Loretta Lux’s Rose Garden

Loretta Lux’s Rose Garden BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Her gaze at a faraway place, Loretta Lux’s model stands with a quiet confidence. What could be going on in that little four-year-olds mind? It is amazing that Loretta Lux, the formerly trained painter and now photographer, could elicit that particular expression in a child. It is … Continue reading

Elliot Erwitt’s Mother and Child

Mother and Child BY: LIAU SHU JUAN The baby sleeps soundly, unaware of the feline’s presence and her mother’s loving gaze as she poses for her father. This is a photo by Elliot Erwitt, the famed Magnum photographer who shot people unaware in various situations, from tension filled moments like Richard Nixon poking Nikita Khrushchev … Continue reading

The Essence of Cumaru

The Essence of Cumaru BY: LIAU SHU JUAN I was given the opportunity to design a wooden Iphone case. This newly formed accessory brand called James Reto aims to connect contemporary art with modern craftsmanship. One of the start-up’s missions is to support and feature local emerging artists and engrave their artwork on wooden cases. … Continue reading

The Romance of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Movie Palace

The Romance of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Movie Palace BY: LIAU SHU JUAN A burst of light and a flash. Hiroshi Sugimoto, the acclaimed Japanese photographer of seascapes and movie theatres idealizes and romanticizes his subjects. A darkened movie palace, the American dream of the thirties, is glamourised and beautified in this 20 x 24 inch silver … 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

Loretta Lux: The Mystique of Isabella

Loretta Lux: The Mystique of Isabella BY: LIAU SHU JUAN With Isabella’s big head, small body and fine, delicate features, she is a modern day version of Agnolo Bronzino’s aristocratic children portraits. Isabella looms right in front of you, staring at you with those big, steely blue eyes of her that offers a hint of … 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

Who Am I?

Ladies BY: LIAU SHU JUAN The lady stares upwards, her eyes hidden by two eye patches, the gauzes used after a cosmetic eye surgery to give oneself a pair of double eyelids. Her porcelain smooth face highlights her complexion and beauty. She stares without sight, her red vermilion lips closed. You could almost touch them, … 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

Rain Room

It’s Raining Indoors! BY: LIAU SHU JUAN Top picture by Christopher Pledger Throughout human history, we’ve seen the projections of man’s dreams- dreams to fly, through the Wright Brothers and supersonic jets and dreams to communicate, through the telephone and the Internet. Here we have dreams to control the weather through Random International’s Rain Room. … 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

Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Paris Street; Rainy Day’

Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Paris Street; Rainy Day’ By LIAU SHU JUAN There is more to the banal than meets the eyes in Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Paris Street; Rainy Day’ which actually reveals much about the social, and economical conditions of modernity as a result of industrialization and physical transformation of cities emphasizing on openness and orderliness. The … Continue reading

Art and the Everyday through Johannes Vermeer’s ‘The Kitchen Maid’ and Edouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergere’

Art and the Everyday By LIAU SHU JUAN During the Dutch Golden Age, the home and the ideology of domesticity was very much revered and represented but as society evolve, bars and cafes and the modern crowd became new forms of representation and, women’s roles and values changed though female subservience remained inherent as the … Continue reading

Amanda Heng’s ‘She and her Dishcover’.

Amanda Heng’s Dishcover By LIAU SHU JUAN Amanda Heng, She and her Dishcover, 1991. Amanda Heng is one of Singapore’s most well known pioneer female performance and installation artists touching on woman’s issues in the local context. One of which is the homely ‘She and Her Dishcover’. The artwork consists of a traditional dishcover atop … Continue reading

Comparison of Dreamscapes of James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Vincent Van Gogh

Dreamscapes of James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Vincent Van Gogh By LIAU SHU JUAN James Abbott McNeil Whistler was known for his strong value in ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ and was well known for having his ‘Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket’ described as ‘a pot of paint being thrown on it’ by … Continue reading

Escaping Criticism?

Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso, 1874 use of trompe-l’œil Copyright © 2012 Liau Shu Juan.

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