FRESH GARDEN
 
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Artist : Agan Harahap  
07 - 30 September 2012



 

This elaborately constructed photographic work was produced after an artist residency in Singapore, during which the artist traveled to zoos to record animals in confined spaces. Included in the exhibition are 10 artworks of animals in a made-up yet real wilderness. Garden Fresh series investigates the shifting boundaries between humans and animals in today’s environment and the complex relationship between art and nature. It is like a fable about a journey undertaken by the animals when they venture into our daily lives. The animals are confronted by a new reality that is in conflict with their natural habits and habitats. In specific, they are invited into one of the central urban food sources for humans–the supermarket–which represents as a fond childhood memory for the artist. 

By placing the animals in this made-up wilderness, the animals can easily purchase and consume their food yet its un-natural to them--a tiger peeking out from the cold meat section, the pelican overlooking the fresh fish display–just as it is un-natural for humans to purchase from supermarkets and living in high-rise buildings, moving away from nature. At the same time, when we see these ‘zoo-trapped’ animals in supermarkets, their most outstanding characteristics are isolated as their ‘only’ characteristics. The animals are stripped of their own identities and are used as empty vessels to be filled with the human drama of parody, satire and allegory. We cannot help but see animals from a human vantage point, and therefore in some sense all the works in the present exhibition are actually about us.


Press Release