WAIT FOR ME ON THE OTHER SIDE
The location-specific series of artworks were created in response to an open studio in the “Lavanda spa”, at Eminent Plaza, Singapore. The Eminent Plaza built in the 1980s was scheduled for demolition in October 2014. A collaborative community project initiated by Tact Space x THE RSC opened the building doors for one last retrospective peak.
Madhvee Deb feels the lonely corridors, dilapidated building and finality of demolition amplified the feeling of loss, a loss that has happened and is yet to happen. The ephemeral nature of building vis-à-vis individuals created a dialogue, which encouraged Deb to visit the notion of permanent losses. The installation and performance “Wait for me on the other side” symbolized Deb’s fear, preservation of memories and narration of rituals associated with the loss…death of her mother.
During the pandemic vulnerability of human lives were amplified. Deb revisited this series to expand on the memories of the lost ones. She uses old photographs and mixed media to create portraits of her mother. The non-conventional use of ‘Joss Paper’ in her work symbolizes the influences of the multicultural society she lives in.
LAVENDA HEALTH SPA (An Eminent Takeover)
Place: Eminent Plaza, Singapore
Date: 20th Sept – 29th Sept 2014
Wait for me on the other side
Installation & Performance: 350 Pebbles, Joss Paper, Tatami, Mattress, Paper Scroll
The performance was an allegorical representation of the memories associated with the artist's mother’s last few years of battle with her illnesses and finally her death. Madhvee’s repetitive gesture of picking up the pebbles and stacking them gently on the bed, in an attempt to create a perfect circle of memories were involuntary spontaneous reactions. Compression of the mattress due to the weight of the pebbles was a metaphoric representation of her ‘Aai’s’ compressed mattress. The placement of the pebbles was followed by an emotionally painful process of removing them. Both the acts are intertwined play of creating memories and some of them fading away due to passage of time, leaving an empty feeling.
The installation and performance extended an invitation to the visitors to write their own memories on a paper scroll. Which resulted in some very personal revelations and non-verbal emotional connections.