Ketna Patel


By: Valerie Oliveiro

Ketna Patel is synonymous with her neon loudness, collage and print patterns. In her exhibition at TCC’s Circular Road gallery, she showcases art and furniture pieces encased with her signature collages of everyday life.

See signs that read “STOP” or “Terima Kasih”  plastered on a 2 piece  sofaset on display. Patel shares, “What if it were frozen words and thoughts and emotions that made up the buildings and roofs and pavements in our streets? If one were to ‘defrost’ these frozen entities, what would the ‘liquid’ of street conversations look like?”

Perhaps it would look exactly like her works – a collage of everything Singaporean. Roti John, church entrances, Indian dancers, mosques and Chinese figureheads share the same space as Patel tries to capture modern Singapore – “This is the new Asia; this is what I see.”

Major furniture stores may prevent you from resting too long on the sofas but feel free to sprawl on the furniture Patel has on display. In a way, you get the chance to be physically in touch with the stories and sights of Singapore delicately chosen by Patel.


More about Ketna:

Ketna Patel, African born, UK educated and a Singaporean PR for the last fifteen years, describes herself as happily culturally schizophrenic, yet deeply grounded in an evolving Asian culture. Explains Patel, “ I have deliberately chosen collage as a technique because it allows me to juxtapose
narratives and extrapolate and exaggerate.”
Why? “We human beings are extremely conditioned. We do not acknowledge or celebrate what is right under our nose! These works are inspired by the world around me which is multi layered and plural. The most rapid changes in society can be witnessed on the streets, and it is at this level that my story telling starts”.
She tells her stories – of Singapore, and other Asian countries by juxtaposing images; sometimes clashing, sometimes complementary. The lotus flower and media man in suit, celebrity faces and ordinary folk,
rickshaws and hawkers, local food and mis-spelt menus. “I try to compress an illustrious past, a changing present and a rapidly unfolding future, so the observer gets multiple messages….in a few seconds they have to get the message – this is Singapore, this is what I see.”

Con-fusion by artist Ketna Patel
tccʼs latest exhibition at The Gallery,
51 Circular Road
Now till 31 March

Opening Hours :
Sunday to Thursday & Public Holidays 11:00am to Midnight
Friday, Saturday & Eve of Public Holidays 11:00am to 02:00am

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