Acrylic on canvas with collaged newsprint paper 46cm x 61cm
Mareara Trading Co, which also recently closed down, was an old school shop which sold toys, hand made by the owner Mr Seow himself. This shop was one of its kind trying to stay in business amounst digital games and hi tech branded toys and global giants like Toys R Us. The artwork is an attempt to keep the memory of these small wonders of Singapore that otherwise might not be important enough to be remembered, painted on collaged news print articles about small shops & traders struggling to survive in Singapore.
‘Lost & Found- Singapore’
Artist Zoya Chaudhary has been interested in the visual documentation and celebration of the local character and flavor of places. There is a realization that this character is quickly being lost.
To sell global products, media also sell ideas, often one-sided, and create unjustifiable fascinations with ways of life that hardly represents a natural progression for many vanishing cultures and communities around the world.
The artist in her current series tries to explore Singapore stories from her point of view, digging for cultural references and then juxtaposing them to form a seamless visual. According to the artist, her mind collects facts and figures, visuals, news, content together to make sense of places, people or situations. She thinks of her self as a visual writer who puts together a scene to represent the story.
Life as an expat artist living in Singapore is like ‘living in a bubble’ the artist explains. She further explains that ‘Living in expat condos and moving around international schools, clubs, malls, watching western shows and global news can make one feel completely disconnected from the local community in any place. The newspaper and media is the only source of knowing what goes on in the local community. Thus the newspaper articles as a material form a key part of the narrative. She uses relevant newspaper articles as one of her mediums to construct the imagery. She says she has explored many parts of the city, first by reading about them, and then exploring those places physically.
Acrylic paints & Straits times newspaper articles stuck and treated with mediums and varnish form the primary materials used to create the artworks
In her series ‘Lost & found- Singapore’ she depicts everyday scenes from various parts of Singapore, that have a very local flavor to them. Some of the works show places that have very recently been demolished.
Many streets many wonders
‘Many streets many wonders’ is an ongoing project by the artist. It is a visual documentation of the ‘local’ ethos of places and how quickly it is being lost. This is the ‘India’ chapter of this series.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach
This series of artworks is a reaction to the dreadful incidents of brutal rapes taking place in India and particularly the one that occurred in December 2012, New Delhi. Since then the shadow of fear & insecurity has left its mark in every household.
This series is to give power to those women who fearlessly have snatched their portion of freedom, have kept going against all odds and have protested and fought at every stage for their basic human right to ‘Freedom’
Who watches the Watchman?
This famous line from the cult graphic novel ‘Watchman’ forms the basis of this series.In this series the artist holds up a mirror to our times and initiates the debate that is relevant in many developing countries today. The very machinery that is supposed to protect us, fails to do so..Most countries are weighed down by the immensity of corruption within the authorities, where large numbers are living on the edge, unsure of what the future holds.
The promise of a new world and new politics is projected onto them. But is this promise real, unreal or surreal. The artists visual language is derived from her immediate urban environment. Each element represents a smaller component integral to the concept as a whole.