The world’s a stage – An art stage

Arts | Written By, NOW!Singapore | January 11th, 2015
by Gillian Beal
Detail - Mystic Adobe

There’s a lot of talk these days about there being too many art fairs in Singapore what with the Affordable Art Fair (now twice a year), the newly revamped and re-launched Singapore Art Fair, the Bank Art Fair and a host of smaller events raising their heads above Singapore’s newly-painted art parapet. But whether that’s the case, or not, the biggest and brashest of them all is Art Stage Singapore and it’s back in town.

Now in its fifth year, the four-day fair (five if you include the exclusive VIP Vernissage) is billed as the ‘flagship contemporary art fair in Southeast Asia’ and this year will feature 135 galleries from 29 countries. In addition, there will be four art platforms, including the returning Southeast Asia platform, as

well as the newly-launched Russia, Video and Modern platforms. These are designed to present art projects that foster a greater understanding of the context from which artists develop.

As usual, there will be a strong showing of Asia-based galleries, with around 70 percent of the galleries coming from the region, while 34 are Singapore based. What this means for visitors is that there is a strong Asian focus and the opportunity to see some of the region’s best art, all under one roof – as well as work from new and emerging artists.

However, it doesn’t mean that artists and galleries from other parts of the world will be absent. International galleries such as London’s

White Cube Gallery and Hong Kong’s Galerie Perrotin will be making their presence felt again, while 49 new galleries will debut this year,

including top galleries from the USA, China, Japan, Israel and even Uruguay.

There will be a series of talks, artist events and some interesting public art projects, including a performance from world-renowned London-based art duo Gilbert and George; a large public sculpture from the carver of the callipygous, FernandBotero, and an appearance by Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju. Here’s our round up of what’s not to be missed.

The Platforms

Southeast Asian art will be showcased in a massive 1,000 sqm of space. Curated by Singaporean KhimOng, the exhibition entitled ‘Eagles Fly, Sheep Flock:

Biographical Imprints” will feature artworks by around 15 emerging and established artists from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Video art, popular with the art world’s

Several artworks will be exhibited in the fair’s public areas, promising visitors artistic encounters beyond the exhibition booths and curated platforms. The installation, Contours of a Rich Manoeuvre, by Singaporean artist Suzann Victor, will see several large red chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, creating an ethereal shadow and light display. Perennial favourite Columbian artist Fernando Botero will be showing a monumental sculpture, Standing Woman, at the entrance hall, while the work of Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos and Indonesian artist Titarubi will be presented along the aisles. Gilbert & George, known for their controversial photo-based collages, have agreed to create five large-scale artworks for the fair, (their work will also be shown by ARDNT gallery) and they are rumoured to be planning a performance.

PUBLIC ART

curators and museums but less so with the public, will be featured for the first time in a sizeable space – giving viewers the opportunity to learn more about this art form. Curated by Paul Greenaway of Gag Projects, Australia, the over 40 works will include work by Hiroko Okada from Japan, MyrianMechita from France and XuWenkai from China.

The Multimedia Museum Moscow’s Olga Sviblova will curate the Russian platform, another innovation at this year’s fair. (A large part of Russia is in Asia after all). The aim is to introduce edgy, contemporary art from Russia to an Asian audience and encourage an open dialogue between these new centres of artistic creation.

And perhaps in a nod to the ever-popular (particularly at auction) European ‘Modern’ art movement, works by western masters such as Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso will be shown side-by-side with Asian artists

Titarubi_IMAGO MUNDI_2013_24k Gold plated nutmegs, gold leafs on book, burned wood, stainless steel and globe_213 x 101 x 80 cm_Presented by Michael

Images:
Part of PareshMaity’s Dream house. Mystic Abode: An Installation of Bells, 2014,Titarubi, IMAGO MUNDI, 2013, 24k Gold plated nutmegs, gold leafs on book, burned wood, stainless steel and globe, 213 x 101 x 80 cm, Presented by Michael Janssen Berlin, Singapore

Suzann Victor_Contours of a Rich Manoeuvre Series_Image Courtesy of Andreas Kepplinger _ OÖ Kulturquartier_1
Exponential Taxonomies Specimen 6

Images :
AganHarahap (b. 1980), Mardijker Photo Studio, 2014
Photographic series
Dimensions variable
Images copyright and courtesy of the Artist
Chong Weixin
Exponential Taxonomies: Specimen 6 2013
Image copyright and courtesy ofthe Artist

including K KHebbar, Ram Kumar, F N Souza and ZaoWou-Ki. The fair is working with the French Pinacotheque de Paris for this segment, which does seem a little out of place with the rest of the artistic line-up.

Art Week

In past years, a series of events that hang on the coat tails of Art Stage have been staged, and the Singapore Tourism Board and the National Arts Council have grouped them together this year and launched them as Art Week. So if you have any energy left from a trawl through the many aisles of the MBS convention centre, go for a visit to Art After Dark @ Gillman Barracks. An outdoor party set against the new shows premiered by the galleries provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy their diverse art offerings

23 January 2015, 9 Lock Rd, 6pm till late

Art Stage Singapore will be held from 22 to 25 January 2015 at Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Level B2, 10Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956. Tickets: $26-$64 from Sistic or at the venue.

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