Haegue Yang: Honesty Printed on Modesty
Allegro Print Pte Ltd, Singapore, 2013, 213 pp
Honesty Printed on Modesty is a new body of work by Haegue Yang (Berlin/Seoul) that surfaced during her residency at STPI last November. Inspired by her journey in Singapore, she embarked on an experiment to transform foods and spices into works of art that trace history, culture and economics. Obtained from local markets in Little India and Chinatown, these ingredients were used as colours and textures for direct print and papermaking through the combined efforts of the artist and the STPI workshop team.
Her use of modest everyday items explore themes such as Rabindranath Tagore’s notion of domesticity, where the less representational and ordinary is significant and necessary for life (otherwise known as the ‘passive quality’ of women). Shanghai greens, eggplants and instant noodles were endowed with a mystical and significant quality in Golden Singulars while humble spices integrated in Spice Sheets were used to reference a weightier subject Singapore’s colonial history as a commercial port city, and on a larger scale, Southeast Asia’s historical and political experience with colonialism. In Yang’s hands, these regular foods tell of a civilisation’s point of origin and transformation.
Yang is the first artist to be featured in PlatformSTPI Projects (PSP) – a collaboration between STPI and Platform Projects Ltd that aims to identify, engage and challenge conceptually progressive artists to realise their creative ambitions through STPI’s Visiting Artists Programme.
Featuring essays by H. G. Masters and June Yap.