singapore Art Museum, Tan Boon Hui: "The biennial Singapore Art Exhibition is an important event for SAM as a contemporary art museum as it is an opportunity for us to turn the spotlight on art created by local talents. Its unique open call submission format for sourcing artworks broadens the styles and mediums of work that can be selected for exhibition. Each installment is thus a barometer of the state of contemporary art in Singapore. It provides an insight into what styles and issues artists are interested in and what are their central concerns at this point in time. While painting continues to be an indelible part of contemporary art, as seen in this year's show, newer, more challenging genres like installation and even interactive art are making their presence felt. The exhibition is a must see for anyone who is interested in a state-of-the arts showcase of what our artists are thinking about at this point in time."


The prize presentation ceremony for the Singapore Art Exhibition 2009 Prize and the Singapore Art Show Student Art Competition took place on 6 October 2009, at SAM Glass Hall.


Please find the following annexes enclosed for information:

Annex A           About the Singapore Art Show and the Singapore Art Exhibition

Annex B           Submission Statistics

Annex C           Bio of Chun Kaifeng, Winner of SAE 2009 and the S$50,000 Grant

Annex D           Bio of Jason Wee, Voter’s Choice Award of S$5 000

Annex E           About the National Arts Council and the Singapore Art Museum