"Loh said, 'No matter what one sees from the outside, artists from Singapore work under certain censorship and financial constraints, which come from living in a very expensive country and having a government that is very willing to fund you, but with conditions—all funding has conditions. You need government funding, you need curators, you need gallerists and the system to back you so that it is a viable career.' Chia added: 'As an artist, how do you do this? Are you not complicit? There are real social trade-offs to be made.'"
Telling a story in text and in film has been something I have wanted to do. So when I was asked if I would be interested to write a collector’s profile for ArtAsiaPacific, it was a quick yes - only this time, I asked if I could bring my camera along.
I chose to feature Cheryl Loh and John Chia because I love it that they are all that art is about, and at the same time, all that the art world is not. They have a really interesting collection, but it is not the names that one first encounters, it is their love of art and the knowledge and thoughts that art engenders. This is as much a story about artists and their works as it is a story about collections.
It gives me tremendous pleasure to be able to tell the story of really special people in my backyard - in my one-man band kind of guerrilla-style interview and shoot over 4 hours. Thank you to Cheryl and John for being such good sport.
For those in Indonesia and are not able to access Vimeo, here's the link on YouTube.
The article is published in the Nov/ Dec issue of ArtAsiaPacific for those who are subscribers. For online access, it's on preview for another 2 weeks, but the 8-minute video is live. The text talks about Singaporean-ness in art and how artists in Singapore straddle conflicts in funding and censorship - quite a fascinating perspective from the very articulate duo. This video was not meant to be a stand-alone, it was made to complement the text.