̶S̶̶$̶̶1̶̶,̶̶9̶̶9̶̶6̶̶/̶̶-̶, S$831.06 is a process-focused artwork that culminates with an installation which examines value of art, artistic practise and its sustainability. The project started with a reaction towards the need to submit an art grant application, so as to get the needed money to create a work and stage an exhibition. Navigating through various systems, it looks into both the macro environment of Singapore art funding and how that affects a single artist attempting to make an artwork in an independent art space. Whilst immediate neighbouring countries around Singapore has almost no government art funding but the void is filled up by influential patrons and collectors – creating a different form of dynamic.
The original proposal was to build a pillar made of S$1-coins in the space. After failing to secure the art grant, a donation drive was conceived to garner S$1,996/- from friends and family. The amount of money, converted to S$1-coins, is the amount of material needed to form the pillar in the independent art space that has a ceiling height of 4.4m. However, the final result of the donation drive was S$831.06. Conceptually engaging the entire work flow, the work responses to the failed art grant application and below-target donation result from friends and family. The donation money was converted to Singapore legal tender $1 coins as planned. They are then stacked – without any damage to the legal tender, to form a precarious and incomplete pillar, suspended in the 4.4-metre tall space using steel tubes. The labour required and challenges faced in building this golden column is integral to the installation.
Other than the money needed as material for making the work, the show was made possible by a top-up donor – a supportive artist’s friend, who covered all other cost needed to stage the presentation. Is it then realistic and sustainable to rely on generous friendly networks?
Attempting to generate a circular mode of creation, the process includes mechanisms such as artist donating the proceeds of the sale of artwork to an art funding body, if the application was successful and was stated in the submitted art fund application. Further exploring the idea of value, the work is to be sold. The sales proceeds would be split equally between the artist, curator and the independent space. This is also to cope with the reality of needing sustenance for the continuation of artistic practises.
However, will the work ever be sold? May be we will never have the answer.
Media: Unsuccessful art grant application, below-target donation drive result, S$1-coins, adhesive, steel
Dimension: 4.4m x 24.6mm
Mindmap for fund-raising; re-budgeting; failed art grant application and statement of donationn intent
Donation drive, making and installation