Associate Artist Programme
(2022/23 Cycle)

OH! Open House is Singapore's leading art institution that develops curatorial programmes on site-specificity centred around the neighbourhood - people, places, stories - as the unit of exhibition and representation.

A group of artists selected by our Advisory Committee will take part in our inaugural Associate Artist Programme (AAP) over a one-year period (1 Sep 2022 to 31 Aug 2023). The programme immerses artists within the next art walk neighbourhood, Kampong Gelam and connects artists to local communities, businesses and historical places.

This programme serves as an alternative model and offers neighbourhood immersion, curatorial support, peer-to-peer dialogues and engagements with communities. It does not expect any exhibitional outcome beyond a public-facing work-in-progress presentations or sharing sessions.   

Associate Artist Programme (2022/23 Cycle)



Kanchana Gupta (b.1974, India)

Kanchana Gupta’s practice has been described as a process-driven exploration of, and response to, urban environments. Based in Singapore, her body of work explores the pressures of unprecedented migrations, rapid urbanisations, and globalisation through the materiality of paint and sculptural techniques — subjecting her medium to extreme manual and industrial duress.

More recently, she's interested in investigating the framework of femininity and the narrative of sexualised presentations of the female body by deconstructing paradigms of femininity that are portrayed and fetishised in mainstream culture and media.

Her works have been presented in Singapore and internationally, and are part of institutional and private collections in Singapore, and in private collections within Southeast Asia, Japan, Hong Kong and USA.

Kanchana will explore the origins, economics and market forces of textile shops in Kampong Gelam, and build on her research of femininity through the lens of textiles and fashion.

Kanchana Gupta takes lace as her starting point the medium in which she works, whether it is social materials like jute and tarpaulin, or mass media like cinema. Process-based material explorations constitute a significant part of her artistic practice – series like Folded, Pierced, Stretched, Edges and Residues, and Compressed and Cut see her subjecting her medium to extreme manual and industrial duress to reveal the pressures of migration, urbanisation, globalisation, etc. On the other hand, her foray into video with Production of Desire explores the sexual presentations of the female body in mainstream media.

Kanchana’s entry into Kampong Gelam, historically a site of textile production, is through the characteristically feminine material of lace. (Similarly, she explored Jalan Besar through another material, namely tarpaulin.) Tracing the origins, materiality, and construction of lace, Kanchana embarked on research that delved into the material’s social and gender symbolism. Most notably, lace was historically crafted exclusively by women, and is today often associated with eroticism and the fetishisation of the female body.

At her final presentation, Kanchana gave audience members a close-up look at her new series Open and Close, and shared about their creation process. Mimicking the tedious and labour-intensive process of lace-making, she layered oil paint on top of the lace and carefully peeled it off after it dried. On the paint skin, lace patterns were then imprinted when in fact the actual lace was not present. The work questions what we choose to see, and what we choose not to see; in the context of lace, issues like female objectification and female labour come to mind. In revealing the true pieces of lace beneath, Kanchana draws attention to the similarly unseen social processes surrounding its production and consumption. Subjected to Kanchana’s artistic processes, lace sheds its gentle and sensuous fashion, appearing as a material marred by violence.

Associate Artist Programme
OH Open House Ltd
92C Syed Alwi Road
Level 4
Singapore 207668
︎ @ohopenhouse
︎ @ohopenhouse