12 July 2010

SHOWCASE: Johnny Gao

Johnny Gao first graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. In his final year, his project “An Animal Assisted Therapy Centre for the New Elderly” was one of 2 nominated for the RIBA President’s bronze medal. The project has since been exhibited at both the 2007 NUS City Exhibition and NUS Department of Architecture Exhibition.

Johnny is also an avid photographer, having his photos exhibited at the 2nd Ngee Ann Kong Si Photographic Exhibition and HYPE Gallery at Parliament House. A photo of the Cambodian temple, Angkor Wat was also purchased by the Ngee Ann Kong Si Archives in 2006. He has also been commissioned several times to choreograph photo publications of built works by architecture firms and the Singapore Encyclopaedia.

His interest in the portrayal of urban paradoxes through film has led to his photography works and articles being published extensively in The Architectural Review, AD (Architectural Design), journal of Southeast Asian Architecture and SA (Singapore Architect) magazine.

In the recent 3 years at the Architectural Association, Johnny has taken interest in constructing polemical ways to confront and understand the insurmountability of the city. In 2008, he was part of a class who travelled to Lalibela, Ethiopia to construct a mobile cinema for the villagers with materials packed straight out of a suitcase. The project has received massive praise and was published in several design magazines. He recently graduated from the Architectural Association in London from Diploma Unit 14 run by Pier Vittorio Aureli, Barbara Campbell Lange and Fenella Collingridge with his project titled “The Enclosed Garden” where its design was intended as an opportunity to put forward innovative and extreme living standards in light of increasingly merging living and working activities of today’s post-Fordist landscape.

More recently, he is moving on to greener pastures and is actively involved in the “Uniquely
Singapore – a generi-City project”.