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"It was a long, complicated process and [not] many artists will have an opportunity to work with fantastic architects who understood from the beginning what ceramic and mosaics are about."
Delia and Milenko Prvački
NE6 Dhoby Ghaut
At Dhoby Ghaut station, husband and wife team Milenko and Delia Prvački pay homage to the artistic heritage of Asian fabric, ceramics, and tiles through their works in mosaics and ceramics. Created in 2003, their work marked the first time that they collaborated, and includes a bold floor mosaic at the foot of five sets of escalators, a wall mural combining Milenko’s mosaics and Delia’s ceramics, and four sets of pillar rings.
Creating the work was both labour and time intensive and Milenko had some of his students assist him. For a year, he spent 3 days a week at the Poh Cheong Concrete Product Factory in Sungei Kadut where the artwork was produced and assembled. According to Milenko, staying the course over that period of time required equal measures of perseverance and focus, as he developed allergies to the dust at the stoneworks.
Reinforcing the fusion of their works, the artists constantly but discreetly employed elements of each other’s medium in their works. Delia’s porcelains and ceramics have been integrated into Milenko’s works while bits of Milenko’s mosaics are to be found among the intricate spirals and elliptical shapes of Delia’s ceramic tiles.
Their work comes together vividly in a combined wall mural overlooking Milenko’s floorworks on basement 3. Both extreme ends of the mural, one end in mosaic and the other in ceramics, start off quietly. Delia’s portion begins in blue and white and Milenko’s in natural stone, but then intensify towards the centre of the mural, coming together in what Delia calls “a dance of colours, textures, lines, shapes and spirals.”
Delia and Milenko Prvački
b. 1950, Romania / b. 1951, Yugoslavia
Delia Prvački is a contemporary artist known for her multidisciplinary practice encompassing painting, sculpture, and installation. Her artistic journey spans from the early 1980s, during which she was focused on establishing a new vocabulary and significance for the sculptural medium using available technologies and diverse modalities of expression in ceramics. She often experiments with mixed techniques and draws inspiration from her passion for other forms of art and archaeology.
Prvački’s relocation to Southeast Asia in the 90s has influenced many of her works as she is inspired by the unique natural surroundings, such as tropical vegetation, light, and weather, as well as the cultural environment, including the dilemmas posed by modern urban society. Her work reflects her exploration of nature, culture, and memory, and she continues to make significant contributions to the contemporary art world with her thought-provoking and diverse body of work.
She has exhibited both in solo and group shows locally and internationally, including Venice, Belgrade and ChiangMai. She is also the founder and owner of Deliarts Pte Ltd, an art-consulting and art-producing company.
Milenko Prvački is one of Singapore’s foremost artists and educators, having taught at LASALLE College of the Arts since 1994, first as a Fine Arts Lecturer, then Faculty Dean, and now as Senior Fellow.
As an artist, he has exhibited extensively since 1971, developing a profound body of work that has enriched Singapore's visual art scene. He has also participated in numerous showcases in public spaces and galleries in Singapore since 1993. His works are in the permanent collection of the Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art Serbia, Singapore Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Drawing in Nurnberg, among others.
He has also participated in numerous symposiums and art workshops worldwide, including a panel discussion on Southeast Asian art held at the Singapore Art Museum in 2011, an artist talk at the Istanbul Biennale in 2007, a discussion on Southeast Asian art in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 2001, as well as acting as a visiting professor at Musashino Art University in Tokyo and Sabanchi University in Istanbul. For his significant contributions to art, he has been honoured with the title of the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government in 2011, and the Cultural Medallion from the Singapore government in 2012.