Event : Get to Know Singaporean Young Talented Artist Marvin Tang- The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Have you heard of  Alliance Francaise de Singapour? Well, I am not aware of this organization until last Friday.

I was here with few friends at gallery of Alliance Francaise de Singapour. The gallery displayed a young local artist  work called “The Mountain Survey“.

This is a Solo Exhibition!

Marvin Tang received the opportunity to show his work at Alliance Française as part of France & Singapore Photographic Arts Awards (FSPAA). His work was shortlisted by a panel of judges. The winner of this award receives a solo exhibition with Alliance Française as well as production support. Marvin Tang was selected amongst his fellow peers who were also shortlisted in this award.

I have also done a short interview with the young artist Marvin Tang on his exhibits.  He is currently studying master degree in London and back for a month and a half in Singapore.

Question 1 : Tell me a little about yourself.

Marvin Tang : I started photographing when I was a young child and given a camera during overseas travel. However, I became particularly interested in photography only 10 years ago. I started out in reportage photography which still strongly influences my work even in my transition to visual arts. I received my formal training in the School of Arts Design and Media (NTU) and now pursuing my Master in London College of Communications.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Description of the artist work – The Mountain Survey :

A survey of Mountains in a country with barely any hills.

The survey investigates mountainous landscapes observed at various nature reserves around Singapore. Once vital during the building boom in the 1970’s -1980’s, these mountains have since ceased their functions and taken on a new role in providing a space of tranquillity.

~ extracted from the printout that I received.

Question 2  : Why do you choose mountain?

Marvin Tan : I called them mountains as a namesake as these were largely terms used to describe the quarries in multiple newspaper articles. But at the same time, mountains refers to huge natural formations that does not exist in Singapore. The use of mountains here comes as a reference to convince ourselves of a natural setting that does not truly exist.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 3 :Where do you usually get inspiration from?

Marvin Tang : My points of curiosity are often inspired from a continued research on history or observation. I like to understand how things come to be, which in this case how the mountain became mountains and where did the quarries go?

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Little Boxes

One of my favourite part of the galley is the little boxes displayed at the floor.  My first impression tells me these little boxes look very similar to granite stones.  That’s my own interpretation.  Let’s see the artist explanation.

Question 4 : Explain the little boxes?

Marvin Tan : The floor pieces (The Cavern and the Built) are both new pieces that I am exploring as a study of creating objects in relations to narratives I have found pertaining to the mountains. In the Cavern (The black square near the entrance), it relates to a news article I found that speaks of how Singapore does not wish to have so many holes in the ground.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 5 : What are these little sand?

Marvin Tang : Those are Quarry Dust. It is an important material uses in building materials. However, at the same time, the high Silica content of Quarry Dust was also the cause of lung problems amongst quarry workers.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 6 : Prizes you have won locally & internationally.

Marvin Tang : I was honored to receive the Singapore International Photography Festival Portfolio Award in 2016 & Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Photography 2015. With recent exhibitions with Enterprise Projects, London; Nooderlicht International Photo festival IN VIVO, Netherlands and Odesa Photo Days, Ukraine.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 7 : Your favorite masterpiece.

Marvin Tang : Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

The below artwork is not displayed at the wall but at the floor.  Look down at it and you will feel like you are looking into a very deep ‘black hole’.  This is my way of interpretation of this photo/artwork.  I didnt check with the artist as I wanted to have my own way of imagination.

Before I spoke with the artist, I thought these were taken at the Bukit Batok – Gombak Norite. But I was told these pictures were actually taken in Pulau Ubin!

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 8 : What is the message you want to send out from your photos?

Marvin Tang : There are so much that we do not know about the world around us. My image does not aim to explain the world but merely open the conversations around it.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Question 9 : Tips for people who wish to take up photography

Marvin : Do not get lost in making photographs. Read, write and wonder. Think about the world and find yourself in it. Do not be so eager to photograph everything.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

After finished exploring the gallery, we went checking out the facilities in Alliance Francaise de Singapour.

Alliance Française de Singapour 

Alliance Française de Singapour is a non-profit educational and cultural organization.  It was my first time to pay a visit at this colorful buldings. There is a library at the second floor which is open for public.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

French Library

The library has good collection of books, digital cd and DVD. Visitors are feel free to browse at books here, well if you know French 🙂

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

French boy reading a comic book at the children corner.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Cultural Destination

Alliance Française de Singapour has offered a great array of cinema and performing arts events in its theatre as well as various visual art exhibitions in la galerie becoming a renowned cultural destination.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Where & When ?

Alliance Française de Singapour – la galerie (2nd floor)

From 3 August to 8 September 2018

Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Tuesday – Friday: 1pm – 7.30pm

Do not miss the Artist’s Talk on Saturday, 18 August 2018 at 5:45pm 

How to go :

  •  By car – There is a small car park limited to 15 cars at Alliance Française de Singapour, using cash card.
  • By mrt : Newton MRT Station then walk for few minutes, you will  see the colorful building below –Alliance Française de Singapour.

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

Final thoughts :

Marvin Tang is a Singaporean young talented artist who uses photography as a tool of investigation. He has also won multiple awards around the world. I am glad to have seen one of his work and most importantly gotten a chance to get to know him and his work through our interview.

Secondly it was a good discover to know about this place -Alliance Française de Singapour!

