MINIMALISM: SPACE. LIGHT. OBJECT.

16 Nov 2018–14 Apr 2019

National Gallery Singapore

Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery | City Hall Wing, Level 3

Open daily

About   What to See   Tours   What to Do   Tickets   Merchandise
OVER 100 ARTWORKS. 70 ARTISTS. 4 CONTINENTS.

See more through less at the first Minimalism exhibition in Southeast Asia, set across two sites: National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum.

Led by National Gallery Singapore, the exhibition features over 150 works that explore the history and legacy of this groundbreaking art movement, which continues to inform a wide range of art forms and practitioners across the world today.

To learn more about the complete Minimalism exhibition across both National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum. please visit www.minimalism.sg.

Image above: Tatsuo Miyajima, Mega Death, 1999/2016. LED, IC, electric wire and infrared sensor. Dimensions variable. Domus Collection. Installation view at Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. National Gallery Singapore, 2018; © Domus Collection and Tatsuo Miyajima. Photo by National Gallery Singapore.

 

LEARN MORE

 


 

WHAT TO EXPECT

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Mona Hatoum - Impenetrable

Mona Hatoum. Impenetrable. 2009. Black finished steel and fishing wire. 300 x 300 x 300 cm. Collection of Yuz Foundation. © Mona Hatoum. Installation view at National Gallery Singapore. Photo by National Gallery Singapore.

Exhibition Overview

Minimalism was a radical turning point in the history of art. Emerging in the 1960s, it changed how we experience the art object, making the physical encounter with the artwork and its surrounding space increasingly important. It has had a profound influence not only on visual art, but also on music, performance, fashion, architecture and design.

Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. looks at the development and legacies of Minimalism from the 1950s to the present day, not only in the United States but also in Asia, Australia and Europe. It features works by over 70 leading artists that explore ideas of presence and absence, many informed by Asian philosophies such as Zen Buddhism.

Discover how Minimalism's reconception of the relationship between object, space and the viewer are fundamental to our understanding of art today.

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism commonly refers to an artistic tendency that came to prominence in 1960s New York. It is characterised by geometric forms which are often repeated in series, as well as by its use of industrial processes and materials.

Distilling art

By paring artworks down to their most essential elements, Minimalist artists intended to strip away individual expression and artistic decision-making and create a direct, unmediated encounter between the viewer and the art object in a specific space and time.

Beyond the frame

This new approach to art opened a wide range of possibilities for the art that followed, which extended the experience of art beyond the work itself to include its environmental, social and political contexts. This has left a profound legacy which still resonates throughout contemporary art.

A radical turning point

Minimalism is also hailed for its significant impact on music, performance, design, fashion and lifestyle. Its influence continued to grow, reinforced by major exhibitions in New York and elsewhere. Similar tendencies arose concurrently around the world too, independently or in dialogue with American artists, such as Mono-ha in Japan. These have received increasing attention in recent years, spurred by the wider appreciation of global modern art, extending the established narrative of Minimalism beyond the United States.

 


WHAT TO SEE

Over 100 artworks will be on display featuring artists like Mark Rothko, Tatsuo Miyajima, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama, Mona Hatoum, Kim Lim, Tang Da Wu, Jeremy Sharma and Lee Ufan.

On display at Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery

City Hall Wing, Level 3

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Dan Flavin - monument for V. Tatlin #43

 

Dan Flavin

monument for V. Tatlin #43

1966–1969. Cool white fluorescent light. 243.8 x 61 x 11.4 cm. JPMorgan Chase Art Collection. Photo by National Gallery Singapore.

 

“monument” for V. Tatlin

1966. Cool white fluorescent light. 365.8 x 71.1 x 12.7 cm. Gift of Virginia Dwan. Collection of National Gallery of Art, Washington. © 2018 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.  Photo by National Gallery Singapore.

 

Dan Flavin's “monuments” for V. Tatlin series pays homage to the utopian ideals of the Russian Constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin. Comprising 39 pieces in different configurations created between 1964 and 1990, the series references Tatlin's unrealised Monument to the Third International (1920), a soaring tower intended to support Lenin's Plan for Monumental Propaganda. For Flavin, the titling of his works as “monuments” is ironic, as they are ephemeral and use ordinary materials.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Mona Hatoum - Impenetrable

 

Mona Hatoum

Impenetrable

2009. Black finished steel and fishing wire. 300 x 300 x 300 cm. Collection of Yuz Foundation. © Mona Hatoum. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.

 

This installation appears almost inviting from a distance. However, when approached, the barbed-wire cube repels instead. Such contradictions are central to Hatoum’s work, which often takes the form of grids and cubes. These transform into traps, barriers and containers, revealing the potential for division and violence embedded in the structures of everyday life.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Haegue Yang - Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Double Modular Cube, Scaled Down 29 Times

 

Haegue Yang

Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Double Modular Cube, Scaled Down 29 Times

2017. Aluminium venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminium hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes and cable. 155 x 204 x 104 cm. Private collection, Taipei. © Haegue Yang. Photo by National Gallery Singapore.

 

Haegue Yang's Sol LeWitt Upside Down series consists of sets of cubes made from standardised white venetian blinds, which hang from suspension grids with lights. The work references LeWitt's white cubic structures and concepts of modularity and repetition. Here, each sculpture's shape and size depend on the number and configuration of units. Randomness plays a key role however, with Yang arbitrarily deciding the width of the set’s venetian blinds. The blinds diffuse the severe linearity of LeWitt's cubic structures, producing a range of opacities due to the changing density of the blinds, the shifting light conditions, and the movement of the viewer.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Olafur Eliasson - Room fo rone colour

 

Olafur Eliasson

Room for one colour

1997. Monofrequency lamps. Dimensions variable. © Olafur Eliasson. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.

 

Olafur Eliasson’s work explores the scientific effects of light and colour on our vision. This room is illuminated by mono-frequency lamps that suppress all colours except yellow and black, causing us to see in shades of grey. The experience demonstrates that our perception is not fixed but changes with our environment, suggesting we can see the world from multiple perspectives.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Simryn Gill

 

Simryn Gill

My own private Angkor

2007–2009. Gelatin silver prints on paper. 30 parts, each 39.4 x 37.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tracy Williams Ltd., New York. © Simryn Gill

 

These images were taken at an abandoned housing estate in Port Dickson, Malaysia. Gill focused on the glass window panes left behind after their frames were stolen and sold as scrap. The title refers to the ancient Cambodian city of Angkor, and evokes the speculative interpretations we bring to things we might encounter or unearth.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Ai Wei Wei - Sunflower Seeds

 

Ai Wei Wei

Sunflower Seeds

2010. Porcelain. Display dimensions variable. Purchased with assistance from Tate International Council, the American Patrons of Tate, the Art Fund, and Stephen and Yana Peel 2012. Collection of Tate. © Ai Weiwei. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.

 

Each seed in this work is unique, handcrafted by ceramic artisans in Jingdezhen, a city in China historically known for its porcelain industry. Ai challenges the “Made in China” narrative of cheap mass production by drawing attention to the individual worker and his or her relationship to wider society. The sheer number of seeds can also be a reference to the vast Chinese population.

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Tatsuo Miyajima - Mega Death

 

Tatsuo Miyajima

Mega Death

1999/2016. LED, IC, electric wire and infrared sensor. Dimensions variable. Domus Collection. © Domus Collection and Tatsuo Miyajima. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.

 

The title of this work refers to the huge scale of lives lost during the 20th century due to war and conflict. The LED numbers on the panels count down from nine to one, skipping zero before repeating the cycle again. This parallels the Buddhist cycle of life, death and rebirth, with zero being the void.

 

On display at City Hall Foyer

City Hall Wing, Level 1

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Sopheap Pich - Cargo

Sopheap Pich

Cargo

2018. Bamboo, rattan and metal. 2 parts, each 253 x 597 x 244 cm. Collection of the artist. © Sopheap Pich. This work was commissioned by National Gallery Singapore for Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.

This sculpture is based on the form of a 20-foot shipping container, at 1:1 scale. Shipping containers are a potent symbol of a global trade and capital: these ubiquitous and hardy vessels streamline the transportation of consumer goods all over the world. They recall philosopher Michel Serre’s concept of world-objects, or objects we live our world through. While the shipping container is opaque and its contents obscured, Sopheap Pich’s containers hold only air and we can see right through them, revealing the relationship between what is inside and what is outside. Pich turns our focus to his use of local Cambodian materials such as bamboo and rattan, deeply rooting the work in a sense of place.

Pich’s sculptures are at times figurative, at others abstract and geometric, with their orderly woven structures sharing the mathematical logic of early Minimalist grids. One of Cambodia’s leading contemporary artists, Pich’s work is steeped in history and memory, both personal and national.

 


TOURS

Gain insights into the exhibition through our tours

Daily Tours

Image - National Gallery Singapore - Supreme Court Dome  

Explore the highlights of Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. by joining one of our guided tours led by docents. To reserve a slot, please register at least 20 minutes before the tour starts at the Daily Tours Desk on Level B1. 20 slots are available per tour on a first come, first served basis. Visitors should obtain or purchase an admission ticket before joining a tour.

ENGLISH
  • Daily | 2pm
中文
  • Fri–Sun | 11am

 

MORE TOURS

 

Self-guided Tours

Image - National Gallery Singapore - Gallery Explorer  

Enjoy the exhibition at your own pace through through two audio tours available on our Gallery Explorer App that is free to download.

MINIMALISM HIGHLIGHTS
  • 11 artworks | 45 min
THE MORE YOU LOOK AT IT
  • 7 artworks | 20 min

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 devices are available for loan at Visitor Services on Level B1.

 

GALLERY EXPLORER

 


WHAT TO DO

Experience this ground-breaking art movement through a series of thoughtfully-curated interdisciplinary programmes.

