Democratic Art at IKEA

On my way to grab dinner, after purchasing a $9 AS-IS dish rack (usual price: $70) at a surprise IKEA ground floor auction, I chanced upon Democratic Art Singapore, on the second floor. Featuring 4 local artists (Safarudidin Abdul Hamid, Lim Bee Ling, Shubigi Rao, and a photographer), and mentioned in the Straits Times on Thursday (?), May 1, 2008.

The works consisted of edition of prints, each retailing for S$299.  While these are a fraction of  the cost of artist’s prints from STPI, they are well made and do explore various aspects of urban living. Shubigi Rao investigates notions of personal dwellings as cave dwellings, and the definitive expansion of caves into high rise flats in the light of land scarcity; Lim Bee Ling on buses as public transport, the deliberate mis-prints to me represented the times buses do not turn up on time, or 4 at a time; Dyn on public housing in estrange choice of psychedelic colours perhaps highlighting the ubiquitous architecture that dot our landscape and how they represent a national psyche.

While the themes explored concern all of us, much remains to be seen how pop art style can be successfully translated into democratic art, just as how IKEA designs are described as democratic and for the people and environment.

Other Interesting articles, related to IKEA and Art:

Daniel Burnbaum, IKEA at the End of Metaphysics, 1996, accessed May 3, 2008, http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/ikea_at_the_end_of_metaphysics/

Buck Clifford Rosenberg, Scandinavian Dreams: DIY, Democratisation and IKEA, 2005, accessed May 3, 2008, http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_11/article_02.shtml

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