About the Artist


S.Chandrasekaran (Dr)
Email : chandra029@yahoo.com.sg

Chandra has represented in major exhibitions, such as Havana Biennial, 1st Asia Pacific Triennial (Brisbane), Asia-Pacific Performance Art Festival (Canada), International Performance Art Festival(Poland), 49th Venice Biennale and World Sculpture Park (China). 

In 2008,  Bioalloy and Body Performance was nominated for APBF Signature Art Prize (Singapore). He has been commissioned to work on public artworks such as for the World Sculpture Park at Changchun, China in 2001 and Little India MRT station commissioned by LTA in 2001.

He is a Founder/Artistic Director for Biological Arts Theatre; a multi-disciplinary theatre–research platform, which explored theatrical elements with Life Science and Advanced Technology. His research interests lies in exploring post-humanist concerns in relation to Third Skin and cross-cultural intervention in performance art. 


Selected  Exhibitions

Campaign City: Life In Posters
Date : 9 January - 7 July 2013
Venue : Level 11 - Lee Kong Chian Reference Library in National Library Building

Campaigns can be seen as an extension of a mind of the creator, who tries to connect others through a particular form of informative text or image. In reading the campaign message, he/she is expected to response to it as ‘positively’ as possible. In 1960's, I remember, how campaign are so important to us because it the only form of ‘communication’ that brings us closer to the authority, without having any dispute between both parties (system and us). At certain part of our life, the campaign became inherent in our psyche. I remember, we all are told to keep our hair short, as it symbolizes that “bad boys” image.  Indeed, I was told to have my haircut upon entering Singapore immigration, after returning back from my studies in Australia. A form of regulative measures that ensures that we are always been instructed how to behavior, including how we look at our own body. 
                                                                                               - chandra
Living Stories
Date  :  3 -23 August 2012
Venue : The Substation Gallery, Singapore

Living Stories is a collection of works, five years in the making, that will be exhibited at The Substation Gallery this August. The exhibition reinterprets the iconography of well-known stories, and in doing so, creates a particular kind of social commentary relevent to contemporary Singaporean society. 
Tim Zeelie caught up with S. Chandrasekaran, the artist, to find out more about this exhibition

TZ: Despite referring to many well-known old and inhereted stories, your idea for this exhibition feels new and unusual. Can you tell us a bit more about the exhibition? 

SC: Living Stories brings out the ‘symbolic’ representation of stories that belongs to us. These stories express the societal changes that happen as part of our everyday reality, and these changes are transformed and interpreted through various forms of iconic images. 
The reinterpreted iconic images reflect the various social issues society grapples with, and these regained meanings reflect the various socio-political and economic complexities of daily life in Singapore. Some of the stories have to do with the ‘pre-determined’ conditions in which we live, while others look into how the net-citizens address their tensions and contradictions through social media. This exhibition aims to regain and reinterpret the voice of the society as living stories through paintings, sculptures and drawings.  

TZ: Roland Barthes, in his book Mythologies, reveals how the symbolism in cultural products often goes unquestioned. Symbolism and meaning is passed off as 'natural', when instead it is socially constructed and embedded in ideology. How does this exhibition relate to Barthes theories, and in what ways are you reinterpreting the semiotics of these stories? 

 I am interested in traditional narratives, in making them relevant to modern society, and in re-expressing them as present-day stories. In the Hindu Epic, the Ramayana, for example, Hanuman the Monkey God depicts his devotion to Rama and Sita by ripping open his heart, in which images of Rama and Sita are reflected. This sort of devotion can still be seen in modern society and in our social and political system.  
In one of the works, Riches, Reputation and Devotion a bull-lion opens its heart to express the devotion we have for the system. In this image, though, Hanuman becomes the bull-lion, which is a reference to Singapore’s iconic Merlion. In its heart is a bolt of lightning, and above its head it carries a hammer. The hammer and the lightning bolt are both political symbols locally, and help recontextualise the image, and place it within socio-political conditions.

TZ: It's a huge exhibition, and includes bronze sculptures, drawings and paintings. How long has it taken to create these works and why did you decide to use these particular mediums (bronze, drawing and painting)?

The paintings and small drawings are all images that depict how the psyche is influenced and manipulated by our socio-political and economic reality. The bronze works depict various iconic forms that I’ve adapted and reinterpreted from Indian mythology. These iconic forms bridge the gap between traditional narratives and our present-day context. I hope that they will allow the viewers to see past narratives reflected in the present, as living in the present. These works were created over the period of five years.