A little art interlude

Lookit that horse

So tonight I broke my self-imposed isolation and went to the opening of "A Story of the Image", a visiting exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore with art from Antwerp --- from big names like Ruben and van Dyck, to contemporary artists I've never heard of but, from what I glimpsed tonight, seem to be doing interesting things.

And that's all I managed to do tonight, glimpse things, because holy crap, I was not prepared for how big this exhibition is. I'm used to temporary exhibitions in Singapore being small because they're travelling shows and our museums have limited space. But this one takes up the entire temporary exhibition space on the basement level of the museum. After the first couple of galleries, I gave up at trying to look at the art properly because the place was supposed to be closing in 20 minutes anyway. I'll go back another day and take my time at it. Yes, I'll have to pay $8, but damn if it isn't going to be $8 well-spent. When was the last time you heard "16th-century engravings" and "Singapore" in the same sentence?

Suzie and TOHA (The Other Half of Ampulets) were there tonight too, and TOHA remarked that watching people respond to the artworks reminded him of the New York Times article I Facebooked last week, "At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus" (via Hwei Shan). At exhibitions there are always people who walk through studying their guidebooks and catalogues diligently, and there are people diligently taking photos of everything they see or like or feel they ought to take a photo of, and there are people who trudge through 'cause someone made them do it. There are people who sit and sketch, and and there are people who wander, well, wherever. There are people who check it off a list.

There were no sketchers tonight, but let's see if any turn up the next time I pop into this exhibition.



At 8/14/2009 1:26 am , Blogger Dot said...

I don't know what to do in art museums. I enjoy photographs tremendously. But everything else? I walk through the museum wondering what I'm supposed to look like I'm doing.

Those horses though. Damn.

At 8/14/2009 5:45 am , Blogger Tym said...

Just look at what you like, and enjoy it? That's my philosophy.

As for the horses, our inimitable Straits Times had to go and say something silly about it.

At 8/14/2009 4:55 pm , Anonymous Robert Stone said...

I don't agree that art needs to be enjoyed. I don't think enjoy is the correct word. If it was the correct work, art would be picturesque instead of sublime.

As for taking photographs, well, you know, it really depends on the photographs. For example, sometimes people take a photograph the same way they would make a sketch, or jot down a note; there was something in there that intrigued them and needed further examination. I think that article is a little too condescending for its own good, and doesn't say something we don't already know. BLAH!


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