SINGAPORE - Observing the effect of changing seasons on a lake in Australia, the late artist Chua Ek Kay produced a large oil on canvas work fusing the imposing, block-like typefaces of two Chinese characters.
One is the character for Zen meditation - Chua was a practising Buddhist. The other character means "to explicate or expound". Both are read as "chan".
And then the artist left the work untitled, almost as though to leave the meaning of the work open-ended despite certain obvious references.
It is one of 18 nameless artworks by home-grown artists in a new exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum. In a fun twist, viewers are invited to suggest suitable titles for them.
The show, Untitled, opened over the weekend and runs until April next year. It is the second instalment of the museum's Not Against Interpretation series, a platform that seeks to stimulate dialogue on contemporary art appreciation.
Curator Michelle Ho says that the exhibition brochure for Untitled is not only an informal guide to selected artworks, but also contains perforated labels so visitors can write down what they think are suitable titles for the works.
They can then tear out and insert the labels into slots placed beside the works, which comprise drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures by 15 artists. Subsequent viewers can then see the gamut of titles each work inspired.
This interactive element is a common thread running through the series. The first instalment of Not Against Interpretation, which ran from March to October last year, consisted of a single installation by Jason Lim and Vincent Leow, titled A Flog Of Birdies. Instead of curators, volunteers were invited to write explanatory wall label text for the work.