Esplanade Presents | Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Game of Life

Justin Lee (Singapore)
22 Nov 2018 – 31 Mar 2019
All day
Esplanade Concourse


Justin Lee re-envisions his iconic terracotta warrior motif as soldiers facing off in a game of Chinese chess. Structural features reminiscent of the Chinese chessboard form the canvas for this installation, with grid-like fortresses and a river winding through steps creating a theatrical setting for a fictional battle.

In this exhibition, games and the concept of play are presented as metaphors to investigate prevailing social and cultural norms. The game of Chinese chess is used to critique the prevalence of social hierarchies and how they affect our interactions with each other. Game of Life is a tongue-in-cheek representation of how we manoeuvre the relationships we have in different arenas like the workplace, social settings and the digital realm. The artist also invites viewers to reflect on the impact of technology on our daily lives, as we gravitate away from traditional games like Chinese chess to those played on digital platforms.

About the Artist
Justin Lee (b.1963, Singapore) combines contemporary design with the use of traditional techniques, like Chinese woodblock printing and paper-cutting, to explore themes pertaining to local traditions, Asian culture, mass media and the impact of consumerism on our lives. He has exhibited in the Singapore Art Museum, National Museum of Singapore and Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. He has also participated in several residencies, including Studio Kura and Youkobo Artspace, Japan.

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