What is your memory of growing up as a student? Did you struggle with any particular subject? What did you like or dislike in a classroom? Did you ever question the contents in the textbooks used by the school? What was your favorite subject? These are probably the questions you might have when viewing ‘(Un)filtered Reflections’ by New York-based Japanese artist ‘Noriko Ambe’.
Noriko Ambe has been cutting paper and books and created arts from them since 1999. In this project, she utilized textbooks as the key material. By working with students from Japan and Singapore through dialogues and discussions, she created a set of unique and provoking portraits of these students – something that resembles their personal reflections.
This was, in fact, the first time that Ambe had collaborated with the public in her own project. She engaged the students to reflect themselves through a textbook of their choice. By carefully listening and inspecting the students’ response, she used various techniques such as cutting, shredding or folding to transform the textbooks into pieces of art. This project also reflects the voices of children in school and demonstrates Ambe’s spectacular sense of empathy and understanding since most students in Japan and Singapore have to face a lot of pressure from society and highly competitive and rigorous educational systems.
In ‘Drawing Books’ which was made from history textbooks, audience are demanded to observe how the history is controlled, distorted, censored and presented in schools in different countries. In ‘Under the Big Tree’, history textbooks were cut, and stacked over and over to resemble a tree trunk with an empty core and many holes, whereas in ‘Math Cells’ paper from mathematics textbooks were folded into columns and stacked over one another. Each exhibit invites you to ponder over the education system and sympathize with the youths who are our future generations.
If you are interested in contemporary arts and do not have any plans this weekend, you should drop by Aloft at Hermes on Orchard Road. The exhibition is free entry and will be held until 11 February 2018 from 10.30 AM to 8.00 PM daily.
About Aloft at Hermes
Aloft at Hermes on Orchard Road is one of the five art spaces of the Fondation d’enterprise Hermes around the world. Each year, two artists are invited to present their exhibition according to the annual theme that engages the public in ongoing dialogues and new perspectives.