Where art and politics come together

Singapore Democrats

Local artists Mr Seelan Palay and Ms Shikin Ali have brought their artistic talent into the political arena in their latest exhibition at the Post Museum. Entitled CAPITAL, the exhibition is a visual ensemble exploring social and political constructs, and humanitarian values that impact upon the criminal administrative system.

Many of the exhibits revolve around the mandatory death penalty in Singapore. One such work is the rather macabre and chilling display of a what looks like a body bag hanging in solitary on one wall. Protruding from one end of the bag is a hint of an orchid arrangement.

Another exhibit is a commentary on the on-going controversy over the prosecution of Mr Alan Shadrake who criticised the system in his book Once a Jolly Hangman. It shows a likeness of Mr Shadrake holding up what looks like a scrambled hand making the ‘peace’ sign.

“The death penalty is discriminatory and is often used disproportionately against the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities,” the artists write in their introduction. 

In another display, Mr Seelan and Ms Shikin mount a series of five clocks with the faces of recently executed people who were convicted of peddling drugs in Singapore: Vignes Mourthy, Shanmugam, Nguyen Va Tuong and Amara Tochi.

The time on the clocks display one second before six o’clock. Executions are carried out at 6am on Fridays.

The fifth clock shows the face of Mr Yong Vui Kong who has been convicted and is due to hanged soon. The clock displays real time ticking away.   

The artists point out that Singapore has one of the highest rates of executions per-capita in world and that their exhibition is meant to highlight the urgent issue.

The exhibition will be open from 5pm onwards everyday until Thursday at the Post Museum at 107 Rowell Road. 

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