Lastly, we all have  a great time catching up and meeting new friends during my visit at the Galerie @ Alliance Française de Singapour!

Event : Singaporean Talented Artist - The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour

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61 Replies to “Event : Get to Know Singaporean Young Talented Artist Marvin Tang- The Mountain Survey @ Alliance Francaise de Singapour”

  1. When I seen your boxes collection, it reminded me a scene from Brooklyn Nine Nine’s dialogue scene which Andy Samberg said “357 Paints of rock, this guy parties”. Same thing I want to say about boxes, but I mean it in nice way. Well you should congratulate Marvin Sir for these amazing arts.

    1. Dear Aditya,

      Well, I dont watch Brooklyn Nine Nine’s so I am not aware of the dialogue but I am glad you have your own interpretation. 🙂
      Marvin is certainly talented and also received the first prize for the student category at National Geographic in 2015.

  2. I love visiting galleries and get to marvel on the beauty of portraits, especially when they are from far before like this one. The first portraits are amazing from this collection!

    1. Dear Dalena,

      The photographer has the ability to hedge both artistic talent and technical skill into these pictures. The first picture show 2 guys are having some men’s talk, probaby dad and son talk! Lol.

    1. Dear Tara,

      The colorful building that you see is Alliance Française de Singapour, is a non-profit educational and cultural organization.  It was my first time to pay a visit at this beautiful gem. It also offer French classes to public!

  3. The boxes are a unique exhibit to have! I also like how the library in Alliance Française de Singapour have the area for children, because places like this tend to not have spots for them. Definitely family friendly!!

    1. Dear Jo,

      The children corner in the library Alliance Française de Singapour is pretty awesome, especially the baby & toddlers corner, equipped with fun bean bags and some toys and a baby basket.
      Yes, the boxes in the exhibit is one of the eye catching item! 🙂

    1. Dear Nancie,

      Thanks for your kind comment. Marvin Tang’s work won multiple awards locally and internationlly. His is a young Singaporean artist on the rise 🙂 Glad there are many platform for the young to displayed their masterpiece.

  4. I saw this on Facebook and came over to read the article. I think it would be so wonderful to show, and to visit as well.

  5. The photographs and display are quite interesting. Wish I knew about this library when we were living in Singapore a couple years back
    – Nandita

    1. Dear Nandyz,
      Glad to know that you lived in Singapore few years ago.

      The library has good collection of books, digital cd and DVD and rental of Ipad too. If you have small children, you are free to bring them as there is a children corner.

  6. Sorry but I have never heard of Alliance Francaise de Singapour I loved reading about it. I paint but I’m afraid to showcase them in galleries I keep them confined till my instagram and blog. But I like reading about artists. It makes me glad and happy.. ❤❤❤

    1. Dear Queen,

      Glad that you enjoyed arts too and do it in painting and displayed them in IG. I hope someday your work get discovered and get invited to have your solo exhibition, just like Marvin Tang 🙂

    1. Dear Doreen,

      Alliance Francaise do offer French classes, it is a non profit organization which promote culture exchange. There is a gallery for artists to display their work. From 3 August to 8 September 2018, Marvin Tang solo exhibition is at the second floor Alliance Française de Singapour – la galerie!

  7. Marvin Tang photos are gorgeous. I had to back and forth to truly appreciate the his message. What an amazing way to portray old quarries. Even the blocks at the entrance made my mind go all over the place. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s not something I would ever see in real life but I was entralled.

  8. Mr. Marvin Tang is really a great artist. Every pieces that he made have an informative explanation that will help his clients understand his works. I hope that I can visit his gallery to see his amazing artworks.

    1. Dear Emma,

      The artwork displayed at the galley do not have explanations. The explanation was given for (sand & boxes) when I asked the artist in the interview. As I mentioned, there is one art displayed which I purposely did not wanted to ask about as I wanted to have my own interpretation 🙂 Yes, it is indeed an amazing artwork in his solo exhibition.

    1. Dear Stephanie,

      Marvin Tang works have certainly aroused our fascination in common things and curiosity about the surroundings,leading them to review our relationship with society.

  9. I love how he said that he didn’t want to explain the world but open up a conversation about it. I believe that’s a powerful statement. We are often trying to find answers to everything that we don’t leave opportunity for dialogue. The artwork is beautiful.

  10. To be honest, I haven’t heard of Marvin Tang yet but I’m glad that you were able to interview him, get to know him, and share it to all of us. It’s good knowing artists all over the world.

  11. Visiting galleries can be uplifting and educative. The artwork is beautiful and it is always so great to discover new artists!

  12. Great Interview! The photograph exhibition looked awesome and I am so glad to know that the cultural cooperation betwee France and Singapoore exists. I studied French in the Alliance Française in Argentina many years ago, before migrating to Switzerland.

  13. what a fun and great interview. what a fun and very exiciting exhibit that you had the opportunity to attend. how exciting.

  14. Never been to an art gallery, but I love them because they celebtate the artist. The pieces in your pics are beautiful! and OMG the mountain view collection!!

    1. Dear Fiona,

      There are many good reasons to visit an art gallery and one of them is visiting art galleries makes you aware of world geography and environment. For example you will usually pay atttention to the origin of the artpiece, where the artist is from.

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