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Conversation Made Tangible

Visual artist Michael Ee collaborates on an installation for the Singapore Art Museum.

Conversation Made Tangible

A new installation commissioned for the 2019 Singapore Biennalewhich continues through March 22, 2020—presents a visual representation of a poem by spoken word artist Pooja Nansi.

Mounted on the 36-meter wooden structure temporarily surrounding the Singapore Art Museum (which is undergoing renovations), Coping Mechanisms graphically mimics the erratic flow of a group chat.

“Pooja’s poem did not need to follow a linear flow,” explains artist and educator Michael Ee 15 GD, “and the work’s location on a busy street means that viewers are assessing it from multiple vantage points, so it’s important that it be striking from a distance.”

Artist Michael Ee and poet Pooja Nansi took a nonlinear approach.

Ee collaborated with Kult Studio, a studio, gallery and design collective in Singapore currently creating an AR experience that will allow passersby to interact with the piece using their smartphones.

The team’s overarching goal was “to produce a piece that questions how a conversation celebrating the small joys and triumphs of the everyday can be read and interpreted.”

“The work’s location on a busy street means that viewers are assessing it from multiple vantage points.”singapore artist/educator michael ee

Ee was delighted to be tapped for the work and notes that other than insisting that his contribution be purely typographic, Nansi gave him free rein to “create a landscape for the poem to inhabit.”

Since returning home to Singapore after graduating five years ago, Ee has been teaching art to teenage students at two secondary schools in the city-state.

Simone Solondz


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