ABC Guide

Published on 2 October 2014

COMPILED BY pamela ho

Affordable Art Fair

In 1999, a Londoner by the name of Will Ramsey started a movement to make art accessible by putting the public in touch with talented but lesser-known independent artists, who sold their works for £50 to £2,500.

Called the Affordable Art Fair, it demystified the world of art by displaying clear information and prices for each art piece, providing art education and fun activities to inform and inspire.

This humble fair has since grown into a global brand, with 17 fairs held annually across four continents. Globally, it boasts 1.4 million visitors, with art sales amounting to S$427 million.

In May, the Affordable Art Fair in Singapore featured 82 galleries, over 600 artists, and saw Singaporeans buying close to S$4 million worth of art – a definite indicator of our nation’s growing appetite for contemporary art.

With prices ranging from S$100 to S$10,000, there’s something for everyone. So if you’ve never purchased a single piece of art and would like to start, this is the perfect place to be.

Arts House, The

Officially opened in 2004 by war heroine Elizabeth Choy, The Arts House is a unique multi-disciplinary arts centre that promotes literary, visual and performing arts.

Since 2011, it has focused on Singapore’s literary arts by promoting local writers and their works. Here, you’ll enjoy writers’ talks, literary workshops, plays and film adaptations.

The historic building was erected by Irish architect George Coleman in 1827 as a private residence for Scottish merchant John Maxwell, and gazetted a national monument in 1992.

It has served as Singapore’s Court House (1842 – 1865) and Parliament House (1965 – 1999), and remains our oldest surviving government building. The bronze elephant that fronts the building was a gift to Singapore by Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn.

Few know that the corridor that’s known today as the Film Gallery used to house criminals in the 19thcentury. Beneath the space is a maze of tunnels and dungeons, believed to link all the major government buildings in the area and provide escape should the building come under siege.

Alex Abisheganaden

Affectionately called the father of guitar music in Singapore, Alex Abisheganaden taught himself to play the guitar when he inherited one from his brother at the age of 15.

He is best known for founding the Singapore Classical Guitar Society in 1967, and for his work as a music composer and arranger for guitar ensembles. His works exude a distinctly Singaporean flavour, and his arrangements have featured the Indian sitar and Chinese erhu.

Alex devoted his life to education as a schoolteacher, principal and school inspector.

But in 1961, he took a year off to further his studies in guitar, voice and bass at London’s Royal College of Music. Incidentally, he’s the first in Southeast Asia to receive a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) for performance on the double bass.

For his commitment to the craft and his lifelong contribution, Alex Abisheganaden was awarded the prestigious Cultural Medallion in 1988.

Besides being the father of guitar music, he’s also the father of a renowned female jazz singer. Make a guess!

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