Art encounter: What to see at Singapore Contemporary 2017

Updated on January 10 2017

We’re only in the second week of January, but it’s already shaping up to be a thrilling month for art buffs. There’s the ongoing M1 Fringe Festival, and the upcoming Art Stage and Singapore Art Week. And here’s another event to look out for: Singapore Contemporary, an art show that presents a vast range of works by established and emerging contemporary artists from all around the world.

Into its second edition, the fair takes place from 19 to 22 January at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will feature some 88 exhibitors from over 25 countries, including Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, with works that include “investment-grade art with a strong secondary market and auction following”.

Visitors can expect to see original paintings, limited edition creations, sculptures, photographs and 13 art installations on display, as well as attend talks, tours and live painting demonstrations. If you aren’t quite sure where to begin, we’ve put together a guide to the main highlights you need to see at the exhibition.

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Photo 17 Singapore

Singapore Contemporary
“Mars Desert Research Station 6” by Vincent Fournier.

A new addition to Singapore Contemporary, Photo17 Singapore features pictures by over 30 renowned photographers such as Japan’s Daido Moriyama (who is known for his impromptu black and white works depicting Japanese life during the post-war period) and France’s Vincent Fournier — whose whimsical photos are inspired by science and technology.

Also on display are works by Peru’s Martín Chambi, who was one of the first major indigenous Latin American photographers. He made waves in the 1920s and 1930s because of his images that captured moments of Peruvian life.

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All the works at Photo17 Singapore will be categorised into four sections: Documentary, fine art, conceptual, and mixed media photography. For those wanting to learn more about the art of photography, there will also be talks by industry experts.

Singapore Contemporary
“Cruz Velacuy – Festival of the Cross” by Martín Chambi.

Latin American Voices

Also making its debut is Latin American Voices, an exhibition devoted to works by over 25 emerging, mid-career and established artists from across Latin America.

Noteworthy artists include Uruguayan sculptor Pablo Atchugarry — who is known for his monolithic creations fashioned with curved corners and grooves — and Mexican painter Mayté Guzmán, whose art pieces are often emblazoned with energetic and spontaneous brush strokes.

Singapore Contemporary
“TIERT” by Mayté Guzmán.

China Encounters

Singapore Contemporary also shines a spotlight on Chinese art with China Encounters, a showcase of works by emerging and up-and-coming artists from China. These include landscape painter Shen Gubo and Lin Xueming, who favours mixed media and ink in his art.

Singapore Contemporary
“Green Hills” by Shen Gubo.

Art tours

Nothing beats having an expert by your side to explain the stories and ideas behind each artwork, while you explore the fair. At Singapore Contemporary, docents from the National Gallery and Singapore Art Museum will be present to guide visitors around the show, and to offer insights into the various art pieces. These tours are available from 20 to 22 January.

Live painting demonstrations

If you’ve always been curious about the creation processes behind a work of art, stop by one of the exhibition’s live painting demonstrations from 20 to 22 January, where you can catch artists such as British album cover designer Roger Dean and Malaysia-based abstract painter Charlotte Donvang in action.