Architecture is implied by default in Jolene Liam’s intense, beautiful drawing of her granny’s flat in Singapore, winning her a commendation for the third year running
Architect, Studio Egret West
It’s a case of third time lucky for Liam, having also received commendations in both 2018 and 2021. Over three years of entries she has been documenting the minutiae of private and public space in almost obsessive fashion. Her 2018 submission observed the ‘stuff’ of her life in a small flat barely able to hold it. Last year saw her journey meticulously around the site of her imposed quarantine on her return to Singapore, and this year it was the small, incidental, shared common space outside her granny’s flat there that captured the imagination of this year’s judges.
Judge Ana Luisa Soares, co-founder, Fala Atelier, found the images had ‘beautifully drawn intensity’ but wondered if, as a set, they had an ‘observational rather than critical sense’. Kester Rattenbury, professor of architecture and cities at the University of Westminster, thought the opposite: ‘The propositional aspect relates to the fact that the architecture isn’t there. What we’re looking at is the everyday; the plants and shared accessway with its implied uses are propositional by default.’