LOY Gallery’s “A Trail to Chase” is a Fresh New Take on Art and Design

May 21, 2024

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By 

Chad Rialp

LOY Contemporary Art Gallery injects a fresh perspective into the Singaporean art scene. Inspired by his encounter with Art Basel Miami in 2019, founder Dennis Ouyang established LOY Gallery in 2023 with a vision to champion both emerging and established artistic voices from Southeast Asia and the wider international art world. And this new exhibition, “A Trail to Chase”, embodies that very mission.

Blurring the Lines Between Art and Design

A Trail to Chase Installation images Image courtesy of LOY Contemporary Art Gallery.
A look at the “A Trail to Chase” installation.

“Our philosophy at LOY Gallery is to inspire new perspectives and ways of expression,” says Ouyang. This vision is evident in “A Trail to Chase,” which breaks down the barriers between art and design. The exhibition features works that are both functional and artistic, inviting viewers to see everyday objects in a new light.

“A Trail to Chase” marks a groundbreaking moment for LOY Gallery. It’s their first exhibition exploring both art and design. This innovative approach aims to spark fresh dialogues about collecting and the multifaceted purpose of art in our lives. It asks audiences “to think about the interconnectedness of things through the creations exhibited,” explains Ouyang. Here, artists combine concept with function, elevating craft into art – making design collectible and art functional, and vice versa.

Pushing Boundaries and Encouraging Exploration

Charlotte Kingsnorth's G Plan Fan Club Chairs and Table at LOY Gallery's "A Trail to Chase."
Charlotte Kingsnorth, “G Plan Fan Club Chairs and Table”

According to LOY, “the trail is shorthand for the convergence of people, place, and path; patterns mapped through use.” This collaborative curatorial approach with Ansha Jin of Objective Gallery in Shanghai, sought out artists who, like LOY Gallery itself, are influenced by a multitude of disciplines. The result is a showcase of multidisciplinary and intersectional artists whose works challenge creative boundaries. 

Each piece is a study in organic forms. They draw inspiration from our natural environment; striking sculptural pieces that blur the lines between sculpture and home furnishings. Each piece carries a story of cultural heritage, artistic endeavor, and the unending pursuit of beauty.

A prime example of this is Viktor Udzenija’s “Booblyfook” lamp. Skillfully fashioned, it uses blown glass to echo the soft, light quality of a bubble, bringing a sensory dimension to the visual world.

Viktor Udzenija's "Booblyfook" lamp.
Viktor Udzenija, “Booblyfook” lamp

Organically Provocative

In addition, Fernando Mastrangelo’s ecologically-themed pieces encourage a deeper reflection on the relationship between people and their environment. Mastrangelo’s art paves the way for new conversations on ecology, a crucial topic in today’s world. His “Drift Mirror”, made with hand-dyed sand, earned a prominent place at Fendi’s store on 5th Avenue in New York.

Fernando Mastrangelo "Drift Mirror."
Fernando Mastrangelo, “Drift Mirror”

Another featured artist, Charlotte Kingsnorth, takes a unique approach that merges functionality with sculpture. Her work challenges traditional notions of beauty and the purpose of everyday objects.

Charlotte Kingsnorth's "Birds Eye Dressing Table Set."
Charlotte Kingsnorth, “Birds Eye Dressing Table Set”

“Her approach cuts through traditional craft techniques and questions societal conventions,” Ouyang shares. Kingsnorth’s pieces, such as the “G Plan Fan Club” and “Birds Eye Dressing Table Set,” imbue utilitarian objects with personality. They prompt viewers to reconsider their relationship with everyday items. Not to mention they’re extremely comfortable and ergonomic.

Vincent Pocsik’s “Damned to Love You”.
Vincent Pocsik, “Damned to Love You”
Vincent Pocsik’s “Charlie”.
“Charlie” by Vincent Pocsik

Vincent Pocsik’s “Charlie” and “Damned to Love You” are stand out works crafted from single pieces of carved black walnut. Both are impressive examples of impeccable craftsmanship paired with provocative design.

A New Way to Experience Art

LOY Gallery’s vision with “A Trail to Chase” goes beyond the typical gallery experience. By showcasing unconventional art and encouraging interaction, they’re fostering a new way for viewers to engage with art.

“We are encouraging visitors to embrace this changed perspective by welcoming visitors to interact with the works physically,” says Ouyang. You’re welcome to pull the drawers of J McDonald’s vanity mirror, have a seat on Vincent Pocsik’s human-shaped bench, or lounge on one of Charlotte Kingsnorth’s experimental table sets.

The exhibit wants the audience to create a connection with the artwork. It encourages them “to uncover the narratives embedded in collectible design and functional art, and to reflect on the interconnectedness of our world through the medium of extraordinary creations.”

While they are works of art, they’re also meant to be functional pieces that grow within your space. They become part of your personal narrative that evoke memories and experiences. By allowing visitors to engage in ways not commonly found in other galleries, “A Trail to Chase” hopes to spark new ideas and understanding on what people think of art and creativity.

A Trail to Chase: An Open Invitation

Ultimately, “A Trail to Chase” invites visitors to join LOY Gallery on an introspective journey. The exhibition showcases a confluence of artistic paths. Each work is interconnected, but also different in its very own exploration and craftsmanship. It’s a journey that challenges traditional perspectives on art, design, and our relationship with the objects around us.

Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about a fresh take on art and design, “A Trail to Chase” promises to be a thought-provoking and stimulating experience. Due the overwhelmingly positive feedback and reception it received, the exhibit has been extended until 15 June, 2024, at LOY Gallery, 133 Tanglin Road, Singapore.

Images courtesy of LOY Contemporary Art Gallery.

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