Paper is a carrier of ideas. It is encoded with material intelligence. How do artists think through paper? In an increasingly digital world, is paper still relevant? ‘Matter’ only becomes a special ‘material’ when its potential is realised and put into action. In the hands of artists, paper affords glimpses of the repositories of knowledge, accumulated over time, constantly being adapted and refined. Paper is employed rather loosely here as a word, an idea, and a process. It provides a platform to showcase the authentic experience of the artist that is imprinted onto the artwork that he/she brings into being, inscribed with past and present.
Superfluous Things: Paper is an exhibition with interactive components for the young at heart. This exhibition highlights the work of contemporary artists as storytellers, evoking precious personal and cultural memories, through a long tradition of paper manipulation. The works astound through the transformations of pieces of paper into objects of visual feast and irresistible emotional resonance.
Cheryl Teo is a Malaysian-born Singaporean artist who specialises in creating intricate paper sculptures and tactile illustrations. Her practice focuses on craft-based media that embraces the memory of play. She is drawn to the ubiquity of paper and the meticulous process involved in handcrafted design. Teo is also interested in constructing whimsical worlds and toying with our perception of reality through the elements of surprise and scale. She has worked on commercial set design, photo illustrations and installations. She has been featured in local and international publications such as The Straits Times Singapore, Frankie Magazine Australia, and Flow Magazine France.
Jumaadi works with a range of mediums, including drawing, painting, performance, and installation. His practice is informed by personal experience and the political and aesthetic lineages of his homeland, including wayang kulit, shadow-puppet plays originating in Java and Bali. With poetic sensibility, Jumaadi weaves together human and organic motifs to explore universal themes like love, conflict and belonging. His works are in the collections of institutions such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art and National Gallery Australia, and have been featured in the 14th Jakarta Biennale, 5th Moscow Biennale, 13th Gwangju Biennale and 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Born in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia, Jumaadi currently lives and works in Sydney, New South Wales and Imogiri, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Nabilah Said is a Singapore-based playwright, editor and artist who works with text as material across different forms. She has worked with Teater Ekamatra, The Necessary Stage, T>:Works, and multiple independent theatre collectives. Her play ANGKAT (2019) won Best Original Script at the Life Theatre Awards. Her play Inside Voices (2019) won the Outstanding New Work award at VAULT Festival, London, and was published by Nick Hern Books (UK). She is currently under commission of Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. Her years of working as a Straits Times arts correspondent, the editor of regional arts publication, ArtsEquator, and various capacities within the visual, literary and performing arts scenes have allowed her to develop her voice as a cultural commentator in Singapore. Nabilah also teaches writing and critical thinking across various age groups. She has an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Li Hongbo is best known for his interpretations of paper. Fascinated by traditional Chinese toys and festive decorations made of paper since young, Li reinvents and creates kinetic paper works, which elegantly expand, contract and retract. A selection of his solo museum shows around the world includes The Child with Scarf (2020), Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong; Quand La Sculpture Devient Créature (2017), Musée du Papier, Angoulême; Li Hongbo: Irons for Ages, Flowers for Days (2015), SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; and Li Hongbo – Out of Paper (2013), Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg. Li currently lives and works in Beijing.
PHUNK (previously known as :phunk and Phunk Studio) is a Singapore-based contemporary art and design collective. Founded in 1994 by LASALLE Diploma in Design Communication alumni Alvin Tan, Melvin Chee, Jackson Tan and William Chan, PHUNK's expansive repertoire spans across art, design, publishing, fashion, music, film and interactive, including collaborations with international brands like Nike, MTV and Levi Strauss & Co. In the universe imagined and created by PHUNK, traditional Chinese folklore, Hong Kong wuxia pulp fiction, Japanese manga, American street culture and British new wave music come together. A recipient of the President’s Design Award in 2007, PHUNK’s focus is on experimenting with new approaches to visual expression.
Keiichi Tanaami graduated from the Graphic Design programme in Musashino Art University in 1960. He quickly forged a successful career in design and advertising, illustrating the Japanese releases of record covers for Jefferson Airplane and The Monkees, among other projects. An encounter with the Japanese neo-dada scene centred around the studio of the artist Ushio Shinohara, as well as Manga-style cartoons, inspired Tanaami’s foray into art. His colourful, overpopulated psychedelic collages, animations and drawings frequently juxtapose war imagery with American and Japanese pop culture, communicating an underlying peace message. Still active today, Tanaami continues to explore new frontiers of creativity.