Nine Artworks to Challenge Your Perceptions of Time at ART SG

Cultural Perspectives • 13 Jan 2023

Nine Artworks to Challenge Your Perceptions of Time at ART SG

The inaugural edition of ART SG will soon open its doors at Marina Bay Sands. The fair will be an opportunity to access works from over 1000 artists and galleries from over 30 countries, showcasing exceptional artworks across different mediums. With so many works to see, here’s our pick of artworks at ART SG that explore and challenge your concept and understanding of time.

Jun Ong – Doppelgȁnger


light installation based on reconstructed mangrove roots against black backdrop
Doppelgȁnger by Malaysian artist Jun Ong at ART SG


For the inaugural edition of Art SG, The Hour Glass has commissioned emerging Malaysian talent, Jun Ong, creating an immersive experience that reflects on the multiple dimensions in our present space-time continuum.

Doppelgȁnger incorporates organic elements sampled from decades-old roots of Mentaling trees native to the mangrove swamps of Johor, juxtaposing it against an intricate hand-blown neon light installation. With the human element increasingly removed from most industries, the delicate art of neon glass blowing is a vanishing tradecraft, particularly in South-East Asia. By juxtaposing the natural against the man-made, a contemporary idea is reflected in a traditional medium, Ong seeks to examine the multiverse theory, by considering how doppelgȁngers can exist in parallel universes.

The Hour Glass Presents Doppelgȁnger by Jun Ong for ART SG


Mario Merz – “Untitled”


Mario Merz Untitled 1971
Mario Merz “Untitled” 1971
Image courtesy of Cardi Gallery


As a key figure of the Arte Povera movement, artist Mario Merz (1925-2003) developed his visual practice through the exploration of nature and the organic within art. Merz sought new representational forms that investigated different forms of space.

“Untitled” (1971) is an extraordinary example of Merz’s seminal installations that reference the artist’s essential artistic investigation with the Fibonacci sequence. A long bed of soil holds ten transparent glass sheets, each featuring a different number from the Fibonacci sequence constructed from blue neon light. The physical distance between each glass sheet corresponds to the Fibonacci numbers.

Characteristic of Merz’s practice is the juxtaposition of raw, organic matter with industrial and artificial material, making visible life in the modern age with all its paradoxical structures surrounding us. Merz described this form of installation as a way to transform physical space and to “unload the chemical density of the atmosphere”, in the same way, that music does: “Music too has mathematical or numerical equivalences. Time is a tap root immersed in the ground (the date of birth). Time then develops in an objective and relatively free reality the way the tree develops from the tap root into the atmosphere”. In this way “Untitled” functions as a physical manifestation of something eternal. As an extension of space, the neon-lit numbers are dimensionless, yet they represent an energetic force developing into its own infinite environment.


Darren Almond – Kyoto Spring


Darren Almond Kyoto Spring
Darren Almond “Kyoto Spring” 2021
Image courtesy of White Cube


Titled ‘Kyoto Spring’, the work takes its inspiration from springtime in the verdant Japanese city.

This multi-panelled work is informed by geometry and mathematics, landscapes and constellations. Titled ‘Kyoto Spring’, the work takes its inspiration from springtime in the verdant Japanese city. Arranged in a grid format with rhythmic fragments of numbers, the painting is made up from drawing, painting and the application of metals such as aluminium, silver and gold, materials which are conductors and transformers of energy. As such this painting alters its aspect at different times of day and over longer periods of time. The painting constantly reacts and responds to its environment and changing light conditions.

Travel is central to Almond’s work and he has travelled through Japan since the 1990s, drawing inspiration from its landscapes. The concept of time as ephemeral, yet central to the manner in which our society is organised is a focal point throughout his oeuvre. Kyoto Spring demonstrates this duality, abstract yet simultaneously a concrete and structured unit of measure. Almond explores different methods of framing this concept into a tangible form, building on devices and techniques that have existed for millennia. The work reflects how modern society has adapted numbers to quantify the intangible, utilising both a grid structure as well as numerical fragments to convey the constant state of motion within which we exist. Touching upon the interplay between the finite and the infinite, Kyoto Spring embodies the visually perceptible aspect of timekeeping – yet in its current state remains forever frozen in time.


