Communion
within a Cloud
Art has always emerged from the darkest of times in our histories. When shows were suspended, art spaces shut and the magnitude of the pandemic loomed large, seven artists were called upon to create in response to a five point framework developed to surface artistic articulation for these unusual times.
The five points read like this
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1.        Write down a dream idea in less than 100 words
This dream idea encapsulates an idea that’s been floating in your mind. It could be something you might have been planning on doing for a time or a thought that this space of time has surfaced. Put this dream idea down into a short, written statement. Like a dream, embrace the surreal. Let it begin like this. “In these unusual days, I have been dreaming about…”
2.         Create
By means of your artform, manifest the dream idea in some form of creation. You can apply visual art, choreography, music, performance, video, film clip, story board…it’s up to you.
3.         Talk about your creation
Speak into the camera describing what you have created encompassing how it relates to the dream idea.
4.        Personal Message
Articulate a personal message to someone or anyone out there. Let it begin like this.“Before I go, I want to say…”
5.        Gaze
Do nothing but gaze into the camera for 2 min.
Your footage will be built into a digital playbook for these unusual days of human separation.
[ Once the artists began work, it was agreed that the five point frame would serve only as a guide, open for them to respond to as they saw fit. The aim was to create pieces that in form and content synchronised with their personal artistic impulses. ]
An Alternate
World of
Catastrophe
& Beauty
Life in a Cloud takes the form of a dedicated website which houses video-based creations from seven prominent artists across genres, expressing new creation and personal reflection in response to living and creating during this pandemic time. The seven chapters, each focusing on a specific artist unfolds each at a time over seven weeks.

The website visualises an alternate world of catastrophe and beauty that crosses different eras across time, capturing a kind of timelessness. It is designed as an intentionally reflective space to enter into and spend unhurried time with the artists’ creations as well as to take in details about their process.

Imagined conversations transpire between Cloud people. Each Cloud person is philosophical by nature, asking existential questions and contemplating the world.  Some are adults and some are children. They converse, talking about biological, ecological, social, economic and ideological turbulences. Within the Life in a Cloud playbook, each artist occupies a chapter, unfolding each at a time over seven weeks.
Seven
Artists
Seven
Creations
The project was designed on the belief that in entering the intimate space of another’s creative potential, we are reminded of the creativity we ourselves possess and can tap into to navigate the complexities of the day and get through. The artists featured represent different artforms and stations in life. Choreographer Santha Bhaskar and Ceramist Iskandar Jalil both in their 80s, are positioned alongside mid-career artists like Filmmaker Kirsten Tan and Fiction Writer Sharlene Teo, offering nuanced differences in their perspectives to life and art by sheer token of the years between them. Performance Makers Kaylene Tan and Paul Rae echo in their creation, performed by actors and real-life couple, Lim Kay Siu and Neo Swee Lin, the complex joys and woes existing between married people, while Performance Artists NADA made up of Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari reflect a different dynamic to creative collaboration. Finally, Architect Randy Chan by weaving a line between his current home and a wayang stage he has built reveals the invisible thread of life connecting him to his aged parents and his two young children.

By encountering these seven artists and their creations we would be taking in a range of perspectives and being enriched by the diversity of their creative articulations emerging from this time of pandemic. Kirsten, Mrs. Bhaskar, NADA, Sharlene, Kaylene & Paul, Mr. Iskandar and Randy individually and collectively reflect diverse artistic perspectives that encompass at once personal and universal responses to the current state of affairs triggered by the pandemic. What is common amongst the seven artists is their commitment to their artforms and their belief in the vitality and importance of the arts to communicate and connect.

Focused on artistic expression, yet tender in its humanity, Life in a Cloud combines artistic creation with a deeply personal and reflective touch; offering a more meditative space to take time with the art pieces and to reflect.
Natalie Hennedige
Artistic Director · Life in a Cloud
Chapter One