When I first chanced upon this article by The Smart Local of the Yayoi Kusama exhibition in the National Gallery Singapore, I wondered if they were serious. I mean selfies and Instagram aside, why would someone come to an art exhibition only to treat it as a backdrop?
Cameras and phones acts as a filter to our perception and I have never understood why would someone look at life and art – of all things, through a #filter.
Have we reduced art to nothing more than backdrops for an OOTD? What is the point of ‘documenting’ these works when you can find them on the internet or taking a selfie with it? To show your friends that you were there and join the hype on Instagram?
The ushers at the exhibition were really nice but I could clearly see their eyes roll when someone whips up their phone and accidentally overstep the ‘boundaries’ of the exhibition. There were also ‘no touching’ signs everywhere which were promptly ignored by parents of kids trying to get the perfect shot for Facebook; while in another installation, you only had 20 seconds to ‘take your pictures’ and time was kept to the dot by a timer…
As I observed these people looking at their life through their phones, I wonder how many really experienced the magnitude and at times, pain of Kusama’s work.
I also wonder if anyone would turn up if the Gallery banned cameras; or is this the new age we live in where anything and everything must be documented because we can.
Food for thought.
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow will be on display at National Gallery Singapore from now till 3 September 2017.
More information Here.