Open my heart, Ease My Task, Loosen The Knot On My Tongue
SOLO EXHIBITION BY Speak Cryptic
CURATED BY KHAI HORI
Exhibition Opening: 4 May 2019 (Saturday), 15:00 - 17:00
Exhibition Duration: 4 May - 9 June 2019
Open My Heart, Ease My Task, Loosen the Knot on My Tongue takes its reference from the prayer of Moses when he was commanded to face the Pharaoh (Quran 20:25-27, Exodus 4:10). As much as it was for courage, the title points to a desire for ease and mutual communication. For every artist, art is essentially a vocabulary in the form of visual and experiential manifestations, one that surpasses language and cultures. And while many artists in Southeast Asia (and the world) continue to engage their audience through bold images and sharp critiques, Speak Cryptic chooses to draw upon the poetic based on personal histories and dreamlike edifices from an introspective vantage point.
Through his drawings, paintings, installations, public art and performance-based work, Speak Cryptic translates the symptoms and consequences of society’s capital-centric normalization through personal inquiries that stretch from ancestral migration, ethnic dislocation, civic gentrification, and the embodiment of alternative values from popular culture as personal coping and identity-forming mechanisms. Like artists such as Raymond Pettibon, Yoshitomo Nara and Barry McGee who arrived at contemporary art via urban art origins, Speak Cryptic forges a distinctively personal vocabulary to enable his art to engage an extremely diverse audience population; disrupting quintessential appraisals of contemporary art.
Speak Cryptic’s (b. 1980, Singapore) practice investigates the popular and underground cultures that permeate one’s ethnic identity, referencing the visual language of comics and music. Using himself as a model, he speaks of a distancing from Malay culture; blind faith in adopting Western sub-cultures as surrogate identities; and the pressures of living in a restrictive and constantly-changing urban environment. His notable exhibitions include Art from the Streets at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore (2018); Flying Supermarket at Koganecho Art Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan (2018); Sorry, Not Sorry at Officina delle Zattere in Venice, Italy (2015); Secret Archipelago at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2015) and Future Proof at the Singapore Art Museum (2012). He was featured in Atypical Singapore (2018 – 2019), a touring exhibition which was presented in Moscow, Russia; Yangon, Myanmar; New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam.