Welcome to In Spite Of. This online exhibition presents artworks from the 7th Baby Tropical Lab – an annual workshop for JC1 Art Elective Programme (AEP) students. Over five days, the young artists from Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Junior College and National Junior College delved into intensive research, dialogue, art making and experimentation to interrogate the meanings and creative possibilities behind the central theme. In Spite Of is a representation of the AEP students’ collective journey and artistic voice.

IN SPITE OF

In the maelstrom of COVID-19, many arts activities have come to a standstill globally. Nevertheless, artists continue to revel in their creative practice even as change takes place in environments, social lives, working media and methodologies. They are fueled by imagination, dreams and ideas. Why and how does one exercise a creative voice in a time of social distancing, disorientation and inner transformation? BTL proposes a space of sharing and connections, in spite of

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Liu Yuqi Isabel, Tan Si Min, Weaver Ee-Jin Bronte

Almost Face-to-Face

Digital illustration series with slider widget

Please drag sliders left and right to reveal more of the artwork

Subtitles:
(1)
bro do you really have nothing else to do? you’ve gone up twenty levels in a day
(2)
ah girl ah, jia ba bui?
(3)
sorry my cAT—

Almost Face-to-Face is a glimpse into how life continues in spite of the pandemic. With the slider widget, you can observe two parties simultaneously as though they are in the same space, even if they are far apart. This emphasises the physical limits of digital interactions, and draws attention to the dichotomy of being together and apart at the same time.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

This artwork is born from Bronte, Isabel and Si Min's first collaboration. The artists are united by their interest in illustration and digital art. Through storytelling, they hope to invite audiences to share their own stories, and in turn feel a little less alone in their experiences. In this artwork, they explore the idea of interpersonal relations in light of the pandemic. They were also inspired by their shared interest in technology to introduce interactive and innovative elements in this artwork.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Liu Yuqi Isabel, Tan Si Min, Weaver Ee-Jin Bronte

Almost Face-to-Face

Sean Chong Yi Xuan

Ambivalence

Video, 1m 28s

Nature is eccentric. Rain and shine can happen simultaneously, just as in negative situations. Ambivalence reflects on these situations and examines the feeling of not knowing what to do. Our decisions are made challenging by paradoxical situations, just as the choice to take an umbrella out or to bring the clothes in is challenged by the weather.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Sean is interested in creating introspective works which draw similarities between nature and the human condition. He is also interested in the use of video to capture fleeting moments in nature which grant audiences the opportunity to pause and reflect.

 

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Sean Chong Yi Xuan

Ambivalence

Tee Ding He Grace, Yan Yusha

Apart

Digital illustration series with AR animation
15s

 

In spite of geographical distance between family during this pandemic, communication and connection still takes place frequently through technology. Is everythingincluding what you feel—a dream or reality? It is up to you to interpret if technology bridges the gap between family members effectively, and if feelings brought about by your technological devices are virtual or real.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

In this collaboration, Grace and Yusha tapped into their shared experience with painting and photography, and experimented with the use AR, to explore their central themes.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Tee Ding He Grace, Yan Yusha

Apart

Dillon Poh Jiahe

Bloom

Digital photograph with AR illustration

 

 

Bloom gives insight into the effects of the pandemic on our biodiversity and the interaction between humans and nature.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Dillon's works explore the themes of nature and identity through realistic portrayal of his subject matter.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Dillon Poh Jiahe

Bloom

Liong Li Heng

Eccedentesiast

Digital painting series

One who hides his pain behind a smile.

ARTIST'S BIO

Li Heng is interested in the interplay of colours to express his ideas.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Liong Li Heng

Eccedentesiast

Guo Jiaqi Jackie

Free

Animation, 20s

This artwork expresses the thriving of our mental state despite physical boundaries. Tangible challenges can always be overcome by thinking flexibly. By depicting the mind as a shapeless blob of matter, it is juxtaposed against the rigid physical space which tries to confine it.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Jackie is interested in dichotomous ideassuch as reality and dreams, the physical and the spiritual—and in expressing the link between them despite their vast differences.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Guo Jiaqi Jackie

Free

Chuah Yi Zhen, Joelle Kee Jia En, Wong Yan Rou, Yu Qianqian, Zhou Yuyan

Happiness Parcel

Digital illustration with AR animation
17s

 

 

It all started with a box.
A box, is a state of confinement,
A box, is a metaphor for the chaos we live in.
But a box, can also contain happiness,
it keeps us composed in a state of disruption.
Have you, found your happiness parcel?

