SINGAPORE (JAN 17): Here are our top picks for your week out and about town.

ART

Joy of a preverbal dispenser
FOST Gallery, Gillman Bar- racks
11 January - 23 February 2020

Joy of a preverbal dispenser, by Singaporean abstract artist Ian Woo, is an exhibition employing painting as a ‘mental’ device. Here, forms modulate between crevices and haptic spaces. Each painting also evolves as cognitive time between examples of the pictorial and the object, revealing how each artwork is constructed. This can be attested through the artist’s methodical system of negotiating between line and shape in search for cropped perspectives, revealing the instability of memory as an ‘incidental event’. The exhibition title also alludes to the moment before description, suggesting the ambiguity and anxiety to the sensation of image making.

 

GENSET
Gajah Gallery
16 January - 9 February 2020

GENSET is a major cross-generational group exhibition featuring the works of 21 artists from across Southeast Asia. The title refers to the ‘generator set’ which converts power into energy and aims to rediscover what sparks the flame of imagination and innovation in these artists and their desire to create, and how one’s art can resonate with and continue to inspire future generations. With a spotlight on Malaysian contemporary art, GENSET brings together multiple generations of artists, showcasing their influence onto the trajectory of the national art scene, as well as the development and expansion of artistic practice. Placed alongside works by artists from the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore, tthis display explores notions of shared contemporary inspiration and how each artist has contributed and carved their own path onto the landscape of Southeast Asian art.

 

Stealing Public Space
11 January - 23 February 2020
The Substation Singapore

This showcase features 32 historical and newly-commissioned works by 25 artists and will occupy several sites within and around The Substation. One highlight is the entry by Thai artist Sutee Kunavichayanont titled ‘History Class’. First installed at the foot of Bangkok’s Democracy Monument in 2000, the carvings take inspiration from various Thai tales excluded from official history books and aims to encourage viewers to reclaim taboo topics from the nation’s past.

 

LITERARY

A Novel Idea: Of Mice and Men VS The Handmaid’s Tale
The Arts House
17 & 18 January 2020

Journey back to the Great Depression in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and immerse yourself in the dystopian future in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in this edition of A Novel Idea. Watch these novels come as actors Janice Koh and Daniel Jenkins read excerpts from these literary classics. This outing is directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall and is part of Prologue, a series of events aimed at turning the historic space into a gathering of words through multidisciplinary performances and interactive activities. Tickets at $10.

 

FILM

Primal
In cinemas now

Animal attack movies are often predictable affairs but when it stars a famously oddball actor, you know you will be entertained. Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage plays Frank Walsh, a hunter and collector who must stop a ghost jaguar (yes, you read that right) and an evil assassin from terrorising a cargo ship. Think of it as Life Of Pi without the life lessons but with more guns, escaped animals and shouting (from Cage). Pure escapist entertainment, in other words.

 

The Peanut Butter Falcon
In cinemas now

Yet another movie featuring an oddball lead (in this case Shia LaBeouf). But despite its title, The Peanut Butter Falcon is actually a heartwarming tale about an intellectually disabled young man named Zak (played by Zack Gottsagen) who dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Along the way, he becomes friends with small- time crook Tyler (played by LaBeouf) who eventually becomes Zak’s coach and ally. It is a wonderful tale of resilience, bolstered by strong performances by Gottsagen and LaBeouf.