9 & 11 year olds’ “exihibition” canned?

I refer to the article “Family art collective pulls out show in National Gallery S’pore after ‘miscommunication’” (Today, Nov 29).

Only museum exhibition allowed in museum?

It states that “It opened last Tuesday but was taken down yesterday by the art collective after it was made clear that no other art exhibition not done by the museum was to be allowed in the premises”.

This really sounds very strange! How is it possible to envisage that anyone would hold any “other art exhibition not done by the museum” – “to be allowed in the premises” – when presumably the museum decides on all exhibitions in its premises?

Hanging paintings on wall is “exhibition” – not allowed?

As to “while the content and concept behind When Renndom Met Airany resonated with them (NGS) and was approved, the format of the presentation — with art hung ‘exhibition style’ on the walls — was not cleared with them — a fatal error on & Co.’s part, and as such, the showcase was found to have crossed certain boundaries and was disallowed” – is there any other “non-exhibition style” way to display the art pieces other than by hanging them on the walls?

What on earth was going through the minds of the people at the NGS?

NGS’s bureaucracy of “words”

With regard to “it also admitted that the event could have been prevented had the terms of guidelines been clearer from the start. “We take full responsibility for the stress and heartache which the family has suffered as a result. It has been an unmitigated nightmare for us to witness the complete backfiring our intention to give indie art gems celebrated within the creative community a platform to reach out to a wider audience, a core objective of this partnership with the National Gallery Singapore” – I applaud Gallery & Co. (cafe) for being so diplomatic to the NGS.

In my opinion – “the event could have been prevented had the terms of guidelines been clearer from the start” – may show that the NGS may simply be hiding behind the bureaucracy of “words”.

“Exihibition” cannot, change to “display” can?

In respect of “we were only informed by Gallery & Co last Tuesday night that the word ‘exhibition’ needed to be removed from our collaterals and backdrop” – so, does it mean that initially it was alright, if the word exhibition was changed to say “display”?

What is this? Another NGS bureaucracy of “words”?

As to “we rushed to do that but on Wednesday afternoon, we received another email stating that the entire show needs to be taken down unless drastic changes were made. We were very shocked.”

19 paintings cut to 1 painting? 

According to Lim, on Thursday, they had met up with museum officials, and that a compromise was reached to make the show look less like an exhibition, such as by putting up more books on the wall. But even after rushing to repurpose the space on Friday, things took an about-turn on Saturday morning and he was instructed to remove all but one of the 19 paintings” – So, more books less paintings on the wall “to make the show look less like an exhibition” – 1 painting not exhibition, but more than 1 painting is exhibition? Uniquely Singapore!

Renn and Aira deserve an apology and invitation? 

With regard to “they have since received about seven offers to stage When Renndom Met Airany elsewhere” – I think the NGS owes an apology to Renn and Aira, and should invite them to have an “approved” exhibition at the NGS.

What a great start to the National Gallery Singapore!


Leong Sze Hian

A.S.S. Contributor

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