public art: weblog

Asian Public Art News
Art and similar interventions in public space. Coverage moves outwards from Singapore through Asia to the rest of the world. Like nothing else, the idea of "public art" exposes the contradiction inherent in our ideas of "the public" and of "art".

Recent posts
- Public Art on the cover of IS Magazine
- Have you ever wondered what Singapore would be lik...
- Beta launch -
- The Tree
- Aerosol Arabic in Malaysia
- Intriguing project announcement - (on the invaluab...
- Horse-Head
- Cow Under Surveillance
- Creative Home - an interview with founder of Socia...
- nice capture - some current Singapore graffiti

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Sunday, May 24, 2009
  Intriguing project announcement - (on the invaluable
"Are you bold enough to challenge the official strategy? Are you humble enough to listen to your surroundings and cooperate with the general public in shaping your art project?

Window for dialogue want to open up familiar sites in Singapore and develop tactical responses to exclusive city planing, commercialization of everyday life and public exclusion in decision making. Concerned with the shifting notions of site-specific art, and the emerging informal public sphere, it is the objective of Window for dialogue to experiment with public participation in the constructive process of public space and initiate a dialogue about how the public sphere is utilized. This will be achieved by inviting the general public, in corporation with artists, academics and the authorities to partake in the creation of public site-specific artworks."

Contact: Nik Tao.


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# posted @ 1:30 PM 1 comments | add a comment

Dear Author !
You are mistaken. Let's discuss it.
By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:11 PM  

Sunday, February 08, 2009
  Cow Under Surveillance
Cow Under Surveillance
Cow Under Surveillance,
originally uploaded by Sentosa Girl.
Asian Public Art News welcomes good advertising in public spaces. We're not like the Mayor of Sao Paolo, Brazil, who banned billboards.

A recent self-promotional foray by Singapore outdoor ad co, Moove Media, an arm of public transport giant Comfort Delgro, raises questions. Today's Sunday Times had the news that more than 200 of the 600 CNY-themed cut-out cows placed in public spaces had been stolen, despite the presence of "cows under surveillance" signs. So, the natural question, in law-abiding Singapore: why did so many people steal the cows? 1) Because they loved them so much and wanted to take them home? 2) because they hated them and thought they were a blight on the urban landscape, and wanted to remove them?

Purely aesthetic motives don't begin to capture it -- this sort of "theft" is all about authority. My guess is that the cow-eye-lash surveillance signs and the ease with which the cows could be removed together constitute something just short of an invitation to vandalize... (it wouldn't be vandalism if you were overtly invited to "steal this cow"). You are invited to transgress in a safe and relatively wholesome way that will give the advertising company lots of free publicity. And this almost-invitation to transgress is probably quite powerful, especially in law-abiding Singapore. I'm guessing that "number of cows stolen" was a KPI for this particular campaign - how else to get this sort of publicity (well timed for a slow news day)?

What was the ostensible reason for placing the cows in public spots around the island? Says Moove Media CEO Jayne Kwek, "to bring cheer and hope to Singaporeans". (Makes me a bit depressed, really. ) When asked whether the cow campaigns have a commercial point: "Even if the benefit is intangible, it doesn't matter as that's not the point. To me, the landscape is my canvas and this is art..."

Well, I think outdoor advertising execs should try and be just a little more humble or thoughtful about the public space which is "your canvas". As for your art, we thought the white elephants of Buangkok were actually a lot more interesting and cheerful than your cows. They were also the victim of some sanctioned vandalism...

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# posted @ 10:46 AM 1 comments | add a comment

Maybe they were not stolen and it was made up to get media attention?
By Anonymous ARDT, at 1:41 PM  

Saturday, April 19, 2008
  Public sculpture in the way of retail experience? Off with their heads!

Look what they've done to my sculpture, ma!

How to react to these latest images from Orchard Rd (by MMS from Lucy Davis)? Can they just speak for themselves? (Maybe not, as the figures appear to have been muzzled). Shall I get all pedantic on you and write an entry on the conflict between the needs of privatized retail space and real old-fashioned public space? If I did I could have the pleasure of quoting Daisy Loo, (a fiction writer would get in trouble for giving a character who is the Head of Retail for Jones Lang LaSalle in Singapore a name like that): "Retail is a living system which needs to be constantly refreshed."

No, I shall just sit back and present the pix, and let you enjoy the latest absurdity of Singapore's urban environment...(But I might just email Sun Yuli and ask him what he's going to do... surely this is a violation of his moral rights of authorship (as they call them in the UK)).

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# posted @ 7:15 PM 0 comments | add a comment

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