 

ARTIST'S BIO

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the globe in the most revolutionary and unprecedented way previously unimagined. Since the initial shock, everyone has gradually realised that things will never go back to the way it was. The artists are interested in understanding people's optimism during this pandemic and highlighting their little pieces of joy.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Chuah Yi Zhen, Joelle Kee Jia En, Wong Yan Rou, Yu Qianqian, Zhou Yuyan

Happiness Parcel

Yang Yixuan

Hesitation

Animation, 7s

Hesitation explores the intangible moments in time. It presents a common scene in an unusual context, transforming an ordinary space of waiting and anticipation into one isolated from the outside worldunrestricted by the rules of the reality we live in, offering an escape from the inescapable.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Yixuan is fascinated by ideas of time and space. In this work, she explores this with digital illustrations and animations, where ordinary spaces were transformed into surreal environments through the introduction of foreign elements. She is also interested in exploring the intricacies of human relations by hinting at human presence within isolated and uninhabited spaces.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Yang Yixuan

Hesitation

Lim Chloe Shannon, Liu Zehui, Poh Wen Xin, Tan Xuantong

in pursuit of happiness

Animation
1m 45s

in pursuit of happiness explores the process of navigating relationships in one’s youth. In spite of the differences between every individual, the search for who we are and what makes us happy is universal. Extrinsic influences shape individuals in their formative teenage years, and are balanced with their hopes and aspirations. In depicting the fleeting highs and lows in our relationships, in pursuit of happiness reflects the struggles and elusiveness of the teenage experience today.

Soundtrack is Mad Rush by Philip Glass.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

The artists hope to cast a spotlight on modern human interaction. They urge audiences to reflect on their interaction with the environment around them. Their works centre on the human condition, relationships, and the ways people react to and cope with the fast pace of life today. Their art practices are informed by their experiences as teenagers in today's highly urbanised society.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Lim Chloe Shannon, Liu Zehui, Poh Wen Xin, Tan Xuantong

in pursuit of happiness

Gao Yuchen

In spite of

Digital illustration with AR animation

 

 

Like a parent’s child, the artworks and characters we create may very well have their own thoughts and emotions.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Yuchen relishes the challenges presented by new technology and her wish to tell the whole story.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Gao Yuchen

In spite of

Michelle Felicia Darmawan, Povazanec Elena

It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow

Acrylic on canvas
40 x 50 cm

In It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow, a vein of brightness shines through dreary and chaotic colours, revealing hope after troubling times leave their mark on us. The artwork draws inspiration from Kintsugi and the optimistic philosophy of seeing potential in scars and flaws becoming beautiful. In spite of awful circumstances or negative feelings, a glimmer of potential and hope remains in each of us as we find ways to shine through.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Michelle and Elena have been reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on their learning in school. In this collaboration, they are interested in transcending the notion of realism through automatism. With the interplay of hues and textures, they wish to convey how the slightest positivity can prevail over tough times. They refuse to cave in and wish to transform their experiences into something more positive and artistic.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Michelle Felicia Darmawan, Povazanec Elena

It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow

Cheung Yan Yvonne

Moving On

Digital painting with AR animation

 

 

A very literal take on “in spite of.”

 

 

ARTIST'S BIO

It was important to Yvonne to showcase a forcefulness in moving on within this work. The way AR technology makes the artwork come to life was an interesting way of achieving that for the artist.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Cheung Yan Yvonne

Moving On

Bi Hongying, Guo Yuchen, Han Yunxi

No Matter How Dark The Night Is

Paper sculptures with AR animation
10 x 25 cm (each)

 

 

Though we may face difficulties and challenges which trap us, we shall always try to break new grounds. In No Matter How Dark The Night Is, the trapped bird struggles to break free from the grasping, thorny vines carved into its prison. The fish struggles to break through the foamy, swirling water surface, and to step out of its natural habitat into the new. The two pieces are interconnected and complementary, and they convey the common message to persevere in spite of how tough the situation may be.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

In this collaboration, Hongying, Yuchen and Yunxi decided to address the idea of breakthroughs and perseverance—both qualities that were required of them as they managed the time constraint presented to them.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Bi Hongying, Guo Yuchen, Han Yunxi

No Matter How Dark The Night Is

Lim Khern Hui, Shafiqah Binte Mohamed Fairoz

P E R S P E C T I V E

Digital illustration with AR animation
16s

 

P  E  R  S  P  E  C  T  I  V  E   challenges the idea of confinement. In spite of the many obstacles that life throws at us, we should not allow ourselves to fall under its wrath. The depth of our imagination is our limit, not the walls that surround us. The bursts of colour and lines signify how we can create anything and everything that we dream ofthe limitlessness of our imagination. Even in the darkest of times, there is beauty to be uncovered. What we see is up to what we allow ourselves to believe and where we let our creativity lead us to.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Khern Hui and Shafiqah are friends with a shared interest in pushing the limits of what they know and what they wish to discover. Working with digital media and AR has pushed them beyond their comfort zones. It follows from their belief that it is up to oneself to push one's mind to view the world from different perspectives.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Lim Khern Hui, Shafiqah Binte Mohamed Fairoz

P E R S P E C T I V E

Foo Jun Wei

Reminisce

Digital photograph with AR animation
7s

 

 

Human beings are gifted with two distinct cognitive abilities: the ability to remember and to imagine. Yet as our memories slip away or become blurry, our imagination comes into play to fill the gaps. At the end of the day, did what you remember truly happen? Or is it intertwined with figments of your imagination?

