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18 July 2020

Not until today, one never thought that a hug could be so luxurious. One never thought that the distance between people is limited to one meter. Who would have known mask can become a fashion item and a wardrobe staple! Pandemics to wars erode the capital on which capitalism is built, Covid-19 is showing to be no exception. Historically, capital destruction caused large losses to jobs, damaged the lives and livelihoods of people, and depressed living standard. This Covid-19 knows no borders and has had a disastrous impact on health throughout the world, yet, beyond the grim and gloom, good things still prevailed in our society, in this world. We see this daily through small acts of neighbourly kindness. We see daily appearances of white knights in-time of needs. We see it in the activities of community groups, charities and philanthropic organisations. We see it too in the increased numbers of people volunteering to help. We see it in the Covid-19 frontline heroes; their blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices. All are showing the ever-presence and importance of our social capital. The Covid-19 quickly became one of the most talked-bout things on the internet, that lead to a spike in trendy keyword used on the social media, such as lockdown, social distancing, #stayhome, toilet paper and many more.


In this exhibition, the artists weaved their thoughts, their beliefs and their skills to interact with the current, normal, norms, now. Artists are known to be most resilience when conditions were their worst adversaries, and artists are also at their best when working in new environments and unchartered territories. As Leon Trosky said it, “Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Art, as per se, knows no borders; so is Covid-19. The artworks in this exhibition are not just challenging the relevance of the current, normal, norms, now, but to transcend beyond the limits of what are essentials and non-essentials, judging the good and evil, the divides between rich and poor, and the making of heroes and the villains. This exhibition will hopefully resonance the effects of this pandemic and moving forward, new, unexpected benefits and opportunities will appear in the horizons.

Coming back to the needs and importance of social capital in a society, in simple terms; Social Capital is the willingness of people to help each other. Most ways of measuring social capital have to do with trust – people who trust that favours and help will be available when they need it will favour and help others more. Maybe it is time we relook into re-terming what is Art Capital; not by the importance of commerce and the place, but what is the role of art at a time of social transformation? In one of the recent Singapore Facebook quotes, “Just realised that art is a non-essential business.” However, maybe, art one day will be essential to society!

Curated by Terry Lee
Participating Artists:-
1. David Chan, Singapore
2. Justin Lee
3. Kenny Low
4. Liu Xuanqi, Leo
6. Yeo Tze Yang
7. Umi Baizurah Mahir Ismail, Malaysia
8. Ahmad Shukri Mohamed
9. Gatot Indrajati, Indonesia
10. Nano Warsono
11. Komkrit Tepthian, Thailand
12. Patipat Chaiwitesh
13. Min Zaw, Myanmar
14. Muu Muu
15. He Jian, China
16. Shi Mohan
17. Choi Xooang, South Korea
18. Keiji Ito, Japan
19. dbstr

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