Calvin Tay’s (b.1987) artistic practice primarily centers around sculpture and installation. An Industrial Design graduate of the National University of Singapore, Tay is intrigued by materials and their properties, and perpetually seeks new ways to manipulate them. He works to uncover the possibilities held in familiar materials that many of us might overlook.
Applying his understanding of different mediums and fabrication processes to the concepts in his works, Tay stretches our perceptions of the materials he uses and in doing so challenges us to shift our own reference points in general.
In 2017, he was awarded a residency with the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China. His works during the residency revolved around the overlooked intangibles he experienced when moving around and interacting with the city and people.
In the past few years, Tay’s work has mainly used the thermoplastic Hot Melt Adhesive (HMA), more commonly known as hot glue, to bring attention to the overlooked in our everyday. In his Conjugation series – Shanghai (2017) and Singapore (2018) – he examined the daily commute. In Glue Again (2019), Tay challenged our perceptions of the HMA material, using a variety of handling and manipulating techniques to transform this commonplace intermediate material into something that not only stands alone as a medium of expression, but also flourishes.
Last year, in Taking Routes (2022), Tay used his distinctive technique of layering HMA to remember Tanglin Halt – a place that held memories for him and the many past residents of the area. Through this exhibit, held in one of the HDB flats in the vicinity, he demonstrated the interconnectedness of our everyday journeys.
A self-proclaimed plant maniac, he describes nature as the perfect designer.
BA (Hons) Industrial Design, National University of Singapore (NUS).
2023 Solo Exhibition, Common Grounds. Maxi Coffee Bar, Ann Siang Hill, Singapore.
2022 Solo Exhibition, Taking Routes. Tanglin Halt, Singapore.
2019 Solo Exhibition, Glue Again. 32 Rowell Road, Singapore.
2018 Solo Exhibition, Conjugation : SMRT. SPRMRKT Cluny Court, Singapore.
2016 Solo Exhibition, SAMASAMA. Mandai Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore.
2014 Group Exhibition, Singapore Inc. Lor 24A Geylang, Singapore.
2019 Lutheran Community Care Services, Singapore.
2018 The Luzerne, Dehua, China.
2015 Installation for DSM Nutrition Company, Singapore.
2016 Kuti Kuti Vessels. (SAMASAMA)
2015 3/D Hand Printed Lampshades. (ACRES Singapore)
2014 Mobile 15. (Art Outreach SG & Marina Bay Sands Koufu, for Art of Shopping SG)
2023 Common Grounds. Maxi Coffee Bar, Ann Siang Hill, Singapore.
2022 Taking Routes. Tanglin Halt, Singapore.
2019 Glue Again. 32 Rowell Road, Singapore.
2016 SAMASAMA. Mandai Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore.
2017 Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, Shanghai, China. (20th Feb – 17th Aug)