My new exhibition/installation, Three Rooms, has opened at Projector X: Riverside. The entire space is a durational (18 month) pop-up concept by the folks from the Projector. It’s been a fruitful few months conceptualising the exhibition, which was made possible by the largesse of Karen Tan, founder of the Projector and enabled by the rest of the Projector’s capable, cheerful and inventive team.
What is Three Rooms?
First, another question. What was before Projector X? Two years ago, the X Entertainment Club, a night club that was heavy on Carlsberg, Chivas and dancing girls closed abruptly, literally overnight. Clothes were strewn everywhere. Work permits were left in unlocked drawers. Posters for a grand re-opening were rolled up on the floor. A ledger with a list of big-boy spenders lay open on the table.
Everything was locked up and left, as is, for almost two years. I was asked by artist Yen Phang and Karen to drop by when the team had just taken over the space to see if I had any ideas for it. Immediately, I offered to document the space as it was and as it would change over the coming months. The bar area would be painted over and the bars stools and high tables would be piled up to make room for regular tables and chairs. In another large, contained space that was formerly the dance floor, leather couches surrounded a high stage, dusty with memories and leftover streamers. Under the stage, a life-sized Santa slept on his side, forgotten from a long-ago Christmas. This space would become Neon, the new theatre for the Projector. The entire club was Pompeii-like in its abandoned glory and stasis, down to the huat kueh offering sitting innocuously on the bar counter.
And then there were the three rooms. The staff lounge, the office and the dressing room. These were gloriously abandoned, chock full of detail and a veritable trove of memories. Of course, it was also foolhardy to want to keep them intact, but… that’s what we did. So, in addition to photographing the interiors, I decided to write a short piece of fiction for each room, using details I found to offer a glimpse of interlocking narratives in the months before the club shut down.
Besides the stories, there’s also a plan to create more work, maybe even a book, from the rest of the photographs, so this won’t be the end of the project!
For a more detailed read on the ethos and thinking behind the entire space, check out Home Ground Asia’s article here.
You can head to The Projector’s website to buy tickets for a movie, or visit the space at Riverside Point for a drink or two and check out the rooms.