Open Doors, Open Minds
OH! Open House uncovers the little-known stories of different Singapore neighbourhoods while getting residents to open their homes to artists for the creation of site-specific artworks.
PHOTO PINK BLUE PHOTOGRAPHY
ounded in 2009, OH! Open House develops and presents unique art experiences in various Singapore neighbourhoods. It takes visitors on tours to view artworks that it commissioned local artists to create for specific spaces in homes, offices and communal areas. Its signature art tour uncovers little-known stories about the neighbourhoods, as residents share the histories and their memories of specific places.
The tours take place in different parts of Singapore every year. The first edition of the arts walkabout in 2009 featured six shophouses along Niven Road in the Dhoby Ghaut area, home to a number of arts institutions and organisations. One of the featured art installations, The Synthetics (pictured), was created by Singapore-based contemporary art and design collective Phunk as a homage to Kraftwerk, a German electronic music band, whose members dress in red shirts and black ties. “We selected this work because the house that was hosting OH! was filled with a multitude of ancient Buddhist and tribal artworks. We wanted to create a contrast to the house,” says Alan Oei, co-founder of OH! Open House.
Subsequent OH! Open House tour locations include Tiong Bahru, one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, and the financial district of Marina Bay. In March this year, OH! Open House ventured into Potong Pasir which, from 1984 to 2011, was Singapore’s longest-held opposition ward.
OH! Open House has expanded its offerings beyond neighbourhood art walks. It is now a non-profit organisation dedicated to exploring the country’s cultural geography through unique artistic initiatives, such as immersive theatre experiences and art mentorship programmes.
Visit http://ohopenhouse.org/ to find out more.
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