A'shua Imran (b. 1986) is a Singaporean artist working predominately with painting, performance, photography & installations. He began his studies at LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art (Goldsmiths, UK) in 2014. He has participated in several exhibitions and presented his works in Singapore, The Netherlands, Thailand, Israel, Egypt, U.K. South Africa and Spain.
Currently, Imran is the artistic director of Mural Lingo, a Singapore-registered social enterprise engaged in the arts, education and publishing. He founded the independent platform in 2014 with the primary focus on creating opportunities for artists to engage in and practice mural painting in their community.
He regularly offers talks and workshops in educational & cultural institutions, and participated in an artist-in-residence programme between September to December 2017 at Bag Factory Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa.
My exploration with ropes began as a curiosity about the underlying elements of ‘shibari’ performances - an erotic Japanese bondage art form that uses ropes to create geometric patterns that contrast beautifully with the human body’s contours. Practitioners rely on the tensions produced by knotting, tugging and pulling ropes across their partner’s body to foster a palpable connection with them, even where there is no contact between their physical forms.
The essence of ‘shibari’ hence lies in the delicate trade of submission and dominance, and of the psychological trust and emotional intimacy established between partners. Within such a context, the rope acquires a deeply symbolic meaning of power exchanges; of vulnerability, of strength against exposure, of calm at the edge of risk. As an artist who regularly delves into the performative, I intuitively recognise the potency of non-verbal communication between two individuals: the way the gaze, gestures, movements and momentum operate to create forms of heightened sensuality.
“Le Rouge” was born out of this precise exploration and manifested itself as a series of rope-bound and red-painted canvases. Through the use of the colour red, viewers are invited to experience the enigmatic and otherwise non-visible aspects of human desire. In the spirit of the ‘shibari’ artists who follow a long and tedious process of rope treatment (first boiling it in hot water, then drying, stretching, oiling and burning any loose hairs), I apply the same degree of care and attentiveness towards my art-making. A ritualistic and transmutative process takes place as sensuality assumes a material form.
2014 | Bachelor of Fine Arts, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore - Goldsmiths College, UK
2014 - 2018 | Founding Director, Mural Lingo, Singapore
2013 - 2014 | Braille transcriber & Illustrator, Association of the Visually Handicapped, Singapore
2017 | "Becoming", Post-residency exhibition at Bag Factory Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 | "Performance Art Resource Orchestrator", Intersections Gallery, Singapore
2016 | "Antenna Galaxy - UFO Project", Neon Lights Festival, Font Canning, Singapore
2016 | "Antithesis", Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
2016 | "Qi", Group Exhibition, Telok Kurau Gallery, Singapore
2016 | "Debrief" Exhibition, Canvas Creative Space, Singapore
2016 | "Toride City Urban Development Through Walls", Toride, Japan
2015 | "There is no Box", Pinacotheque de Paris Museum , Singapore
2015 | "Passive Aggressive Bonds", Harbouring New Truth, Marina South Pier, Singapore
2015 | "Easy come, easy go", Latent Space Gallery, Haw Par Villa, Singapore
2014 | "100th Feature exhibition", Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
2012| "Now! Serendipity", KERS Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2011 | "Squares invasion 50 x 50" , INSTINC Gallery, Singapore
2011 | "Found Objects", Praxis Space, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore
2011 | "A cartographic desire", Praxis Space, Lasalle College of the Arts, SG
2010 | "Photography Foundation show", Praxis Space, Lasalle College of the Arts
Awards & grants:
2017 | Overseas Sponsorship Programme, 'Art Residency at Johannesburg, South Africa', Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore
2017 | Noise x Matchbox Grant - National Arts Council, 'A Migrant Mural', NUS, Singapore
2016 | Marketing and Development Grant, NAC, 'ANTITHESIS' Project at Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
2014 | Matchbox Project Grant, NAC, Performance workshop at School of the Deaf, Singapore
2010 | Mural of the Year Award, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore
Workshops, talks, commissions & collaborations:
2017 | "Le Rouge", Window Installation at The Room, Barcelona, Spain
2017 | "Visiting Artist Talk" | Wits School of the Arts - Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 | "Blind drawing workshop" | North-West University - Potchefstroom, South Africa
2017 | "Pre-residency Artist Talk", Hotel Vagabond, Singapore
2016 | "Live drawings of Yoga", The Sanctuary, Koh Phan Gan, Thailand
2016 | "CHRISTIAN DADA", Supporting Artist Hajimi Kinoko for Rope Art Installation, Orchard, Singapore
2016 | "Artist Talk + workshop - Performance collaborations", Coleg Sir Gar School of the Art, Carmarthen, Wales, U.K.
2016 | "Alexandria", Performance collaboration, Rezodanse Studio, Alexandria, Egypt
2016 | "Jerusalem Hills", Performance collaboration Jerusalem, Israel
2015 | "Geometric automatism", workshop, Affordable Art Fair Autumn - Singapore,
2015 | "Automatism", workshop, Pinocotheque de Paris Museum, Singapore
2017 | Bag Factory Arts, (Visiting Artist Program - 3 Months) Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 | 'A Migrant Mural', Collaborative mural with Migrant Workers, National University Singapore
2015 | "Tapestry of life" community mosaic mural, Support Artist to Delia Prvacki, at Marina South Pier MRT, Singapore
2014 | Ludian Earthquake (August 2014), Honorary Consultant , Yunnan China,
2014 | Silent March Project, Performance workshops for School for the Deaf, Singapore
Selected bibliography & catalogues
2014 | Affordable Art Fair, 100th feature exhibition, fair catalogue pg 17, 2012 Serendipity Duo Show, KERS Gallery, Amsterdam
2011 | INSTINC, Square’s Invasion Exhibition catalogue, pg 3, In’Lakech (Painting), Singapore
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