STPI Gallery is proud to present works by Heman Chong, Richard Deacon, Ryan Gander,
Tobias Rehberger, Suzann Victor and Haegue Yang at Art Basel in Basel 2017. The
Singapore-based experimental platform continues to celebrate its 15th anniversary as
it features a special series of screen prints by Ryan Gander that are a testimony to the
boundary-pushing legacy of STPI. Located in the Edition sector of the fair, the booth is a
showcase of conceptually charged, striking geometric pieces created in collaboration with
the STPI Creative Workshop team of professional printers and papermakers. Highlights also
include never-before-seen works by Suzann Victor, who reversed the role of paper, using
paper pulp as a medium instead of a receiving surface for paint.
Ryan Gander’s satirical series of screen prints titled “Crooked finance…Gradient economy…
Every colour left…” are in the format of a printer’s technical chart and make a wry commentary
on the importance of contemporary art today. The layers of screen print increase according
to the edition numbers and so does the price, with the artist pinning the value of the piece
according to the number of manpower hours that are put in.
In the same investigative spirit, Tobias Rehberger’s bold, eye-catching screen prints are
a play on perception. They appear to be purely abstract, but are in fact composed of
stripped-down typography. The artist uses the word ‘free’ as a root word to contrast light
and grave subjects in the English lexicon.
This tension between abstract shapes and hidden meanings are also explored in Heman
Chong’s acid-coloured graphic prints. Chong transposed a series of film noir titles onto
paper, creating works that are reminiscent of Hard-Edge, Minimal and Op Art. Each print
bears the title and director of the dystopic sci-fi film, prompting viewers to visualise and
connect memorable scenes from the movies to the prints by the suggestive power of the
words and geometric images.
Similarly, Haegue Yang’s abstract landscapes of craters and dunes are rich with political
undertones. Experimenting with various dried spices and Chinese medicinal herbs, this
usage of modest domestic materials to create ephemeral works is a process that is
characteristic of the artist’s practice, where she highlights the complex political economy
behind this mundane trade.
The exploration of abstract geometric patterns continue in Richard Deacon’s arresting
“Blackfriars” series of works, which were inspired by a hazard sheet that the artist saw
on the platform of Blackfriars train station in London. The artist’s interest in interference
patterns and how they resembled folds extended to his “Division” series.
All these established artists embody the innovative spirit that STPI is known for. STPI has
been participating in Art Basel in Basel since 2014 and is the only Southeast Asian gallery
to take part in all three of the Art Basel shows.