The Singapore art scene is thriving. The Lion City has been a muse to many artists over the years and Marijke Böhm, a photographic artist originally from The Netherlands, takes a lot of her inspiration from The Little Red Dot.
Using a combination of photography, digital painting and real painting, she plans each piece carefully to create multi-layered or collage artwork.
Singapore mix extended - MemoryBoards by Marijke Böhm
Marijke may be best known for her memory boards featuring colourful Singapore images which she describes as 'collage style, vibrant, chaotic and surprising.'
'I have always loved making collages. I love to work with lots of images and colours and I love to combine different styles’ she says. “Things change when you combine them, and I find that fascinating’.
Over the years, Marijke’s work has evolved and developed, and her latest series of Singapore art comes in small number limited editions. She describes them as 'very different and very diverse'
'I love experimenting with new methods and styles and my artworks never turn out as I originally planned them to be. I love this freedom of creating.' She says.
Chess - Marijke Böhm Art
For the piece ‘Chess’, (shown above), she explains “this piece comprises of several Singapore scenes captured on photos. I wanted to create a piece that integrates both the old and new Singapore how I imagine it. Sometimes when I see some typically Singaporean uncles walking around in their singlets or sitting on a bench, then it feels to me that they are from a different era. I could easily imagine them in kampongs surrounded by greenery and little markets nearby and to me they almost seem anachronistic and misplaced between all these tall, modern buildings, all this concrete. At the same time, I realise that these thoughts are the ones that are misplaced; they are probably very happy and proud of their well organized, modern, beautiful city state. I guess I love the old Singapore and I would love to time travel and walk around in the old Singapore for a few days.”
Singapore Street - Marijke Böhm Art
Sunny Singapore - MemoryBoards
‘Singapore Street’, another black and white piece, shows a row of iconic Singapore shophouses surrounded by an abundance of palm trees and tropical foliage. The piece is all the more dramatic due to its monotone characteristics.
“To work with layers and digital painting but without colour is different and challenging. Isn’t it amazing that the lushness of Singapore’s nature can be transmitted without colours?” she says.
In contrast, other works illustrate how colour and culture are an inspiration. Pieces such as ‘Sunny Singapore’ feature vibrant saturated hues and are a feast of colour.
Singapore Fairy Tale- Marijke Böhm Art
Inspiration for her Singapore art comes from many sources. “I love working with the images that surround me” she explains. “The nature, the concrete jungle, the colours, the smells, everything around me inspires me. Inspiration comes at unexpected moments and I always make notes in the notebooks that I carry with me.”
Many works feature Singapore’s colonial buildings, black and white bungalows and the peranakan shophouses as well as the ultra-modern skyscrapers which dominate the Singapore skyline.
“I do love colonial buildings, but I love modern buildings as well’ she says, “it’s the mixture of old and new buildings that I like best. In Singapore you can see the incredible contrast between old and new in many places and it fascinates me.”
Colonial buildings- Raffles Garden - Marijke Böhm Art
Marijke Böhm has lived in Singapore for 11 years with husband Paul and three children. Alongside her art, Marijke is passionate about her work with HOME, a Singapore based NGO which is dedicated to empowering and supporting migrant workers who find themselves victims of human rights violations and suffer abuse and exploitation. She explains “I think migrant workers deserve much more respect and dignity and a stronger legal position. It is very important to me to contribute to the very important work HOME is doing.”
Celebrating Singapore Art will take place till the end of September 2020 and you can see a curated selection of Marijke Böhm's Artwork at The Past Perfect Collection store - #11-05 Tan Boon Liat Building Singapore.
10% of all artwork sold from Celebrating Singapore Art will go towards supporting HOME.