A Scene at the Back Alley- Tay Kok Wee’s Picking

Tay Kok Wee, Picking, 1955. Oil on canvas. Back-end robbery BY: LIAU SHU JUAN This is 1955, Singapore. A ruckus had just occurred in an unnamed, clean-looking back alley. Ah Seng, the self-proclaimed spokesman or boss of the make-shift ikan business was proclaiming to a listening audience, how much damage the runaway culprit had caused … Continue reading

El Shaddai, Light and Charcoal, stop-motion installation.

Fire burns and blazes alive, just like the relationship between man and Jesus, man and God. It grows in strength and it’s not consumed. Copyright: Liau Shu Juan 2013

My Portfolio of Works

So Beautiful…

Ice that melts Frosty Cold Black ink dribbles down the cracks of hardened form. So beautiful. I was at the ‘So Beautiful’ Art Exhibition at the National Institute of Education, curated and put together by pgde art teachers, and the above is my attempt at poetry, in expressing that effervescent yet intriguing quality of Deborah … Continue reading

Black and White Photographic Triptych

Timeless Chairs BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Moving on to Arron Teo’s black and white photographic triptych, I was quite taken by the position of sofas at various unconventional locations at a Housing Development Board (HDB) estate. They are placed randomly in the middle of the void deck, in front of the letter boxes and in … Continue reading

Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’

Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’ at Art Stage BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Amidst the bewildering, confusing labyrinth at Art Stage Singapore 2013, and the many works of various complexities, a piece of art stands out purely for its simplicity and evocative gentle motions. Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’, a mixed media installation, is a breather and sanctuary amidst the … Continue reading

Hardiman Radjab’s Suitcases at ArtStage

Hardiman Radjab’s Quirky Suitcases By LIAU SHU JUAN There were plenty of appropriations going on at Art Stage 2012. Contemporary Chinese artists freely appropriated Ai Wei Wei and Marcel Duchamp’s urinal. At the other hemisphere, western painters appropriated ‘The Scream’, Van Gogh’s agonising self portraits and even Absolut Vodka bottles. Amidst the sea of kitsch … Continue reading

Video Installation- Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho

El Fin Del Mondo (The End of the World) BY: LIAU SHU JUAN It is the year XXXX AD. The world has faced a major catastrophe and is in a ruinous condition. Sounds familiar? This is not a sci-fi, apocalyptic film, think ‘War of the Worlds’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, but a 2-channel video … Continue reading

If The World Does Not Change

If The World Does Not Change BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Singapore Biennale’s theme of ‘If The World Changed’ opens up a myriad of possibilities and situations for artists to explore. Jainal Amambing’s ‘My Longhouse Story’ instead, is a reversal of the theme, ‘What If The World Did Not Changed?’ Amambing travels back in time to … Continue reading


Untitled BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Stepping into the white cube, loud black Arial font greeted this reviewer. “MAKE N PROMISES. TAKE N PRISONERS. DO N HARM. KILL N MORE. GO N FURTHER.” Makan? Taken Prisoner? Don’t harm? Gon(e) further? This is Iswanto Hartono’s and Raqs Media Collective’s ‘The 5 Principle No-s’. I was a little … Continue reading

Journey Through iLight Marina Bay 2012

iLight By LIAU SHU JUAN The Sands Hotel stood too conspicuously in the dark at the ‘iLight’ Marina Bay Waterfront with its glittering façade and colossal architecture. It might even replace the Merlion as the next cultural icon. However, the latest visual attraction at the 2012 ‘sustainable’ light art festival was the bright kaleidoscopic projections … Continue reading

1989 China Avant-Garde Exhibition

Redefining Art in the China/Avant-Garde Exhibition By LIAU SHU JUAN Art need not be beautiful but can be highly conceptual and meaningful in the context of the 1989 China/Avant-Garde Exhibition Li Xianting, the esteemed Chinese art critic said that ‘it does not mean anything when one looks at the surface or the beauty of the … Continue reading

And the Difference is.. Concept Over Beauty

And the Difference is.. Concept over Beauty By LIAU SHU JUAN Simon Pericich All Together Now!, 2006, Garbage Bags, glitter, air from air conditioning ducts Inflatable garbage bags hanging in the air, a video of seemingly nonsensical conversations and an ordinary filing cabinet. The man on the street wouldn’t call them art. However, before you … Continue reading

China’s Mona Lisa at the Singapore Expo

China’s Mona Lisa By LIAU SHU JUAN Qing Ming Shang He Tu (清明上河图) or ‘Along the River during the Qingming Festival’ arrived in Singapore on 7 December 2011. Now, record that date because it was, well, almost a historic moment. The ‘painting’ that arrived in the Lion City was actually an animated digital reproduction. Do … Continue reading