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Sugar Pills for a Bitter World

September 23 @ 12:00 pm - November 6 @ 4:00 pm

Sugar Pills for a Bitter World

Curated by Daniel Chong with works by Desiree Tham, Eng Kai Er, Mike HJ Chang, Ryan Lim Zi Yi and Yeyoon Avis
Recipient of Curator Open Call 2022
Presented by Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film

“We live in an age of absurdity. Every new event is somehow more ridiculous than the last. Our financial systems constantly hang in the balance; we’re forever in a health crisis; even the concept of truth has changed. What a time to be alive.

Yet in this post-truth, late-stage capitalist, populist, Anthropocene, I’ve found sweet relief in a new brand of humour. This serotonin boost goes by many names: Gen-Z humour, TikTok humour or Post-Dada irony. Often defined by its generational difference, it is marked by its low video quality and unplanned randomness. However, it is often misunderstood as mere attempts to laugh away the pain. In a generation that has dealt with the increasingly illogical nature of the world, this brand of humour is not just a mere joke. In fact, within its absurdity are honest attempts to make sense of the world. They have developed their own sugar pill – a placebo activated from belief.

This exhibition functions as a sampler – a conceptual pillbox. Containing the work of 5 artists, each of them have developed their own sugar pills, placebos to process and guide them through their times. They too are honest responses created in the vernacular chaos of our era, synthesising works that sit between the poetic and the hilarious.

Their art is an incidental reflection. While not a direct response to the ailments plaguing our world today, they are clearly of its time. Sugar pills do not inherently heal, but through belief, affect change. Similarly, it is the artists’ earnest responses that have led the curation of this show. Selected for their commitment to their practices and their embrace of the absurd, they have formed their own internal structures and logics – crystallisation of their pursuits.

With each practice comes its own brand of sugar pill, and with each pill an acknowledgement of its size. A sugar pill is small. It pales in comparison to the monstrosity of the world. Yet, this tiny pill, with enough faith, commitment and hope, can help relieve even for a little while.”

— Daniel Chong, Curator

Presented by Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film
Supported by the Cultural Matching Fund

Exhibition Programme Schedule

Opening: Thu 22 Sep, 6pm – 9pm

Formulating Sugar Pills for a Bitter World: A Discussion with Daniel Chong and Sam I-shan
Sat 24 Sept | 2-3pm, at Objectifs Workshop Space (Register here)

Exhibition Activation: In other words – an off script gym
Sun 9 Oct, 23 Oct, and 6 Nov | 4-6pm, at Objectifs Chapel Gallery (Register here)

Guided Tour with Curator
Sat 15 Oct | 2-3pm, at Objectifs Chapel Gallery (Register here)

Ba-Zi Reading by Desiree Tham
Sun 23 Oct | 1-5pm, at Objectifs Lower Gallery (Register here)

Guided Tour with Curator and Artists
Sun 30 Oct | 2-3pm, at Objectifs Chapel Gallery (Register here)


September 23 @ 12:00 pm
November 6 @ 4:00 pm
Event Category:


23 Sep to 6 Nov 2022 Chapel Gallery, Objectifs Free admission Tue to Sat, 12pm – 7pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm Closed on Mondays and public holidays Free admission


Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film
155 Middle Road
Singapore, 188977 Singapore
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