Lionel Sabatté: Concrete Contemplations from the Past in the City of Tomorrow

Residency with Art Encounters from 12 January to 2 February 2020

The inaugural Art Encounters will take place from 12 January to 2 February 2020 in
the heart of Orchard Road and feature one of the most renowned French
contemporary artists Lionel Sabatté (b. 1975, Toulouse, France).


Graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2003,
Sabatté has received several artistic prizes such as the Beijing Yishu 8 Prize in
2011, the Drawing Now Prize in 2017 and the Les Amis de la Maison Rouge -
Fondation Antoine de Galbert Award in 2018. His work has been the subject of
numerous solo exhibitions in France and abroad, incorporating several institutional
collections.


As an artist, Sabatté is intrigued by our relationship with the living world, and the
transformation of matter through time. For several years now, the artist has
undertaken a process of collecting materials often discarded by society that
nonetheless preserve traces of our living experience including dust, ashes,
charcoal, dead skin and tree stumps. He unexpectedly combines these materials
to create delicate and poetic beings. Some of his most iconic works include a pack
of wolves made of dust for the National History Museum in Paris; and large goats
made entirely of Pu’er tea in Beijing.


Parietal art, as the earliest recorded form of art, is another important source of
inspiration in Sabatté’s work. In June 2019, Sabatté was invited to live inside the
UNESCO-protected cave of Bédeilhac in France for 10 days, which contains
prehistoric paintings and sculptures made between 15 to 30 thousand years ago.
Inside this cave he created a number of human sculptures, and a goat. The goat
symbolises the long ever relationship between humans and animals, and was often
the first animal artistically represented by humans.


Likening his cave experience to travelling to the past, six months later in January
2020, Sabatté will bring this project full circle in Singapore: the city that best
represents the future. Responding to Singapore’s rapid progress that mirrors
society’s constant change, Sabatté will create a family of three prehistoric goats
using concrete mixed with vegetal fibres. Concrete as a material played an
important role in the development of human civilisation. From the ancient world to
today’s mega cities, concrete has been an essential material of construction. To
Sabatté, the material perfectly encapsulates the concept of always being “under
construction”. It has remained in use for thousands of years, connecting the
sculptures both to the ever progressing present, and humankind’s storied past.

 

Lionel Sabatté will anchor the inaugural edition of Art Encounters, an initiative
made possible with the generous support of art patron Kevin Cuturi, owner of
Cuturi Gallery in Singapore. As artist-in-residence, Sabatté will create the
sculptures inside the containers from 12 January to 16 January 2020, in full view of
the public, with the sculptures remaining on display until 2 February 2020. The
initiative will then move to a new site in February 2020 featuring a new artist and
artwork.

December 8, 2019
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