Art Encounters #03
Eugene Soh: AltARed State
21 January to 7 February 2021, 12 to 9pm daily, Orchard Road,
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 will move to unique sites every few months. Every rotation of Art Encounters will uncover new opportunities for integrating art into aspects of local life.
At each site, an artist will be commissioned to create 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 a few months, enriched by dialogues and responses from the community around the art site and from the general public.
Featuring diverse artists and mediums across drawing, painting, sculpture 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 feat. Lionel Sabatté (January to February 2020) and KampongGlam feat. Rizman Putra (February to June 2020).
Art Encounters is presented by Art Outreach Singapore, in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board.
For this year’s edition, we have invited local tech artist Eugene Soh who will design and create an exhibition of 10 augmented reality filters that invite visitors to playfully explore concepts of colour, line, shape and texture through motion sensors and facial capture technology. Visitors in person will be able to trigger an AR animation of the containers coming to life and scaling buildings in the area on their own mobile devices. The strong technology angle lends itself well to an online augmentation while the physical experience will be extended to online audiences to releasing a limited selection of filters on Instagram and Facebook. The images taken by visitors in person and online will be hosted in a livestream online album.
Overall, the aim is to bring back an element of interactivity, and the power of art to connect people, in an age where many art experiences have pivoted online, and may be more static.
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 is 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 situates the viewer in the centre of the work (and the world that Soh has created). Through Augmented Reality (AR) filters designed to respond to emotional cues and facial expressions, viewers can invoke fantastical imagery inspired by Surrealism and folklore, prompting us to consider our place in the world and unattended aspects of our psyche.
About Eugene Soh
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, contextualizing 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.