HAPPENINGText: Haru Murayama

“CAFÉ CUP” is the work of Atelier HOKO, a Singaporean research laboratory. They exhibited strange shaped cups: a cup with a deformed lip, one that looks like a plate with a grip, one with its saucer attached, etc. Over a thin curtain in front of the exhibition, there was also a café area. They proposed “how to enjoy drinks” beyond its taste through 17 different kinds of experimental cups.

Cafe Cup (credit                         Christopher Sim)
“CAFÉ CUP”, Atelier HOKO, Photo © Christopher Sim

This work was created based on research with the concept of “exploring the small phenomena in our ordinary lives”. They offered a café space so that the visitor could experience their research about drinking.

At the entrance of the café, I ordered a drink and chose a cup at a counter. The one I chose was “Your Curve Cup”. With this cup, you can chose where you drink from based on the shape of the lips. It was interesting to search the spot that fits your lip shape among the different curves and I was surprised how easiness changes accordingly. I got a booklet that explained a part of their research with your drinks. This also helps the visitor to reconsider an ordinary activity such as drinking.

Merlion Daruma Workshop (credits to STB)
Photo © Singapore Tourism Board

There were other performances such as a live performance by KITCHEN. LABEL (based both in Singapore and Japan), a theater play by Irfan Kasban and workshops and panel discussions. They attracted many people and there were over 2,000 visitors everyday. The three-day showcase ended a great success.

As the theme “HyperCity” indicates, Japan and Singapore are mature cities with developed cultures. The showcase offered an opportunity to think about universal phenomena and differences that exist due to the cultural divide between two countries. At the same time, it made me feel a little closer to Singapore than before. In addition, it seemed that many cross-national artworks stimulated the visitor’s sensitivity and brought some interest about Singapore. I am looking forward to seeing cultural communication between Singapore and Japan being more and more active through exhibitions like this.

Singapore: Inside Out 2017
Date: August 25th – 27th, 2017
Time: 11:00 – 21:00 (from 14:00 on August 25th)
Place: BANK Gallery
Address: 6-14-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-6427-5834

Text: Haru Murayama
Translation: Shoko Atsuchi

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