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S.E.A. Focus 2022

[15.01.22 – 23.01.22]


Phillip Lai, Tromarama


#01-05, 39 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065

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Edouard Malingue Gallery is delighted to present for this edition of S.E.A Focus, works by Phillip Lai (b. 1969, Malaysia) and collective, Tromarama (founded in 2006, Indonesia). Featured in the curated section are two sculptural works by Phillip Lai and new lenticular prints by Tromarama. Furthermore, three video works by Tromarama will be presented in S.E.A. Focus’s screening programme, Projector X.

Intrinsic to Phillip Lai’s practice is the interest in the uncertainty embedded in space, and the observation of our relationship with objects, images and space. Untitled (2019) is a sculptural installation composed of a bowl, that is perfectly wedged into an undulating structure resembling black foam. The seemingly random materials are cast by the artist. Lai plays with utility, balance and architecture through placement and arrangement. He often puts our habitual thinking of such relationships in daily life in contrast to his ideas, and explores the simple, material properties, which is how the objects are formed and perceived by humans. Born in Kuala Lumpur and currently based in London, Phillip Lai has exhibited internationally at Modern Art, London (2021), The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (2018), Camden Arts Centre, London (2014); Tate Modern, London (2010) amongst others. His work is held in the permanent collection of the Tate (UK), Arts Council (UK), Camden Arts Centre (UK), Goss-Michael Foundation (USA), Nomas Foundation (Italy), La Colección Jumex (Mexico). Lai was shortlisted for the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture in 2018.

Initiating as a collective in 2006 in Bandung, Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena create works that combine video, installation, computer programming and public participation depicting the influence of digital media on society’s perception of its surroundings. Showcased in the curated section is the lenticular-printed series “Consonant”. All the distorted images that appear in this series come from the artists’ elementary to junior high school archives and documents. These materials are an instrument to measure and cast a person in every level of education. “Consonant” series is an attempt to question all the values and thoughts that are brought up by these official materials which is a state vision on what an individual should behave like and think in order to live in society. Presented in S.E.A. Focus’s screening section, Projector X are Tromarama’s single channel video works Mirage (2016) and On Progress (2013), and the stop-motion animation Pilgrimage (2011). Channeling language, text, wit, sequence as well as interaction through their varied practice, Tromarama reflect on the cornerstones of Indonesia’s political and cultural environment, a form of perceptive engagement that applies globally. Their works were recently exhibited at DOCUMENT, Chicago (2021), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2020), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2019), Centre A, Vancouver (2017), Liverpool Biennial Fringe, Liverpool (2016), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015) amongst others.