singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara
singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara
mar 24, 2011

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara

‘welcome to hotel munber’ 2010 image © designboombritish artist simon fujiwara’s fictional narratives are not simply read from a book, they are experienced. combining fragments of personal and family history with re-interpretations of historical contexts and an underpinning of homo eroticism. taking on the physicality and detail of archeological like studies that have been completely fabricated and presented as performances, illustrated lectures and highly detailed mixed media installations.

‘welcome to hotel munber’ is a recreation of the bar in his parents’ hotel in spain during the 1970’s franco dictatorship, except re-written as his father suppresses his homoerotic fantasies and sublimates his new feelings architecturally into the environment of the room. presented in the 2011 singapore art biennale as a story recounted in performances both of himself and of the installation.

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

porn magazines placed, partly hidden on the top shelf, along with a score of phallic objects hanging from the walls including suggestive castanets and sausages. intersecting commentary, micro-narratives of historical conjecture along with fictional erotic stories framed and set in the open add layers to fujiwara’s work that one could spend hours dissecting and discussing the implied meanings of.

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

singapore biennale 2011: simon fujiwara image © designboom

video © designboom

the exaggerated fantasy that fujiwara portrays brings a social critique not only of the history of a nation
but also of identity itself as a socially constructed idea. the video above is a segment from his presentation
explaining his process to develop the story, the conflicts that drove it underground for a period of three years,
and the opening scene to his erotic novel.

born in london, UK 1982, fujiwara lives and works in berlin.

— the third edition of the singapore biennale (SB2011) opened its doors to the public on march 13th and will run until may 15th, 2011.  designboom visited the shows led by artistic director matthew ngui and curators russell storer and trevor smith. the SB2011 open house program is organized by the singapore art museum (SAM) of the national heritage board and supported by the national arts council, singapore. 63 artists from 30 countries are presenting 161 works across four exhibition venues – SAM and SAM at 8Q, the national museum of singapore, old kallang airport and marina bay. 

  • Simon Fujiwara’s latest installation Welcome to the Hotel Munber at the Singapore Biennale may have been altered without his consent or knowledge. Amidst the barstools and wine and bullfighting equipment, Fujiwara hid gay pornography––nude images in magazines and chapters of erotic fiction about masturbating into Spanish omelettes.

    Fujiwara e-mailed writer Ng Yi-Sheng with the news that his work had been censored. All the erotica’s been removed, rendering it, in his words, “meaningless, almost a tribute to Franco in the end.”

    According to Fridae, the museum staff didn’t consult him or seek his permission to alter the piece.

    Fujiwara is currently trying to arrange for the erotica to be replaced or his entire installation closed. There are plans for it to be shown later this year at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

    jonathan / designboom
  • yuk! sad…

  • crazy! love it!

  • Mouahahaha… j’ai envie d’dire c’que c’est moche ! lol

    Bleu Platine
  • whoa. It seems he takes the traditional model and presentation of fiction writing and well, breaks it. Resulting in a story, a theater set, and a performance piece about writing the story. Seems he is crossing his disciplines and doing it well. This [url=] interview with him [/url] from mousse magazine is rather insightful too.

  • so your parents move to Spain 1972 not knowing there was a fascist dictator ????

    since 1936??

  • To find most of that stuff in Spain, you really have to be very commited to find specifically that. And by “that” I mean images of Franco and explicit sex pictures in public spaces.
    Cheap shot, buddy.

    Bruno Gianelli

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