Crossing Borders with Art

The launch of Angles of Incidence: An SIF-BC collaboration featuring Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan and British artist Philippa Lawrence.

Angles of Incidence comprises a family of reflective multi-faceted steel structures, some of which patterned with crystal elements, placed beneath the canopy of an 80-year old Kapok tree to create a dynamic relationship between the installation and its environment.

Connecting people and building friendships across cultures and continents through the power of art. That was what the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and the British Council (BC) Artist-in-Residence programme (AiRx), and the launch of Angles of Incidence at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 14 January 2014, epitomised.

Angles of Incidence, the first public art installation under the SIF-BC AiRx programme, is a collaborative artwork by Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan and British artist Philippa Lawrence, borne of new insights and inspirations gained from their participation in the third SIF-BC AiRx programme for promoting cross-cultural interaction, understanding and collaboration.

The launch event saw over a hundred guests from the diplomatic, business, arts and cultural communities in Singapore and opened with remarks from Mr Roland Davies, Director of BC, Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of SIF, as well as Dr Nigel Taylor, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, expressing delight at the growth and success of the SIF-BC AiRx programme in bringing together Singapore and UK communities, as well as appreciating the many partners and supporters instrumental to the programme and launch of Angles of Incidence.

Mr Roland Davies, Director of BC, Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of SIF, Dr Nigel Taylor, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan, expressing their delight at the growth and success of the AiRx programme in connecting communities through the arts, as well as their thanks, gratitude and appreciation to all for the success of the launch.

Ms Jean Tan furthered shared with guests through a quote from Philippa, the latter’s excitement and interest in being a cultural ambassador under the SIF-BC AiRx programme: “The notion of linking two people, two countries and two sites is something I would wish for the work to make apparent. My interest in this programme is largely based upon (the site of the Botanic Garden and) the opportunity to collaborate and work within another culture and country, and the challenge in working outside of my comfort zone.”

Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan concluded by sharing his thoughts on his AiRx experience in Singapore and London, the creative process and collaboration with Philippa. “It has been a privilege and a great opportunity to be selected to be part of this program. The experience has been enriching as this program is a residential and cultural immersion program that provides new insights, understanding and inspiration through interaction and exchanging perspectives with the United Kingdom. Together with Philippa, we hope to further our communication outside of this collaboration in each of our own artistic community in the near future. As such this project will be an on-going progressive one even after the program is over.”

Randy walking guest, Mr Ivan Heng, W!LD RICE Founding Artistic Director through the installation.

Guests were then treated to tours of the installation conducted by Randy, who shared the AiRx duo’s stories, motivations and inspirations behind the artwork.

Randy and Philippa’s Angles of Incidence comprises a family of reflective elements reflective multi-faceted steel structures, some of which patterned with crystal elements, placed beneath the canopy of an 80-year old Kapok tree, to create a dynamic relationship between the installation and its environment. Through this installation at the Singapore Botanic Gardens – Singapore’s first nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and later in London – the artists hope to engage and encourage Singapore and UK communities to reflect on heritage and memory.

Angles of Incidence will be on display until 23 March 2014, before being presented at the Temples Gardens in London for the second half of 2014, in a reciprocal exhibition. As part of SIF-BC AiRx’s 2013/2014 community outreach efforts, Singaporean artist-architect, Randy Chan will also be conducting a tour of the installation and a talk on cross-cultural artistic collaborations entitled: “Site-Specific Land Art in Singapore and Beyond” on 18 January 2014. An online photo competition with prizes has also gone live from 14 January to 28 March 2014 on www.airx.sg. Members of the public can also snap and share their memories of the installation through images via Instagram #SIFBCAiRx.

Angles of Incidence reflects and underscores the power of art and culture in bringing people together to promote greater understanding and to build ties between Singaporeans, Britons and world communities at large.

These impressions of the launch of Angles of Incidence were contributed by SIF staffer Jane Lee.

To view photos of the team and the installations, please click here.

 

The team behind SIF-BC AiRx 2013/2014, at the premiere of Angles of Incidence, Singapore Botanic Gardens. (From left: Mr Tan Chong Lee, Assist CEO(CDS) of National Parks Board, Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of SIF, Ms Tolla Sloane, Curator and Project Manager, Mr David Chong, SIF Governor, Ms Euleen Goh, SIF Chairman, Dr Nigel Taylor, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Mr Roland Davies, Director of BC, Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan, H.E. Antony Phillipson, British High Commis
Guests listening on intently to Randy’s passionate explanation of the installation.
Images of Angles of Incidence posted by visitors on the installation via Instagram at hashtag #SIFBCAiRx. This is part of an on-going online photo competition with prizes from 14 January to 28 March 2014 on www.airx.sg.
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