Photo credit: JOO CHOON LIN

Singapore Art Museum’s Dance in the Destruction Dance exhibition will “evolve” through live performances

The theatrical performances by local artist Joo Choon Lin will activate the installation and its various elements within the gallery space.

Nnurul Shakinah

In love with anything matcha flavoured.

Published: 6 January 2023, 6:16 PM

Returning visitors to Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) latest Dance in the Destruction Dance installation can witness the constant evolution of the exhibition as it gets activated and transformed through live theatrical performances over three months. 

Running from Jan 13 to Apr 16 at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, the installation is created by Singapore artist Joo Choon Lin and features several artworks including Glue Your Eyelids Together (2017), I Only Make Friends With Money (2012), and Beatific Perfume (2020-present). 

The installation’s sculptures, videos and drawings will undergo transformations into unrecognisable shapes and configurations during two live runs of theatrical performance pEARs ‘ — — — ‘ in §pring (2018).

Scripted and performed by Choon Lin alongside other performers, it will involve the manipulation of the artworks in transformations meant to irk the audience into wondering if there is a distinction between reality and appearance. 


Music used in pEARs ‘ — — — ‘ in §pring composed by sound designer and composer, Joe Ng. PHOTO CREDIT: FOGSTAND GALLERY & STUDIO


Through the exhibition, Choon Lin aims to raise thoughts on how the thresholds of consciousness can be animated through objects around us, and wishes to highlight how perception is just an appearance of what we imagine the world to be.

Senior curator at SAM Shabbir Hussain Mustafa said: “Dance in the Destruction Dance draws from Joo’s experimentation with post-industrial materials such as plastics and metals, and how they constantly shapeshift and come to be adapted for myriad functions. 

“It also exemplifies her ongoing explorations into how imagination can become a vehicle to make the invisible world visible through a play of the objects she creates and the performances she stages in her large installations.”

Commissioned by SAM, Dance in the Destruction Dance is also the second solo exhibition under the museum’s Material Intelligence series. This follows Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s A Machine Boosting Energy into the Universe, which opened in January 2022.

Dance in the Destruction if free for all visitors throughout the exhibition period. Those who would like to catch pEARs ‘ — — — ‘ in §pring can do so at SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Gallery 2 from 8.30 to 9.30pm on Jan 13 and 6 – 7pm on Mar 25. 

Visitors will also be able to enjoy extended museum hours on Fridays and Saturdays alongside a variety of programmes, such as performances, tours, workshops, activities for families, during Singapore Art Week 2023. 

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