EX: 1/30/2012
  >> Search exhibitions
>> Confirm subscribe
Pearl Lam Galleries (Singapore)
2016.01.21 Thu - 2016.03.20 Sun
Opening Exhibition
9 Lock Road #03-22,Gillman Barracks,Singapore 108937

(新加坡吉尔曼军营艺术区洛克路9号#03-22, 108937)
Opening Hours
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 7pm,Sunday 12pm – 6pm,Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays
(周二至周六 11am – 7pm,
周日 12am – 6pm,周一及节假日闭馆)

>> Go to website

>> See map

Yinka Shonibare MBE solo exhibition ‘Childhood Memories’
[Press Release]

Singapore—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to present an exhibition of work by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, opening on 21 January, 2016. In contrast with the artist’s previous work, which addressed universal political concerns, this new series returns to the essence of the imagination, an exploration of the subjective and the subconscious that is inspired by surrealism. For the first time, the artist will utilise his childhood memories in Nigeria, dividing the exhibition into two parts: new surrealist sculptures along with several screen prints.

Shonibare draws on surrealism as both an artistic and political movement aimed at the liberation ofthe human being from the constraints of capitalism, the state, and the cultural forces that limit thereign of the imagination. The first part of the exhibition comprises two new fantastical sculpturesbased on the artist’s childhood memories when he lived in Lagos, Nigeria. Shonibare was born inBritain, but his family moved to Lagos when he was three years old. These dreamlike sculpturesevoke poetic surrealist juxtapositions, exploring the artist’s half-remembered childhood tales, aswell as the constructed and fictitious memories of childhood, folklore, and tradition.


Included in the show is Boy Sitting Beside a Hibiscus Flower, a sculpture based on the artist’s memoryof his childhood garden in Nigeria. In a dreamlike scenario a boy sits under a giant hibiscus flowershaded from the hot sun, while in Ibeji (Twins) Riding a Butterfly, the artist explores Nigerian folkloreabout the significance of twins. Known as ‘Ibeji’ within Yoruba culture, twins are a source of anxietyand celebration, regarded as divine beings capable of bringing either affluence or misery to theirparents.

In the remaining new sculpture in the show, the artist remembers making magical imaginaryjourneys through books. In Girl Balancing Knowledge, a girl precariously balances books on her lefthand, likely to collapse in a heap. She kicks her right foot over to her left as if in a silent, surreal danceof joy. Education was highly valued in Shonibare’s family, which is why he returned to Britain at 17years old to sit his A-levels. This work acts as a metaphor that bridges his time in Lagos and London,a move that was driven by his hunger for knowledge.

The artist’s trademark material is the brightly coloured African batik fabric he purchases at Brixtonmarket in London, which can be seen throughout the exhibition. The fabric was inspired byIndonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch, and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africawhere it became a new sign of African identity and independence in the 1960s. The fabric makes upthe clothes on the figures of Shonibare’s new sculptures.

For the first time at Pearl Lam Galleries, this exhibition will spread across two spaces at GillmanBarracks. A new space near block 5 will be home to the artist’s new body of work, while Pearl LamGalleries’ original space in block 9 will be transformed into a screening room which will show twoseparate documentaries about Yinka Shonibare MBE, allowing visitors to find out more about theartist’s life and practice.

“I’m delighted to be welcoming Yinka Shonibare to our Singapore gallery for his firstexhibition here, following on from the success of his Hong Kong show in 2013.Stimulating an artistic discourse is important to Pearl Lam Galleries, and while Yinka’snew body of work draws on surrealism, his work continues to comment on culturalidentity, colonialism, and post-colonialism, themes very much relevant to a Singaporeanaudience.”

—Pearl Lam, Founder, Pearl Lam Galleries

About Yinka Shonibare MBE

Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three.He returned to London to study Fine Art first at Central Saint Martins College and then at GoldsmithsCollege, where he received his MFA.

Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and was also awarded the decoration of Member ofthe “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” or MBE. He was notably commissioned by OkwuiEnwezor at Documenta 10 in 2002 to create his most recognised work Gallantry and CriminalConversation that launched him onto an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennaleand internationally at leading museums worldwide. In September 2008, his major mid-career surveycommenced at the MCA Sydney and then toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and theMuseum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Shonibare’s work, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission and was displayedin Trafalgar Square, London until January 2012. It was the first commission by a black British artistand was part of a national fundraising campaign organised by the Art Fund and the National Maritime Museum, who have now successfully acquired the sculpture permanently for display outside the museum’s entrance in Greenwich Park, London.

In 2012, the Royal Opera House commissioned Globe Head Ballerina to be displayed on the exterior of the Royal Opera House, overlooking Russell Street in Covent Garden. The life-sized ballerina encased within a giant ‘snow globe’ spins slowly as if caught mid-dance. The piece appears to encapsulate a moment of performance as if stolen from the stage of the Royal Opera House.

Shonibare has also been elected as a Sculptor in the Royal Academy of Arts, making him part of a select society of at most 80 practicing artists working in the UK. This honour, historically a way to distinguish an artist as a professional in Britain, is the art community’s recognition of the significanceof Shonibare’s work.

Shonibare’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the TateCollection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art,Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery ofCanada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Rome.

About Pearl Lam Galleries

Founded by Pearl Lam, Pearl Lam Galleries is a driving force within Asia’s contemporary art scene.With over 20 years of experience exhibiting Asian and Western art and design, it is one of the leadingand most established contemporary art galleries to be launched out of China.

Playing a vital role in stimulating international dialogue on Chinese and Asian contemporary art, theGalleries is dedicated to championing artists who re-evaluate and challenge perceptions of culturalpractice from the region. The Galleries in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore collaborate withrenowned curators, each presenting distinct programming from major solo exhibitions, specialprojects and installations to conceptually rigorous group shows. Based on the philosophy of ChineseLiterati where art forms have no hierarchy, Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to breaking downboundaries between different disciplines, with a unique gallery model committed to encouragingcross-cultural exchange.

Contemporary Chinese abstract art is heavily represented in the Galleries roster. Influential Chineseartists Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai, who synthesise Chinese sensibilities with an international visuallanguage, are presented internationally with work now included in major private and publiccollections worldwide. The Galleries has also introduced leading international artists such asLeonardo Drew, Jenny Holzer, Carlos Rolón/Dzine and Yinka Shonibare MBE to markets in theregion, providing opportunities for new audiences in Asia to encounter their work. Pearl LamGalleries encourages international artists to create new work which engages specifically with theregion—collaborating to produce thought-provoking and culturally relevant work.