AltARed State by Eugene Soh
21 Jan – 7 Feb 2021, 12 – 9pm daily, Orchard Road (Mandarin Gallery)
Launched during Singapore Art Week 2020, Art Encounters is a presentation series capturing the art- making process within three 20ft repurposed shipping containers. Functioning as a mobile studio, gallery and public engagement space, the containers move to a unique site each quarter. Every rotation of Art Encounters uncovers new opportunities for integrating art into aspects of local life.
At each site, an artist will be commissioned to create an artwork inside the containers, allowing full visibility into the fascinating art-making process. Visitors may engage in conversation with the artist to learn about their inspiration, techniques and perspectives. The completed artwork will remain on display for several months, enriched by workshops and responses from the community around the art site and from the general public.
Featuring diverse artists and mediums across drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and digital installations, Art Encounters offers rare insight into the chapter of creativity that is often concealed in traditional exhibitions, thus bringing the public closer to art. It is conceived to extend robust visual art programming to the public throughout the year and beyond Singapore’s art precincts, creating space for encounters with art in daily life and unexpected sites. Art Encounters has since held two editions in Orchard Road featuring Lionel Sabatté (January to February 2020) and Kampong Glam featuring Rizman Putra (February to June 2020).
Art Encounters is presented by Art Outreach Singapore, in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board.
For the Singapore Art Week 2021 edition, local tech artist Eugene Soh was commissioned to design an Augmented Reality (AR) installation that invited visitors to playfully explore a time of introspection we've emerged out of, using motion sensors and facial capture technology. Traditionally used to supplement a physical exhibition, or experienced by individuals through their mobile screens, AR here has been transformed into an immersive, standalone experience that brings people together to interact with art.
In doing so, Soh's work galvanised the power of technology not only manifest our innermost states and wild imaginations, but connect us to each other.
AltARred State by Eugene Soh
In a time of extended isolation that has compelled us to look inward, we may find ourselves
grappling with questions of identity and significance. AltARed State was an invitation to discover how you might have been affected in this new and constantly evolving state in which we live.
Galvanising the power of art and technology to bring to life what resides only in our minds, this interactive installation situated the viewer in the centre of the work (and the world that Soh created). Through Augmented Reality (AR) filters designed to respond to emotional cues and facial expressions, viewers could invoke fantastical imagery inspired by Surrealism and folklore, prompting them to consider our place in the world and unattended aspects of our psyche.
Art Encounters Pop-up
Visit our containers to experience your AltARed State.
21 January – 7 February 2021
12 – 9pm daily
Orchard Road (outside Mandarin Gallery)
Experience AltARed State wherever you are, with our Instagram filter on your mobile device.
Follow us at @artoutreachsingapore and click on the effects icon to try out two AltARed State effects!
About the Artist
Eugene Soh a.k.a. DUDE (b. 1987) is a tech artist. He is the founder of Dude Studios (dude.sg), a creative tech studio focusing on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality, and Mind Palace (mindpalacevr.org), a social enterprise that uses VR to help dementia patients and nursing home residents revisit fond places and explore the world from the comfort and safety of their chairs, keeping their minds active and slowing the effects of dementia.
He grew up as a self-taught computer programmer, tinkering with the latest fun technology when he accidentally became an artist after his photographic piece, contextualising Da Vinci’s Last Supper in a local hawker centre setting, went viral on social media in 2012. That discovery, with its tongue-in-cheek commentary on contemporary life in Singapore, catapulted him into the art world. Many awards and exhibitions later, he hasn’t stopped creating and tinkering.