Despite the sudden end to the art fair, here are other places to enjoy and appreciate local and international artists and their works in Singapore.
Jaws dropped when news broke last week that Art Stage Singapore, deemed one of the country’s major art events, was cancelled this year due to “commercial reasons”, just over a week before its Jan 25 opening. The event was slated to run until Jan 27 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and included 45 exhibitors where 15 of them are from Singapore.
Art Stage Singapore president Lorenzo Rudolf later cited “weak local market” and “unequal competition” as reasons to why the annual event, which once counted China’s Ai Weiwei and Japan’s Takashi Murakami as exhibitors, was abruptly canned.
If you had been looking forward to the art fair and got your tickets ready (don’t worry, you will get refunded), don’t fret. Here are other art events and exhibitions that are happening around the island, which you can go to to fulfil your artistic inclinations.
Featuring at least 14 exhibitors that were slated to show at Art Stage Singapore, the ARTery showcase is hosted by non-profit organisation Art Outreach at Hall A of Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. You can expect artworks including metal sculptures from Indonesian sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, Banksy’s 2003 original Bomb Love and this painting by Rodel Tapaya. Admission is free and you can get more information from their Facebook page.
Now to Jan 27
Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Ave, 018971
Southeast Asian art is brought to the fore at S.E.A. Focus, a boutique art fair brought to us by the STPI. With over 26 galleries that feature artworks from countries like Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, the event will be hosted in the style of a pop-up at the visual arts cluster at Gillman Barracks. Keep your eyes out for Singaporean artist Justin Lee’s three laser-cut stainless steel warrior figurines that he had prepared for Art Stage Singapore. More information can be found here while tickets cost upwards of $10 and is available here.
Now to Jan 27
Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, 108937
Peek into the mind of Asian-American actress Lucy Liu, who is known for her roles in Charlie’s Angels and Elementary. Lucy, who is also a visual artist, will be showing her works together with Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao at an exhibition titled Unhomed Belongings at the Stamford Gallery in the National Museum of Singapore. The two artists use everyday objects — for Lucy, it’s discarded objects and books — to examine how cultures, history and identities interplay with each other. Admission is free and more information can be found here.
Now to Feb 24
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, 178897
A pile of sunflower seeds. A larger-than-life barbed-wire cube hanging from the ceiling. A darkened room, dimly lit by LED lights. These are some of the cool stuff you can see at Minimalism: Space Light. Object, which features the works of over 70 artists such as Mark Rothko, Tatsuo Miyajima, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. The show traces the history of minimalism in art and how it has evolved since. There are daily guided tours in English at 2pm and Mandarin tours at 11am, Friday to Sunday. Find out more here.
Now to April 14
National Gallery, 1 St Andrew’s Rd, 178957
For an afternoon of thoughtful reflection, consider this exhibition, that aims to explore the issues that arise from socio-political tensions and conflicts. Expect visually arresting works of Asian contemporary art from private collectors, such as a life-sized sculpture of Adam and Eve in stainless steel chrome finish by Jahan Loh, which is on loan from Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou’s private art collection. There are also public symposiums and public tours, if you want to get greater insight into the pieces and Southeast Asian art. Admission is free and more information can be found at the ArtScience Museum website.
Now to Feb 2
ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, 018974
Held at the Intersections Gallery, the Playing Time & Space exhibition showcases the works of three young Myanmar artists, Wunna Aung, Thu Myat and Kyaw Moe Khine (alias Bart Was Not Here) who have been actively involved in the Yangon street art scene. The artists use pop-art and mural techniques to exemplify their disenchantment and disillusionment with the constant political changes in the country. One of the art pieces by Thu Myat, for example, feature a cherubic young girl holding up a rifle with the words “Welcome to Yangon”. Admission is free and the gallery is opened from Wednesday to Sunday, 2 to 7 p.m. Visit the Intersections Gallery website for more information.
Now to Feb 21
Intersections Gallery, 34 Kandahar St, 198892
What happens when a seemingly limitless mind is bogged down by complacency and familiarity? Using objects such as seeds with paper that are encased in resin and intertwined with threads of cloth, Singapore-based artist Nandita Mukand explores how today’s urban life is interconnected while mourning the contemporary belief systems that restrict one’s true potential. Admission is free and you can get more information from here.
Now to Mar 1
Miaja Gallery, 9 Muthuraman Chetty Rd, APS Building, 238931
Created by Singapore-born, New York-based artist Su-En Wong, Domestication II continues from the first series that debuted in Singapore Art Fair in 2014 and explores the relationship between power and vulnerability, and assimilation and identity. Using the notion of the self as the other, Wong uses herself — either in adolescence or in nudity — as a motif to parody and question the stereotypes imposed on Asian women. The exhibition is M18 and will be held at Art Porters Gallery and admission is free.
Now to Mar 17
Art Porters Gallery, 64 Spottiswoode Park Rd, 088652
The Light to Night Festival returns and promises a fun-filled six-week-long event that is filled with activities for all ages. From art trails and exhibitions, to live music, comedy shows and a food village, the festival’s highlight has got to be the facade light show, Art Skins on Monuments, where images created by artists, illustrators and multimedia designers are projected on the facades of iconic buildings in the Civic District. This year, the festival is a two-part series and will be held from Jan 18 to 27 (in conjunction with Singapore Art Week) and Jan 28 to Feb 24 (the Bicentennial Edition). Find out more about the line-up here. Admission is free. For more information, visit here.
Now to Feb 24
Civic District and Marina Bay
Memory and recollection can be fuzzy and inaccurate, and it is this imperfect quality that Singapore-based, London-born artist Chloë Manasseh explores in The Fruifulness of Forgetting exhibition at Eden Hall. Commissioned by the British High Commission to create a series of works inspired by the design of Eden Hall — which is the historical bungalow where her grandfather was born, now the residence of the High Commissioner — and the natural environment of Singapore, Chloë also looks into how physical spaces are built from imagination and how meaning is attached to these spaces. The exhibition is free and open to public only on three days — Feb 26, March 21 and April 23 — and you need to pre-register your slot at email@example.com.
Now to May 21
Eden Hall, 28 Nassim Rd, 258403
By Ho Guo Xiong, January 2019
More on The Finder: