A video series reflecting on the arts ecosystem

Launch preview: Fri, 26 Jul | 7–8pm
SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Level 3, Corporate Office, Main Deck
Free (registration required) 

Episode premieres:
Fri, 23 Aug, Spatial Complex(es)
Fri, 27 Sep, Commercial Complex(es)
Fri, 25 Oct, Artistic Complex(es)

Multi_plex(es) is a video series reflecting on the arts ecosystem. Conceptualised and hosted by Michael Lee, this series illuminates the physical, socioeconomic and emotional aspects of being an artist. Through open, candid conversations with creatives in various disciplines, the series unpacks the tropes of the “starving artist” or the “tortured artist,” the measuring of passion and dedication against “success” and “seriousness,” the sustaining of one’s practice in a capitalistic society, and how to navigate the fine line between commercial viability and “selling out.” Listen in as creatives share their journeys and the invisible costs and rewards of constantly putting their work (and themselves) out into the world.

What kinds of infrastructure are conducive yet lacking in the contemporary art world? How can we collectively steer towards healthy conversations surrounding artists and money? Do artists also need to go for therapy? Multi_plex(es) navigates these inquiries, addressing both the external and internal worlds of a creative practitioner: episode one, Spatial Complex(es), discusses the function and identity of the artist’s studio and their work (with gideon-jamie, ila, Fiona Seow and Ho Rui An); episode two, Commercial Complex(es), examines the costs and rewards of being a creative (with Goh Wei Choon from The Woke Salaryman, Salty Xi Jie Ng, Divaagar and Genevieve Ang); and episode three, Artistic Complex(es), looks into how an artist’s emotions may inspire, hinder or mediate their practice (with Rosemary McGowan).

By acknowledging shared experiences, the series hopes to foster empathy and seek affinities among creatives.

Join the conversation through the Multi_plex(es) Telegram Channel, which will be activated during fallow periods between episode premieres for continued reflection and discussions.

Multi_plex(es) extends the inquiry initially set forth in Creatif Compleks by Lee. The work’s first iteration, developed during the artist’s residency at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore in 2018, is in the Singapore Art Museum Collection. This 2022 version was commissioned with the support of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd and as part of The Everyday Museum, a public art initiative by Singapore Art Museum.