You Call that Art?

In a recent press interview Singapore artist Thomas Yeo admitted that he feels distanced from “contemporary disciplines” such as video and installation art.

He said “The problem today is that if you can’t paint, you do abstract art. Or if you can’t paint, you do installation art.”

He related an anecdote about visiting an exhibition in Australia. A security guard told him that he had been stepping on an exhibit: a rope on the floor.

He said: “To each his own, I say. I’m an old-fashioned painter. Without apology.”

At last, someone I agree with!

To me, installation art is pure crap.

So’s snipping your pubic hair on stage, as Josef Ng did in 1994, so’s Damien Hirst’s cow in formaldehyde, so’s The Vagina Monologues and Shopping and Fucking. There is no doubt about these plays’ dramatic worth. They have none.

But different strokes for different folks – people should be free to stage shows like The Vagina Monologues and Shopping and Fucking; the rest of us are free to ignore them.

What we should not ignore is the fact that Beatrice Chia, who made her directional debut with Shopping and Fucking, is trying to be a Member of Parliament.

Now, that’s scary.

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