I have been dying to escape the mundane activities of my ever boring life--thank goodness! Surprisingly, I have adapted to the routine of my new workplace; quickly enough for it to be considered boring now, haha! Shh! Don't tell my boss! That is pretty surprising knowing it takes me a couple of months to get a hang of things, but I guess it comes with the territory--I have been teaching preschoolers for five years. Routines may change but the everything else is basically the same.
But anyway, back to Tetraphilia. I was blessed to get off work early and attend the exhibit launch held at the Hermès flagship boutique at Liat Towers. I arrived slightly late, sans my friend who canceled on the last minute due to sickness.
The exhibit was packed with a lot of people, but I did my best to squeeze myself and check out the art pieces on display. In total, there are 12 pieces. I have to admit, I came without any knowledge of the exhibit nor the artist; which meant I had no expectations either.
What is Tetraphilia? To understand Tetraphilia, one must begin to understand and get to know the artist, Nadim Abbas. The Hong Kong-born installation artist's style "includes heavily-researched installation and sculptural works that play on the psychological patterns of everyday objects and kitsch. His work draws thematic inspiration from literature, science and psychology." Knowing this helped me understand what Tetraphilia is. It is in every way a heavily-researched exhibit with "psychological patterns of everyday objects and kitsch". And most of the pieces are inspired by literary, scientific and psychological themes.
It turns out, the exhibit was all about a collection of all things "tetra". And there's a recurrent theme with most of the pieces, a four plane-pyramid called "tetrahedron". I tried to take cheeky photos of some of the pieces from the exhibit but I was a little coy because I didn't know if it was "allowed" or not. There were a lot of people, too, so getting the perfect shot was almost impossible.
Tetra is actually a small tropical freshwater fish that is typically bright colored. It made sense why most aquarium pet shops have some sort of "tetra" portmanteaus. You can also see a looping video of tetra fishes played on CRT television, a pool rail and aquarium optimized tap water and much more.
Monument to Poseidon, stainless steel forks, glass aquarium, pedestal.
If you look closely, you'll notice that each fork's right tooth has been trimmed. It was strangely fascinating and very hypnotic.
Holy Mt II, Tetra Brik pyramid
This was the first art piece that caught my attention. It was right smack in the middle of the exhibit, a clever and very quirky display of milk cartons. Amazing! A tetrahedron of Tetra Paks!
Holy Mt III--Marshmallow, clear plastic platter, ABS plastic outdoor table and chairs, Gameboys (with Tetris cartidges)
Aside from the Tetris, you might be wondering why there is a pyramid of marshmallow. Who would have thought marshmallow contains tetrasodium pyrophosphate? I didn't know that but Nadim Abbas did (which corroborates his practice as "heavily researched"). I don't know if you can eat those marshmallows but I saw some people taking and popping them in their mouth.
Lady Sings, Framed inkjet print on photo paper, chroma key blue wall, speaker system, selected recordings of Luisa Tetrazzini.
This was one of my two favorite pieces from the exhibit. I just love how simple and artful this piece is. The entire wall was painted blue and blue framed photo of a blowfish (which is scientifically named Tetraodontidae) is lit. With this piece, you hear acclaimed Italian coloratura soprano, Luisa Tetrazzini. And while the famous colloquial term, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings" was attributed from the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, it seemed to fit the phenomenal operatic legend perfectly.
Tetragrammaton, Inkjet prints on Duraclear (Set of 16 composite images)
Another favorite of mine is this artful display of Tetragrammaton. Tetragrammaton is a collection of 16 digitally superimposed images of pyramids or tetrahedrons on various sites all over the world such as the Louvre to the Luxor in Las Vegas.
The event was filled with a lot of people so I wasn't able to talk to the artist or further admire the works but I had an absolute great time. It was also finally nice meeting Sara, the press and advertising attaché who found my blog in the first place. Thank you to Sara and the rest of the Hermès team for inviting me, and congratulations to the successful launch. I am certainly looking forward to more artistic collaborations.
Do not forget to check out Tetraphilia by Nadim Abbas at Third floor Hermès, 541 Orchard Road Liat Towers. The exhibition will run until June 9, 2013, 10:30 am to 7:30 pm.
And since you're there, might as well check out the entire Hermès store! I am always a huge fan of their store display and even their interiors! It's creative and always classy. A couple of days ago, I met up with one of my best friend, Dre, for dinner. We passed by the Takashimaya branch and both Dre and I couldn't help but be fascinated with their shuttlecock display. It was beautiful!