What’s Your Type?

Published on 6 January 2015

Singapore Art Week is a mammoth event guaranteed to leave art-buffs weak-kneed.

TEXT BY M WONG / ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRIAN CHIA

A typhoon of visual-arts fare sweeps into town this month with Singapore Art Week 2015. Visual arts from the traditional to the contemporary will be impressively arrayed to draw the widest range of audiences. On from 17-25 Jan, the much-anticipated nine-day festival comes packed with award presentations, lifestyle events, gallery openings, parties and art tours.

Within the festival, Art Stage (22-25 Jan) remains the super-storm set to attract global art collectors, enthusiasts and locals keen to view the best of Asian contemporary art as exhibited by 130 galleries from 29 countries and 49 cities. Curated art platforms and accompanying tours have been expanded to encompass Indonesia and Russia, as well as showcases for Video and Modern Art.

Southeast Asia, headlined by five Singapore artists, Mike H J Chang; Chong Weixin; Choy Ka Fai; Hilmi Johandi; and Zaki Razak, explores biographical sketches as a means of understanding the region’s diverse artistic practices. The Russian Platform, designed with an edgy, contemporary flavour, aims to introduce the Federation’s contemporary art to Asian audiences.

Installations of the Video Platform will provide a historical overview of video art from over 40 countries, to facilitate greater understanding of the medium. Meanwhile, the Modern Platform acknowledges the emergence of Asian contemporary art with localised political and economic trajectories of individual countries highlighted alongside Western masterworks.

Visitors to Art Stage will be wowed by large-scale works serving double-duty as geographical markers. Populist British art duo and Turner Prize winners Gilbert & George have five major pieces throughout the fair. Their creations are joined by the statuesque figurines of Columbian sculptor Fernando Botero — his famous ‘Standing Woman’ makes a star appearance.

Local artist Susann Victor presents a monumental work in the form of hypnotic vermillion chandeliers. Another highlight: winning entries of the first-ever Art Stage student competition get their due exhibition space.

The celebration and appreciation of art continues throughout Singapore Art Week with over 100 events scheduled. Compelling marquee events combined with public outreach programmes are at the heart of the week’s global, regional and local aspirations. Young, emergent and established artists will also be applauded at Art Stage, Prudential Eye Awards and Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize awards.

Themed exhibitions and activities celebrate history and art-making at Fort Canning and Tanjong Goodman, while street art and interactive technologies feature at the Aliwal and Utopia Festivals respectively. Tours and walks designed to highlight art institutions
and enclaves will cover Little India and the hallowed art halls of Bras Basah.

Art-centric parties like the formal Art Stage Vernissage and laid-back Art After Dark at Gillman Barracks provide opportunities for art connoisseurs, galleries, buyers and artists to mix and mingle. And those in the art world who need to let their hair down too can kick back and hang loose at the Super0 party and its beat-bopping silent disco!

The Arty-Culates

Utopia Pictures by Gilbert & George
The premier gallery event of Singapore Art Week, featuring these winners of the prestigious Turner Prize with their new series of graphically diverse print works, from the mundane
to glorious.
When 20 Jan–4 Apr
Where ARNDT, Gillman Barracks

(The History of Java)
Local artist Jimmy Ong returns with a show of objects and signature charcoal drawings inspired by historical controversies involving Singapore’s colonial founder
Stamford Raffles.
When 15 Jan–1 Mar
Where Fost Gallery, Gillman Barracks

Rina Banerjee: Migration’s Breath
Acclaimed US-Indian artist whose work in contextural and heritage textile materials have won her shows at the Venice Biennale and Asia Pacific Triennial, among others.
When 23 Jan–21 Mar
Where Ota Fine Arts, Gillman Barracks

Leading Patrons of Asian Art in Conversation Series
Film-maker Patricia Chen presents two movies on top international art collectors.
When 24 Jan
Where Singapore Art Museum Glass Hall

Poems from the Heart by Lim Tze Peng
Cultural Medallion recipient Lim Tze Peng puts 21 Chinese ink paintings and drawings on show. These pieces cover a wide scope of his art practice through the years.
When 17 JAN & 24 JAN
Where CHUNG CHENG HIGH SCHOOL

A Brush with Singapore Art Society
Get an overview of the Singapore Art Society’s heritage and development in this exhibition showcasing members’ works in six categories, including calligraphy and watercolour. There will also be public talks and artist discussions.
When 17–25 JAN
Where RAFFLES CITY SHOPPING CENTRE

FROM PRINT TO FILM British pair Gilbert & George exhibit their brightly coloured print works while Patricia Chen (below) explores preservation of culture and other themes in her films.

