From 23 November 2019 to 5 April 2020 paintings by Gordon Cheung can be seen as part of a group show in Singapore, 2219: Futures Imagined which looks at possible future worlds.
The exhibition progresses in a series of Acts. In each Act, artists create alternative worlds which align with an era, starting with John Akomfrah in 2019 and ending in 2219 with works by Adeline Kueh, Amanda Heng, Yanyun Chen, Larry Achiampong, Priyageetha Dia, Shan Hur and Zarina Muhammad.
The acts guide the visitor through a narrative inspired by the work of Singaporean writer Alvin Pang. Pang’s fiction and poetry are defined by his mobile and curious approach; he relentlessly and restlessly explores the human condition, his writings adapting to the changing world. This agile approach means Pang’s work not only avoids easy definition but is also a common thread linking seemingly disparate contexts and events and highlighting links between them.
The works in 2219:Futures Imagined interweaves aspects of Pang’s work with scientific indicators of the impact of climate change to speculate on how humans will need to adapt to the transforming Earth over the next two centuries. The exhibition speaks with the voices of multiple artists from around the world, working in a range of disciplines from installation to painting to writing to sculpture. Moreover, the works on display avoid grand narratives or bold claims, instead focusing on human-scale adaptations and innovations and thinking specifically about problems local to Singapore. As such, like the work of Pang, the exhibition avoids easy definition and considers the issue at hand - how to cope with climate change - in a robust, practical and multifaceted way.
Work by Gordon Cheung is part of the exhibition’s third Act: Underworld; the artist’s paintings form a dialogue with the work of Alvin Pang, Donna Ong, Finbarr Fallon, Fyerool Darma and Lisa Park. Together, the artists imagine life in 2060, at a time when the Earth can no longer support human society. Focusing on events in Singapore, the collective narrative sees new templates for civilisation being formed underground, and contact with flora and fauna a thing of the past, commemorated with artificial shrines.
The full list of artists exhibiting in 2219: Futures Imagined is: Alvin Pang, John Akomfrah, Sarah Choo Jing, Johann Fauzi, Hafiz Ozman, Superflux, WOHA Architects, Debbie Ding, Robert Zhao Renhui, Finbarr Fallon, Donna Ong, Lisa Park, Fyerool Darma, Gordon Cheung, Rimini Protokoll, Bao Songyu, Shan Hur, Larry Achiampong, Zarina Muhammad, Amanda Heng, Yanyun Chen, Priyageetha Dia, Adeline Kueh, Joshua Ip, Clara Chow, Rachel Heng, Judith Huang, Pomeroy Studio and Tristan Jakob-Hoff.
2219: Futures Imagined is on display at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956 from 23 November 2019 to 5 April 2020.
Top image: Gordon Cheung (UK), Jan davidsz. de heem I (New Order), 2019