A Taste For Art


January 30 2015

All the world’s a stage, and sometimes, all the art can be eaten.

So went our reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic line from As You Like It.

The Art Stage Supper was a commissioned work by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board for hungry art connoisseurs tired and aching for refreshment after a long day of wandering around looking at art in all shapes and sizes at the Singapore Art Stage, an annual Asian art fair featuring the best of Asian contemporary art.

Chef Matthew Mok setting up the 'Ocean' table

Artist Wyn-lyn Tan setting up her exhibit 'Inked Drop'

Chef Matthew Mok's kaya toast chess pieces

I got together with the good folks from the Edible Art Movement, led by the indefatigable Nicola Anthony and a range of visual and performance artists including Sophia Natasha Wei, Wyn-lyn Tan, Daniela Beltrani, Siva Kuma, Vellachi Ganesan and Jana Emburey.

We worked with Chef Matthew Mok of The Rabbit Stash to develop a multi-sensory experience combining poetry, food, performance and experience.

Detail of Horizon in Black (2015), performance art by Sophia Wei

The corals were made of eggshells, a poem was written in edible (Oreo) soil and Chinese chess pieces were fashioned out of morsels of ‘kaya’ (coconut egg jam) toast.

Each table had a singular element/theme; and the food, poetry and performance were aligned to that.

Take the ocean table, for example. My offering was five haikus connected with the sea and everything in it, while Chef Matthew made edible coral using egg white, and a giant oyster out of icing and a loaf of bread.

Visual artist Wyn-lyn installed a delicate series of inked paintings suspended over a composition of mirrored ‘ponds.’ And to complement that, butlers walked around with ‘otak-otak’ (grilled spicy fish paste) on blue crispy coral, oysters and sago pearls in tangerine butter.

Inked Drop (2010) by Wyn-lyn Tan

Here’s my poem from the soil table. Unfortunately, we overestimated the ease of drawing in the soil. The grains were fine, unlike sand, and allowed only for a certain font size. Anything smaller would have kept us there all night! Here’s the full text of the poem:

Petrichor / The scent of rain on the ground / The tangle of soil with sustenance / The longing to find forgotten roots / The light blanket that covers thirst / The promise of softly sung evenings / The laughter down familiar streets / The lovers holding hands as they run / The taste of a rain-swept tongue / The streets deep diffused to shadow / The last light washing from the sky

Nicola, the curator of our segment, summed up the whole experience nicely, “The Edible Art Movement was honoured to work together with Chef Matthew Mok and selected contemporary artists to create a genuinely thought provoking, complex, yet light-hearted installation. This was a rare opportunity for conceptual art and food to intertwine in a meaningful way.”


Birdcage Totem (2014) by Nicola Anthony

Text & Photos: Marc