The Newbies

ArtWalk Little India
The Singapore Tourism Board and LASALLE College of the Arts present a public initiative with theatre, performances and installations highlighting the personal histories and traditions of a revered cultural enclave.
When 17–21 Jan
Visit lasalle.edu.sg for times and locations

Ju Ming ‘Taichi’ Sculptures
Graze or sign up for a guided tour of these 15 abstract bronze pieces celebrating tradition and modernity. Don’t miss this sterling display of monumental public art by the Taiwanese master sculptor.
When 17 Jan–16 Apr
Where Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Arnoldii How-To Series
A series of public bite-sized introductions on various contemporary art practices.
When 17 jan–14 Feb
Where Yeo Workshop & HUFF Studios, Gillman Barracks
Register at info@arnoldiiartsclub.com

Art in Motion Tours
Meet artists and experience the vibrant art scene with over 18 galleries across multiple arts and heritage districts.
Tour details and registration at www.agas.org.sg

Art Stage
Be inspired by international contemporary art with museum-quality gallery selections and showcase platforms highlighting Southeast Asian, Russian, Video and Modern Art cultures.
When 22–25 Jan
Where Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

Once Upon a Hill
Check out this outdoor presentation of painting, installation art and sculpture by Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya, the Singapore Malay Artists’ Association.
When 17–25 Jan
Where Fort Canning Hill

ART AVENUE Experience a different side to Little India with ArtWalk.

The Party Animals

Public Lecture by Gilbert & George
Renowned for their sometimes controversial but always-accessible artworks, the Brit pair will speak on their art practice.
When 22 Jan
Where Singapore Airlines Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts
Pre-booking required at www.eventbrite.sg

Prudential Singapore Eye
The most extensive showcase of Singapore contemporary art to date goes on display at this exhibition, which honours our diverse arts scene and emerging home-grown talent.
When 17 JAN–28 JUNE
Where Artscience Museum

Aliwal Urban Art Festival
Second-edition party for the ever-growing street art scene featuring local bands, DJs, street artists and dancers including, for the first time, an art jam and skate park.
When 17 Jan
Where Aliwal Arts Centre

Art After Dark At Gillman Barracks
Live music performances, artist talks, food and drink pop-ups, docent-led tours… it’s all happening at this arts-themed outdoor party event. Get an eyeful of the new shows premiered by Gillman Barracks’ galleries and be sure to check out DRIVE, the Barracks’ first festival of curated public artworks.
When 23 Jan
Where Gillman Barracks

The Deliberaters

Art in Transir (MRT Circle Line)
This walking tour, part of an Art Outreach initiative, offers insights into the art pieces on display at MRT stations along the Circle Line. Find out more about the character and heritage of Singapore’s neighbourhoods through the installations and sculptures of top local artists.
When 17, 18, 24, 25 JAN
Where Starts at Esplanade Station and ends at Paya Lebar Station
Register at artoutreachprogram.eventbrite.com

Day Falls/Night Falls
Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju’s striking fluorescent waterfall paintings chart the space between the material and ethereal worlds.
When From 17 Jan–8 Mar
Where Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Gillman Barracks

Tanjong Goodman
Kid-friendly event featuring video installations, short films, ceramic art, performances, exhibitions and workshops by 200 artists and arts groups — perfect for the whole family.
When 24 Jan
Where Goodman Arts Centre

FAMILY FUN Introduce young ones to the arts at Tanjong Goodman.

The Fringeworthy

John Martin, The Butcher and the Surgeon by Vertcal Submarine
Contemporary Art Collective’s staging of a murder mystery involving crime, tourism and the death penalty. Site-specific installation set along the haunting corridors of
Golden Mile Tower.
When 15 Jan–14 Feb
Where Golden Mile Tower, Level 4

Moving Light, Roving Sight
Be enthralled by the multimedia works of nine international artists presented by Ikkan Art International. Highlights include an interactive digital installation with flowers that bloom and fade by teamLab.
When 23 JAN–18 FEB
Where ARTSPACE@HELUTRANS, TANJONG PAGAR DISTRIPARK

Super0 OpenAir
The innovative Super0 crafts an intermarriage between music, art and design in a cultural bonanza. Highlights include a curated record shop, photography installation and
the ever-popular Silent Disco.
When 17 Jan
For venue and other details, visit super0.eventclique.com

Yang Fudong: Incidental Scripts
Multi-screen art films by this leading contemporary Chinese artist explores concepts of space, time, fiction and reality.
When Till 1 Mar
Where NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Gillman Barracks

TRUE DETECTIVE Installations and a murder mystery await at Golden Mile Tower.
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