What is your relationship with your textbooks?
Have you considered what they meant to you, beyond learning guides on examinable subjects in school?
In an interesting exhibition that opens today at Aloft at Hermès, New York-based Japanese artist Noriko Ambe presents paper portraitures of reflections, in collaboration with Singapore and Japanese students.
She listened, filtered, and articulated her understanding of the challenges and pressures faced by each student – in today’s rigid and fast-paced education system – into expressive and concept paper sculptures.
In March 2017, when Ambe held workshops with the group of 15 year-old students in Singapore and Japan, she posed the following questions to them:
“What do you think your textbooks teach you? And what do your textbooks not teach you?”
“In this project using textbooks as the key material, I focused on transforming the meaning of them in order to express the relationship between the textbooks and the individual students who use them.
In the workshops, I tried to encourage the students to consider what their textbooks meant to them, by asking them to instruct me on how to physically alter those books.
We engaged in a creative practice. Using a blank notebook, they drew a single unbroken line from a starting point to an endpoint of their choosing. They performed this action three times, for one minute, three minutes, and five minutes, with the intention of mapping their own lives. At last, they cut along the lines they drew to make a three-dimensional piece of art original to them.
For my response to their work, by observing the shapes in their notebook and following their instructions, I altered the textbooks to express each student. This was a kind of journey to meet the students in my mind.”
Presented by Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, the (Un)filtered Reflections exhibition will run from today, 22 November 2017 to 11 February 2018, 10.30am to 8pm daily, at Aloft at Hermès, 541 Orchard Road, Liat Towers.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports men and women seeking to learn, perfect, transmit and celebrate the creative skills that shape our lives today and into the future.
Aloft at Hermès
One of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès’ five art spaces around the world, Aloft is a platform for contemporary artists to explore new expressive forms and to bring their creative dreams to life through original works created in situ. Each year, two artists are invited to explore an annual exhibition theme that engages the public in an ongoing dialogue exploring key issues and new perspectives. Additionally, in keeping with the Foundation’s overaching commitment for its worldwide exhibition spaces, Aloft will continually showcase and support French artists internationally. Inhabiting the upper floor of the Hermès flagship store, Aloft takes over the baton from Third Floor- Hermès. This new chapter reaffirms the Hermès vision of offering the community a unique space at the heart of Orchard Road to encounter and fall in love with Art.
Images courtesy of Hermes, photographer Edward Hendricks.