habitusliving.com.sg/ The Work of Alchemists at the Singapore Art Museum

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‘Singapore Design: The Alchemists’ is a fascinating showcase of objects created using progressive production techniques. First debuted at the Triennale di Milano, the exhibition will now be on show from 16 to 31 January 2016 at the Singapore Art Museum. Luo Jingmei writes


In the world of contemporary design, the Triennale di Milano ranks high as one of the most prestigious museum spaces to showcase design. Last year, during Milan Design Week in April, a group of Singapore’s 15 most progressive designers put the nation’s talent on display there with an exhibition titled Singapore Design: The Alchemists.

Good design is like magic, concocted through laborious, inventive steps. Using a selection of tools and objects inspired by the alchemic process of transforming substances, such as lead into gold, the 15 designers created products that, as delicate and avant-garde as they appear, are borne of looking at the latest production methods – amongst them nylon laser sintering, resin pouring, liquid colouring of ceramics and acrylic textiles moulding – anew.

The experimental Italian movement Studio Alchimia from the 1970s inspired the exhibition’s theme, which was jointly curated by Italian editor, writer and designer Stefano Casciani and Singaporean designer and educator Patrick Chia, who is also the founder of Singapore’s innovative Design Incubation Centre. The works ranged from Hans Tan’s President’s Design Award-winning Pour resin-top table inspired by the rainbow layers of the lapis sagu cake; Lanzavecchia + Wai’s Fool’s Gold cabinets that puts a glamorous, fresh spin on ubiquitous corrugated steel sheets; and Outofstock’s exquisite botanical-inspired Aura Tropicale ceramic filter.

From 16 to 31 January 2016, these objects can be experienced firsthand at the Singapore Art Museum, as part of this year’s Singapore Art Week activities. It is organised by Singapore-based design brand Industry+ and supported by DesignSingapore Council and the Singapore Art Museum.