“Fun is the feeling of finding something new in a familiar situation.”
—Ian Bogost, Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games (2016)
Viewing art and the world as a metaphorical playground can provide the basis to orient creative thoughts and processes. A Playground Needs Only to Be Interesting is an explorative exercise to lay out playful contexts and gather unexpected associations. The programme consists of a presentation about Singapore playgrounds by writer Justin Zhuang interspersed with Cake Theatre’s recitations of Playground Manifesto, a selection of artists’ statements collected and “remixed” over the years by artist Chun Kaifeng.
Chun Kaifeng (Singapore) is an artist whose practice explores our day-to-day experiences. Drawing on abstraction and concreteness, he makes evocative objects based on ordinary urban elements that exist in the background of the city. Fabricated with industrial techniques and materials, Chun’s objects cohere to a personal form of sculptural regimentation. They form situations which conflict with our perceptual habits and encourage a closer look at our everyday environment. Chun is currently Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore.
Justin Zhuang (Singapore) is a writer and researcher with an interest in design, cities, culture, history, and media. Together with Sheere Ng, he co-runs Singapore-based writing studio In Plain Words. He is also the founder of the Singapore Graphic Archives. He has written for Design Observer, art4d, and AIGA Eye on Design. Zhuang’s publications include Mosaic Memories: Remembering Singapore’s Old Playgrounds (2013), School Crests Examination: The Stories behind the Symbols (2013), and INDEPENDENCE: The history of graphic design in Singapore since the 1960s (2012).
Led by Artistic Director Natalie Hennedige, Cake Theatrical Productions (Singapore) is a contemporary performance company based in Singapore committed to exploring the possibilities of performance, creating pieces that are varied, multidisciplinary, and artistically adventurous. Their mission is to create highly original theatrical works that speak powerfully, connect viscerally, and address with bold honesty modern day concerns and complexities.
Image credit: Chun Kaifeng, playground design sketch, 2015. Courtesy the artist.