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Streets of Hope: A Conversation with Artist, Genevieve Chua

As part of the National Arts Council’s #SGCultureAnywhere campaign, Streets of Hope brings the streets to life with banners featuring artworks by 153 homegrown artists. Launched in June 2020, the project is one of the largest presentations of work by local artists, bringing together practitioners across generations, backgrounds and mediums in full force.

The street banners can now be seen along St. Andrew’s Road, Fullerton Road, Esplanade Drive, Stamford Road, and many more, as well as on the National Arts Council and Gillman Barracks websites. Look out for works by the likes of Zul Othman (ZERO), Robert Zhao, Rizman Putra, Cultural Medallion recipient Han Sai Por, and our very own IMPART Awards winners, Khairullah Rahim, Priyageetha Dia, Faris Nakamura and Genevieve Chua.

Following our earlier feature on Faris and his banner, this week we’re featuring fellow IMPART Awards 2020 winner Genevieve Chua about the meaning behind the artwork she selected for her banner, her experience with the IMPART Awards and what she’s been up to lately.

Portrait of Genevieve CHua
Genevieve Chua

Congratulations on being one of the featured artists in Streets of Hope! What is something that brings you hope?

GC: This may sound strange but I don’t look for hope, just a sense of balance in the day-to-day. I’m grateful for the Streets of Hope initiative for disbursing money to artists this way.

Tell us more about the artwork featured on your banner, Tillandsia Usneoides #12. What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing it?

GC: It’s a modified version of a work of the same title produced in 2011. Tillandsia Usneoides is an air plant that drapes itself on the branches of trees. It catches the breeze and captures nutrients in the air. The original work had a drawn curve above the hands, but I removed it for the banner to keep things light and airy.

Tillandsia Usneoides #12 - Genevieve Chua

Tillandsia Usneoides Fig.13 – Genevieve Chua

Streets of Hope is a celebration of creativity meant to enliven the streets of Singapore and lift peoples’ spirits. What role do you think artists play in the community?

GC: I can only speak for myself since artists are all individuals with their own perceived and desired roles to play. I make abstract and near-abstract impressions of real-life objects and events in order to build a visual glossary, which may be essential to some and not essential to others.

What other projects have you been up to since winning the IMPART Awards in January? How has the experience been for you?

GC: I’ve had a solo exhibition Twofold with Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) and two upcoming group shows this year: A Decade Apart/Together with Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) from 28 August to 19 September, and Strange Forms of Life with STPI later in November to January 2021. Every art award should be like IMPART Awards. It’s the only art prize in the region with no caveats or expectation to use the award in a certain way.

The 2021 IMPART Awards is now open for applications. Could you share with potential applicants: What was the application process like, and were you fearful or excited?

GC: The application process was quite straightforward; you can do it in one go at a cafe after taking your mask off and having a shot of espresso.

What’s one piece of advice you have for young budding artists?

GC: Arts digitisation is not just for pandemics. It is much, much more than a stop-gap measure.

What’s next for Genevieve Chua?

GC: Some offline time, outdoors.


The IMPART Awards 2021 is currently open for applications and will close on 16 October 2020. Download application form here.

A Decade Apart/Together opens on 28 August at RK Fine Art.

More of Genevieve Chua’s work can be seen here.

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