 

Nationa Gallery Singapore - Artist Talk - Elmgreen & Dragset

Artist Talk: Elmgreen & Dragset

16 Nov 2018 | 6.30pm

 

Contemporary artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset are acclaimed for redefining how art is presented and experienced. Join them they discuss their practice and works, including Queer Bar/Powerless Structures, Fig. 21 featured in the exhibition Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Lecture - Joan Kee

Guest Lecture: Joan Kee | Minimalism  in Asia Major

17 Nov 2018 | 2pm

 

Learn more about art historian Joan Kee’s maverick view of Minimalism, as she addresses how and why Asia and Asian artists mattered, in relation to one of the most important art movements in the 20th century, as well as how contemporary art can be a fluid geography of imagination. Made possible with the support of the U.S. Embassy of Singapore.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Artist Talk - Tadaaki Kuwayam

Artist Talk: Tadaaki Kuwayama

17 Nov 2018 | 4pm

 

Tadaaki Kuwayama is a leading Minimalist artist who moved from Japan to New York in the late 1950s. Learn about his engagement with other key Minimalist artists in New York in the 1960s and his experiences as a Japanese artist working in the United States at the time, in this dialogue between Kuwayama and curator Russell Storer.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Lecture - Trisha Brown's Early Works

Trisha Brown's Early Works | A Lecture by Leah Morrison

19 Nov 2018 | 8pm

 

As part of Trisha Brown Dance Company alumna, Leah Morrison's restaging of three of Trisha Brown's early influential works, Morrison will present a lecture offering deeper insights into Brown's work and the context in which it emerged in 1960s New York.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Performance - Trisha Brown Restaged

Trisha Brown's Spanish Dance, Sticks and Leaning Duets | Restaged by LASALLE

24–25 Nov 2018 | 2–6pm

 

In conjunction with "Minimalism. Space. Light. Object.", students of the LASALLE School of Dance & Theatre will restage three historic choreographic works from Trisha Brown Company’s repertoire.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Performance - Trisha Brown Restaged

Trisha Brown's Spanish Dance, Sticks and Leaning Duets | Restaged by LASALLE

1–2 Dec 2018 | 2–6pm

 

In conjunction with "Minimalism. Space. Light. Object.", students of the LASALLE School of Dance & Theatre will restage three historic choreographic works from Trisha Brown Company’s repertoire.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Family Art Workshop

Family Art Workshop: What is Minimalism?

8 Dec 2018 | 1.30–3pm

 

Be inspired by the use of simple, geometric forms and non-traditional materials in the special exhibition Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. and create your own 2D or 3D work under the guidance of an experienced Gallery facilitator.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Artist Talk - Lani Maestro

Artist Talk: Lani Maestro

8 Dec 2018 | 3–4pm

 

Join artist Lani Maestro as she traces her Minimalist influences from her American-centric art education in the Philippines, to later encounters with artists in North America such as John Cage, Robert Irwin and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - In Gallery Talk

Columns, Square Tubes and Percussion: Women in Minimalism | In Conversation with Curators Goh Sze Ying and Joleen Loh

15 Dec 2018 | 5–6pm

 

Join Assistant Curators Goh Sze Ying and Joleen Loh as they examine approaches to seriality and form in the practice of artists Kim Lim, Midori Takada, Anne Truitt and Charlotte Posenenske.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

National Gallery Singapore - Drop In Activity

Drop-in Activity: Minimalist Christmas

Every Sat–Sun | 1–30 Dec 2018 | 1.30–3pm

 

Drop in and have fun creating hanging holiday decorations inspired by artworks in the special exhibition Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 


TICKETS

Complete your Minimalism experience at the ArtScience Museum with a two venue ticket!

 

SINGAPOREANS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Ticket Type

 
Standard / Concession

Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Single Venue

Includes:

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at National Gallery Singapore

• General admission to ALL ongoing exhibitions at National Gallery Singapore

 

$15 / $10

 

BOOK NOW

 


Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Two Venues

Includes:

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at National Gallery Singapore

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at ArtScience Museum

• General admission to ALL ongoing exhibitions at National Gallery Singapore

 

$20 / $15

 

BOOK NOW

 


 

NON-SINGAPOREANS

Ticket Type

 
Standard / Concession

Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Single Venue

Includes:

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at National Gallery Singapore

 

$25 / $20

 

BOOK NOW

 


Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Two Venues

Includes:

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at National Gallery Singapore

• Entry to Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at ArtScience Museum

• Complimentary General admission to ALL ongoing exhibitions at National Gallery Singapore

 

$30 / $25

 

BOOK NOW

 


EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

 

National Gallery Singapore - Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. - Exhibition Catalogue  

This richly illustrated catalogue features essays by the exhibition curators and international contributors, alongside conversations with artists, opening a forum for contemporary readings of this dynamic, multivalent and pivotal movement.

 

Paperback | 280 pp | $58.85 (inclusive of GST) at Gallery & Co. | ISBN: 978-981-11-6680-8

 

More publications

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 


EXPLORE

 

National Gallery Singapore - Exhibitions - Siapa Nama Kamu?

EXHIBITIONS
 

National Gallery Singapore - In Gallery Talks

CURATORIAL PROGRAMMES
 

National Gallery Singapore - Families

FAMILY PROGRAMMES
 

National Gallery Singapore - Memberships

BECOME A GALLERY INSIDER

 


See what else is on