Dawn Ng – Somewhere in The Desert There is a Forest and an Acre Before Us


Dawn Ng Somewhere In The Forest There Is A Forest And An Acre Before Us
Dawn Ng “Somewhere In The Forest There Is A Forest And An Acre Before Us” 2022
Courtesy of Dawn Ng and Sullivan+Strumpf


Dawn Ng is a multi-hyphenate artist from Singapore who has worked across a diverse breadth of mediums, motifs and scale. Her work primarily deals with time, memory, identity and space. As Ng reflects, her ongoing body of mixed media works “began as an exploration of holding on to time…a desire to give time form, texture and colour”.


Mona Hatoum “+ and -“


Mona Hatoum “+ And -” 2021 © Mona Hatoum
Photo © White Cube (Theo Christelis)


Following on from Hatoum’s pivotal ‘Self-Erasing Drawing’ (1979) and ‘+ and -‘ (1994-2004), this new kinetic work endlessly negotiates the dichotomies of building and destruction. A motorised metal arm sweeps along a circular bed of sand which simultaneously creates and smooths over a pattern of grooves, forever locked in a meditative cycle. As opposed to earlier iterations of the work, a smaller pedestal upon which the sculpture is placed invites a more intimate, domestic encounter.


Leandro Erlich – “The Cloud- Venere di Willendorf”

Leandro Erlich  The Cloud- Venere di  Willendorf  2021
Leandro Erlich “The Cloud- Venere di Willendorf” 2021 Photo by the artist Image courtesy of the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA


A self-proclaimed “architect of the uncertain”, Erlich’s celebrated works, which include “The Cloud” and “Swimming Pool” invite viewers to cast doubt on the limits of perception and imagine expanded possibilities. His illusionistic sculptures and installations, by turns enchanting, surprising and humorous, displace viewers from the mundane everyday, and invite us to consider the constructed nature of our realities.


Shen Chen – “Untitled No.63030-20”


Shen Chen "Untitled No.63030-20" 2020 Image courtesy of Matthew Liu Fine Arts
Shen Chen “Untitled No.63030-20” 2020
Image courtesy of Matthew Liu Fine Arts


Shen Chen is an advocate of contemporary conceptual painting. His works embody repetition and time continuity. The process of repeating the same brushstrokes in his painting marks the passage of time and the artist’s mental state in this process. Each overlapping stroke can be seen as a digestion of the previous strokes. These layers of brushstrokes and paint eventually create a metaphorical stillness in which lingering time, space, and thought.


Fyerool Darma – “SCREENSHOT 20-06-2022 AT 06:02 PM (CHROMAENEOJI~ ♥X-PERGHI) FEATURING MOYANG, 2022”

Yeoworkshop Fyerool Darma Screenshot 20 06 2022 At 06 02 Pm Chroma Eneoji X Perghi Featuring Moyang 2022
Fyerool Darma “Screenshot 20 06 2022 At 06 02 Pm Chroma Eneoji X Perghi Featuring Moyang 2022”
Copyright The Artist
Image courtesy of the artist and Yeo Workshop


Fyerool perceives found images and texts, from digital and other archival sources as collaborators. Drawing equally upon illusion and allusion, he weaves, interlaces, embroiders and paints these varied materials together. His works are an exercise in composing oneself and decomposing images to recompose a visual pantun, or culturally-modular quatrain in a context of hypervisuality and climate change.

The Hour Glass is proud to be the Associate Partner of ART SG. For further information about ART SG, and to purchase tickets, visit

Tags: art sg contemporary art singapore

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