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Jun Wei is interested in exploring the human psyche and the fascinating relationship between memory and imagination. By incorporating AR in his work, he hopes to allow the audience to step into a realm of false reality and achieve a deep understanding of his work. 

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Foo Jun Wei

Reminisce

Christina Fu Jiayi, Elise Lim Jia Jing, Heng Jun Huei, Zhao Xingqi

the HeART is Still Beating

Mixed media sculpture
28 x 40 x 30 cm

Face-to-face interactions have come to a standstill amidst the whirlpool that is Covid-19. Met with social distancing and other limitations, the mask binds us all. In spite of this, life has to go on. In spite of these trials, we embrace the challenges. In spite of these hindrances, our passion for art keeps us creating. Our heart for art will keep beating.

 

ARTIST'S BIO

The artists seek to create meaning which inspires hope through their work. By creating a sculptural artwork using masks, they hope to give life to the objects and encourage interactions between the artwork and its audience.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Christina Fu Jiayi, Elise Lim Jia Jing, Heng Jun Huei, Zhao Xingqi

the HeART is Still Beating

Lee Sze Tze Gabriel, Lewin Basil Slader Marsh

time, piece

AR 3D animation
15s

 

 

Constructed with our time, created to take away yours.

ARTIST'S BIO

Lewin and Gabriel are interested in expressing aspects of human cognition and experience in their works. In this collaboration, they explored mathematical modelling to create abstract, evolving and looping forms to materialise human perceptions of time.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Lee Sze Tze Gabriel, Lewin Basil Slader Marsh

time, piece

Chen Ziming, Liang Chongxi

Twenty 20

AR animation
47s

 

 

It is about how it makes you feel. In spite of chaos and separation, society finds a way to come together and rebuild itself.

 

 

ARTIST'S BIO

Chongxi and Ziming are interested in exploring the dynamic relationships between people, and in reduction of forms into lines and colours. They also adopted the use of coding in this collaboration.

Leave a message for the artists of Baby Tropical Lab 2020: In Spite Of here.

Chen Ziming, Liang Chongxi

Twenty 20

In Spite Of features artworks by the following young artists of the Art Elective Programme:

Bi Hongying, Chen Ziming, Cheung Yan Yvonne, Christina Fu Jiayi, Chuah Yi Zhen, Dillon Poh Jiahe, Elise Lim Jia Jing, Foo Jun Wei, Gao Yuchen, Guo Jiaqi Jackie, Guo Yuchen, Han Yunxi, Heng Jun Huei, Joelle Kee Jia En, Lee Sze Tze Gabriel, Lewin Basil Slader Marsh, Liang Chongxi, Lim Chloe Shannon, Lim Khern Hui, Liong Li Heng, Liu Yuqi Isabel, Liu Zehui, Michelle Felicia Darmawan, Poh Wen Xin, Povazanec Elena, Sean Chong Yi Xuan, Shafiqah Binte Mohamed Fairoz, Tan Si Min, Tan Xuantong, Tee Ding He Grace, Weaver Ee-Jin Bronte, Wong Yan Rou, Yan Yusha, Yang Yixuan, Yu Qianqian, Zhao Xingqi, Zhou Yuyan
  • Bi Hongying
  • Chen Ziming
  • Cheung Yan Yvonne
  • Christina Fu Jiayi
  • Chuah Yi Zhen
  • Dillon Poh Jiahe
  • Elise Lim Jia Jing
  • Foo Jun Wei
  • Gao Yuchen
  • Guo Jiaqi Jackie
  • Guo Yuchen
  • Han Yunxi
  • Heng Jun Huei
  • Joelle Kee Jia En
  • Lee Sze Tze Gabriel
  • Lewin Basil Slader Marsh
  • Liang Chongxi
  • Lim Chloe Shannon
  • Lim Khern Hui
  • Liong Li Heng
  • Liu Yuqi Isabel
  • Liu Zehui
  • Michelle Felicia Darmawan
  • Poh Wen Xin
  • Povazanec Elena
  • Sean Chong Yi Xuan
  • Shafiqah Binte Mohamed Fairoz
  • Tan Si Min
  • Tan Xuantong
  • Tee Ding He Grace
  • Weaver Ee-Jin Bronte
  • Wong Yan Rou
  • Yan Yusha
  • Yang Yixuan
  • Yu Qianqian
  • Zhao Xingqi
  • Zhou Yuyan
  • Almost Face-to-Face
  • Ambivalence
  • Apart
  • Bloom
  • Eccedentesiast
  • Free
  • Happiness Parcel
  • Hesitation
  • in pursuit of happiness
  • In spite of
  • It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow
  • Moving On
  • No Matter How Dark The Night Is
  • P E R S P E C T I V E
  • Reminisce
  • the HeART is Still Beating
  • time, piece
  • Twenty 20