RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA UNTITLED 2018 (THE INFINITE DIMENSIONS OF SMALLNESS)
Named untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), the immersive installation which stands at a towering four metres high, draws its inspiration from materials, craftwork and architecture from Asia. The maze references traditional hand-built bamboo scaffolding found across Asia, while the Japanese tea house evokes the rich culture of tea with its centuries-old ceremonies. Visitors are invited to navigate through the bamboo maze as they go in search of finding something special such as the wooden teahouse located at its centre, and along the way, encounter and interact with each other.
This deceivingly simple concept continues Rirkrit’s artistic focus on participatory works that blur the line between art and its audiences, while leveraging his strength and inclination towards the gesture of hospitality. By devising and provoking human encounters in spaces that are embodied in architectural structures like the bamboo maze and teahouse, he encourages visitors to pause, make time and space to experience something new.
Mr Low Sze Wee, Director (Curatorial, Collections and Education) of National Gallery Singapore, said “untitled 2018 is a testament of the Gallery’s mission to bridge the connection between art and the public, and cultivate an art-loving community. In working together with Rirkrit Tiravanija – one of the most important and influential contemporary artists of our time, who is richly informed by his own history and experience of Southeast Asia – we aim to present art made accessible and inclusive through its social setting, inspired by Asian culture, architecture and craft. It presents an experimental stage for people who are curious to discover the unknown, to reconnect with one another at a more direct and personal level. In addition to his work in the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, this installation serves to showcase Rirkrit’s long and deep practice in the contemporary art field.”