Art Happen
Documenting art and identity in formation: An arts agent's story
Filming for “Aritst in Residence” (2012) art programme on television
Categories: Programmes

I have have been exposed to many ways of expressing my thoughts to the audience like public speaking, explaining my experiences to students, interviewed on radio and so forth. My first presentation was in college for the art work of Starry Night and the artist Vincent van Gogh. It went very well and I was able to out my research through confidently and interestingly to my fellow classmates and the lecturers. However, some others that followed could be good or bad. From then, I have built my strength in art writing over the other forms of expression. While I was receiving the invite from Rosihan Dahim and looking through the news that was just published on him on the newspaper, I took a call from a television production company which was filming an episode of Rosihan creating an art work based in a family residence in their latest television programme. They required a segment with some curators or art experts’ comments on each artist episode.

Although I don’t consider myself really a curator nor expert in art, I took the challenge since I knew Rosihan fairly well from us working with several projects already. When the topics came in an email, they have added another artist, Yeo Chee Kiong, in line for me to talk about, as well as the topic of sculptures in Singapore. In the evening, I got a notice that I won’t be speaking for Rosihan but only Chee Kiong. I have seen through Chee Kiong’s work mainly when I was working at the Esplanade, mainly his setup session. So, I was going anyway, I did some research of him the night before the filming session.

Starting with the video camera interview was quite a challenge. I got some time to acquaint myself to the situation, being the first time, at a significant Fernando Botero Bird sculpture at Singapore river, while they were busy with taking another segment which was the Dali’s to relate to surrealist Dahim. After that, we were asked to go to Roy Listenstein’s brushstokes before coming back to point A after being chased away by the shopping mall’s sercuity guards. That bought me some more time but I was getting alittle off my readiness. At the same time I was getting to know the host of the programme, Shu-An who came from the same college as me and we were discussing about few art history topics. My answers on a clipboard was getting filled with more notes while I think of what snippets of facts cam be taken out during an expected chat style interview with the host. Doing a small walk in acting to the scene wasn’t a surprise to me. But the chat was. I felt thrown into an area I wasn’t to familiar to capture, like I did before to engage in live radio interview. The problem being I would not have a script in front of me with the exact questions asked. Everything should come out in between a chat session as I thought. So the first session have to break several times for my problem taking seemlying simple questions like “what is a sculpture?”, those compared to my writings where I had the liberty to find sources to justify my statements or in a class presentation where I could debate or present an arguement on the spot.
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However I was greatly enlightened with the professionals teaching me to handle those situations like Shu-An said that I could actually use explainations like “those could be debatable but…” On the second session filmed at my gallery space, I found that it wouldn’t even bother them even if I stopped to think for 5seconds and continued. Yes, those pause could actually be cut away, right? It was more of an experience to me than expecting to be on air, although finally I did contribute some lines from my knowledge rather than speaking up on TV for Chee Kiong. And so, the second filming session went better and I went through it pretty enjoyably which was shot indoor, even with my hangover from the drinking session at a coffee shop with three artists from China the night before!

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