Organised by The Substation, Propose-A-Parklet is an urban design competition inviting us to respond to the brief: What makes a Public Space? by creating a temporal urban space within the size of a parking lot (2.5m x 5.0m). The competition began in January and concluded in March 2020.
The definition of a public space intrigued me as it questioned the ownership of a space- is it meant to be shared by a certain group with common interest? If the space was left over time, would the generation that used to enjoy it still be able to appreciate it when they are older? Or will they serve similar needs for a particular age group throughout?
BUILDING ON PREVIOUS IDEA
I took this opportunity to build on the concept from PARK(ing) Day 2017. The idea of using a Malay traditional spinning top, Gasing, to create a Jackson Pollock-esque contemporary art style. What if canvases created from the same idea were done on other material? Like Yayoi Kusama, what if I could create an entire room using the same pattern?
Creating an entire room using this pattern would certainly transport the person to a different place, psychologically taking the person away from this fast-paced world. With the support from the previous team, I participated in this event as an individual and was invited to an open critique session with the panel to further build on the idea.
FIRST PUBLIC ART CRITIQUE
The critique was held at Substation itself, with a panel of established designers and firms openly critiquing every idea. My set-up would mimic a typical living room with furniture painted in this style along with a small ‘arena’ to try reproducing the design. Members of public would also be invited to create this style and their completed canvases would be pasted on the walls of this room as decor.
The idea seeks to engage the public in an activity that bridges the young and old by a traditional game to create modern art, hoping to encourage the young to not only enjoy the aesthetics of the art form, but to also learn more about our forgotten heritage.
TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SUBSTATION GALLERY
Participating as an individual certainly pushed myself beyond my comfort zone- to be out there and share my ideas freely. To be selected for the critique amongst many established urban design firms gave me the assurance that I needed to continue elevating the local arts scene in the near future. I was then part of the 11 teams that were given the budget to create a 1:1 scale model of the installation for display at The Substation Gallery from 20 – 29 March 2020.
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