Book a Date with Art!

Published on 13 April 2017

Love art and pretty books? You’ll want to block out your dates for Singapore Art Book Fair 2017.

By Pamela Ho

Art is found not only in galleries and museums. They may grace the walls of your home as paintings, prints and posters, or even your shelves as art books.

If you’re an art lover or a book collector, you will want to free up the weekend of 28 to 30 April, when the Singapore Art Book Fair (SABF) returns for its 4th edition. Organised by BooksActually, this annual fair specialises in contemporary art books and zines, and will showcase new publications that will be launched over the three-day period.

One such publication is Yesteryears (Math Paper Press), a photography series by Sean Cham. The book features forgotten places in Singapore documented in the form of self-portraits. As a lead up to the launch, Cham will be conducting Walk Down Yesteryears, a free trail covering selected places featured in his book. The trail takes place on 22 April, 10am to 6pm, registration opens 15 April.

More than 36 local and international exhibitors will be presented at the fair this year. Among the local exhibitors this year are Singaporean contemporary artist Samantha Lo, renowned photographer Robert Zhao Renhui, and family art collective Look out for some new faces too. Among them, Pearlyn Sim and Chirashi Bomb, as well as Rachele Ho – who has been selected as SABF 2017’s official artist.

“The aim of the art book fair is to surface new and talented zine makers. You don’t have to be a full-fledged artist or an established design firm; if you’re making good zines or art books in the quiet of your room in the middle of the night, we want to showcase that,” says Renee Ting, Festival Director of SABF 2017. “I saw Rachele’s works on Instagram and immediately fell in love with them! I think this is the perfect platform for more people to know about these talented but underrated artists.”

Exhibitors range from art collectives and design studios to book publishers from as far as Japan, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. A festival first is the Wall of Women, where an entire wall is dedicated to zines by female artists from around the globe. Other art-related fringe activities include craft demonstrations and a Make-Your-Own-Zine workshop.

Last year’s fair – held at the ArtScience Museum – attracted some 8,000 visitors. “While last year’s location is unbeatable, we thought we’d return to Gillman Barracks because if you’re going to travel that far, you might as well spend a bit more time there,” reasons Ting with a chuckle. “Have some lunch, buy some books, grab some ice cream, and make a day of it. And of course, the more time you spend there, hopefully the more money you spend too!”

Credits: Yesteryears
Credits: Chirashi Bomb

SABF 2017 is held at 7 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks, from 28 to 30 April. Admission is free. To find out more, visit their website and Facebook, or follow them on Instagram, @singaporeartbookfair.

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