A Fact Has No Appearance held at National Gallery Singapore investigates the impact of new ideas on Southeast Asian art in the 1970s by focusing on three key artists: Johnny Manahan (The Philippines), Redza Piyadasa (Malaysia), and Tan Teng-Kee (Malaysia/Singapore), providing an insight into their approaches during a dynamic moment in the region’s history where they broke new ground, challenging the boundaries of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance.
As the name suggests, the title can be interpreted as both a statement or a question, drawing parallels with the notion of challenge depicted by the artworks during its time. The modern san serif logotype is arranged in a free form manner to illustrate the interwoven experience of the show, whereas the words ‘Fact’ & ‘Appearance’ were deliberately deconstructed to to reflect how art making at that time provided a contrarian view to the norms.
The entrance area serves an important function to set this tone for the exhibition. The walkway is flanked by Piyadasa’s provoking sculpture A Configuration Can Never Have a Literal Existence on one side and the exhibition title wall on the other. Directly facing the entrance is a video projection of Tan Teng Kee’s The Picnic, an eye catching introduction into the exhibition space. The spatial design is created in such a way that the eye is drawn along the diagonal voluminous walls which creates a natural rhythm; portions of the artworks from the different artists can be seen throughout the exhibition which strengthens the notion of interwoven case studies. In conjunction with the launch, a special publication was also designed featuring essays, conversations, and archival images related to this series.
In collaboration with Superfat Designs.