Art is created as a result of several intersections: of the theoretical context with the articulation of the medium, of the rigidity of form with the fluidity of colour, of the visual limitations with the poetry of imagination, and lastly, of the artist’s vision with the viewer’s gaze. Moreover, the contemporary art movement has given way to crossroads not only within but beyond the boundaries of industries and cultures.
Intersections Gallery in Singapore strives to establish the universality of art. “The vision of the gallery is to encourage people to look at the world we live in from different perspectives,” says Marie-Pierre Mol, the gallery’s co-founder.
This year, at Voilah!, the French Festival in Singapore to be held from 30 March to 6 May 2018, Intersections Gallery will be presenting an exciting collaboration. French artist Claire Deniau has worked with the Special Lenses Unit (SL Lab) of Essilor in Ligny-en-Barrois, France — a team of professionals dedicated to special lenses with a unique know-how that combines lens-making craftsmanship and innovative nanotechnology — to create unique and interactive works of art that explore the link between art and vision.
The exhibition, titled ‘Senses and Lenses’, coincides with the joint decision made by Singapore and France to designate 2018 the ‘Year of Innovation’, on the occasion of the State Visit by then French President François Hollande to Singapore in March 2017.
Each of Deniau’s abstract paintings is encased in a glass box complete with specially designed mineral glass lenses strategically attached to the surface. The optical lenses that magnify, deform or alter the abstraction within provide viewers with alternative perspectives to interact with. “The idea of not representing something that you relate to or recognise immediately is what actually opens up the possibilities of the imagination,” says the artist. “In these works, I focused on the colors and the shapes that together form these imaginary worlds. This series is primarily about the experience.”
The three-point relationship that exists with the artist, the artwork and the viewer is a recurring concept in Deniau’s practice. “All my work is based on this communication or dialogue that I am able to create through the act of painting and the materiality involved in the process,” notes the artist. “I believe that if the viewer does not engage with the materiality of the work, they cannot feel the emotion that the artist is trying to portray.”
As part of an exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Women, ‘One Belt One Road’, at the Sotheby’s Gallery in 2016, Deniau had showcased a preliminary work titled ‘Up Close’ which incorporated the use of magnifying glasses. This new project emerged as a deliberate attempt to push that same concept further.
Intersections Gallery will be exhibiting six paintings in glass boxes, three with lenses hanging in front of them, and one installation featuring nine lenses. During the exhibition, the audiences will be requested to put away their hand phones. “We are not putting technology aside,” explains Mol. “To the contrary, we are trying to create a setting where the viewers can fully contemplate how we engage with it.”
On top of showcasing Claire Deniau’s works, Intersections Gallery will also be featuring another exhibition entitled ‘Cultural Roots of Singapore’ from 13 March to 8 April. This exhibition traces the rich cultural interactions that have emerged from Singapore’s position at the crossroads of commercial routes since the 15th century. As such, the aptly named gallery’s line-up for March will position Singapore at the intersections of a deep cultural historicity, and a flourishing future of possibilities.
More information at intersections.com.sg.
This article was written by Tanya Singh for Art Republik 18.