The Teck Kee Coffeeshop exhibition marked the birth of “The Coffeeshop Project”. With the supportive permission of Teck Kee’s proprietor this exhibition is on show in the coffeeshops secondary eating area. An area that is packed with business types from the surrounding office blocks each lunchtime. This is in a central business area and the flow of people through this area is very high.
It ought to be stressed that this is a highly unusual exhibition. Artist have no tradition of showing art in coffeeshops and coffeeshops are widely considered one of the lowliest venues. It is for these very reasons that we have chosen the coffeeshop as our host and our subject matter. These are important places for Singapore’s working majority.
Before they were installed, and also afterwards, there has been apprehension towards these artworks. We say that we will install these images partly as a study of the coffeeshop environment and partly because we believe that art can be appreciated by anyone who crosses it. It must be known that this exhibition could not be possible without support, and least of all without that support that has emanated from Teck Kee’s proprietor. To different people, art is many different things, in this case it is a decoration adorning the walls and a respectful gesture to the people who work and eat in this area. It is also an attempt to document and preserve an image of coffeeshops in Singapore, an identity that is unique to those privately owned businesses.
This project features ink and brush work that features techniques adapted from Chinese calligraphy and drawing styles. Over coming months new studies will hopefully lead to more interesting interventions of Singapore’s established food culture and this contribution to it’s art culture.