Born in 1992, Desiree Tham is a Singaporean art teacher and art practitioner.
She holds a Diploma in Fine Arts - Education from the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and a Diploma in Arts Education from the National Institute of Education/nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Winner of the 2019 Chan + Davies Art Prize, Desiree Tham translates traditional aesthetics and approach to Feng shui, an ancient Chinese science for the calculated arrangement of objects to allow for the positive flow of invisible energies. Materials such as colours, Chinese texts and playing dice are used with specificity to respond to and alter space and emotions through a kind of unspoken magic geometry. Even the titles, edition numbers and prices of the artworks reflect a link to Feng shui and call for ‘good fortune’ for both sellers and beholders.
Through the use of wit and humor, Desiree Tham deconstructs everyday found objects and processes - altering their functions and transforming them into real-life experiences and situations. Relying heavily on the use of personal narratives, she adds dynamism into her sculptures and explores tension, af- fect and functionality. In the "water" series she plays with the Chinese character “shui” meaning water, and led panels to represent the auspicious flowing water with a twist.
Her new series "How to Chase a Mountain" is an answer to this essential question : how can you put yourself under the protection of a mountain, no matter where you are. It encompasses a sculpture-object and a series of digital prints.
Desiree Tham practice aims to challenge the discourse within urban culture and the ever-changing space we are living in. Repetitive and mundane daily activities become cause for re-examination and new perspectives, bringing meaning and symbolism to simple objects and routine interactions.
Her work was exhibited in Paris in 2019 at Asia Now, art fair.
“I’ve always been fascinated of how objects can perform beyond its form and mediate relations in the way we perceive and think about the society. Focusing on deconstructing and altering their functions into everyday situations, I aim to explore the tension that underlies every object and the infinite world inside them. I use objects and bring them into action, a space where possibility and everydayness converge to activate a transcendent new way of looking at simple objects and everyday routine.”