SINGAPORE - Local artist Eugene Soh is fast finding his place in Singapore's art scene, as he holds his first solo exhibition called Dude's Show - Musings and Meditations on His Reality at the OCBC Art Space starting this week.
Known for works that are imbued with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, the 27-year-old was a finalist at the Sony World Photography Awards held in London in April.
My Paper spoke to the emerging artist about how the recent haze provided him with a new perspective and how his multimedia-based works of art confront pertinent social issues in Singapore, such as starting a family.
One of your more iconic works is The Last Kopitiam (2010). What's the story behind it?
It's a local version of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, set in Maxwell Road Hawker Centre - kopitiam-style. I pieced 16 photos together to come up with the final photo.
The Last Kopitiam was a collaboration with student publication Campus Magazine, which gave me absolute creative freedom over directing a shoot.
At the time, I had been doing photography for a while, but I didn't have one photo that I was really proud of. So I used that opportunity to create something I still consider as one of my best works.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
From experiencing new things and by putting myself in different situations that hopefully won't kill me or get me seriously injured.
I become wiser with the more things I experience and I discover more about myself, more about my (sense of) reality and how real it is.
The most rewarding way to experience something new and refreshing is to travel to other places, meet new people and take some pictures.
Sometimes, you don't have to travel to get these new experiences. Take the recent haze situation, for example. Visually, it felt as though I was in either China or Scotland, even without leaving home.
A recent photographic series of yours is titled Family. What is it about?
My girlfriend Kareen (from Kittypots.com) and I have been together for quite a while and we've had some discussions about starting a family of our own, whether in Singapore or not.
This photographic series reflects on the main topics of our discussions, including money, education and the space we have in Singapore.
The issue of consumerism is a big one, especially as the cost of living is on the rise. For instance, why do we have to spend so much on a wedding? Everyone wants to outdo one another and they all have their weddings in a six-star hotel because nobody wants to "lose face". It's a vicious circle.
But what is wrong with having a jolly wedding feast at a kopitiam? That would be quite a statement to make.
Any advice for budding artists?
Have a beer! Meet new people. Go experience new things, have more beer and come to my show.
Dude's Show - Musings and Meditations on His Reality runs at the OCBC Art Space from today till Aug 31. Admission is free.
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