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Sunday Tea Ceremony at National Gallery Singapore

By Edric  /  01 Feb 2018 (Thursday)

In collaboration with internationally renowned artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, National Gallery Singapore presents his largest bamboo maze installation at the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden from 24th January to 28th October 2018.

untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), the immersive installation which stands at a towering four metres high, draws its inspiration from materials, craftwork, and architecture from Asia. The maze references traditional hand-built bamboo scaffolding found across Asia, while the Japanese tea house evokes the rich culture of tea with its centuries-old ceremonies. Navigate through the bamboo maze as you go in search of finding something special such as the wooden tea house located at the centre, and along the way, encounter and interact with each other.

This deceivingly simple concept continues Rirkrit's artistic focus on participatory works that blur the line between art and its audiences while leveraging his strength and inclination towards the gesture of hospitality. By devising and provoking human encounters in spaces that are embodied in architectural structures like the bamboo maze and teahouse, he encourages visitors to pause, make time and space to experience something new.

This is Rirkrit's second major solo project in Singapore. Having lived in various countries, his works reflect the constant negotiation between diverse cultures as he constructs communal environments that draw audiences to become part of his work. His most iconic work in 1992, Untitled (Free) transformed spaces in museums and galleries worldwide into a space of communion where he served rice and Thai curry to visitors, thereby creating temporary but meaningful bonds between him and his audience.

Complementing the installation is a diverse range of public programmes including tea ceremonies by Japanese performance artist Mai Ueda, monthly tea ceremonies, Rirkrit Day with a colloquium, screening of the documentary on the making of the installation, and various performances.
Rirkrit Tiravanija. Untitled (running out of time). 2013. Featuring performance by Mai Ueda. Photo courtesy of MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia/Rémi Chauvin.

Every year, the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission series invites one leading international artist to present a site-specific work that is inspired by Southeast Asia's rich cultural heritage and complex histories from a contemporary perspective.

Admission to the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery is free.

When: 4th Feb, 4th Mar, 1st April, 6th May, 3rd Jun, 1st Jul, 5th Aug, 2nd Sep and 7th Oct | 2 - 6pm
Venue: Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery
On the first Sunday of the month, enjoy the rare experience of a tea ceremony held within the installation. Admission is free.

When: 16 Jun 11am - 7:30pm
Where: Various locations
Delve deeper into Rirkrit Tiravanija's practice through a day of exciting programmes. Hear the artist and international experts discuss his collaborative approach to art through relational aesthetics and architecture; watch a film on the making of the commission; participate in tea ceremonies and view his other works on display in the Gallery. The day closes with the official launch of the exhibition catalogue. Admission is free.

For more information about untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), visit: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/see-do/programme-detail/709/ng-teng-fong-roof-garden-commission-rirkrit-tiravanija
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