Every January, for the past six years, the Singapore Art Week takes on the task of catapulting the country as Southeast Asia’s leading art hub. But this year, it has proven to be a trying time for the local arts scene.
Just days before opening, Art Stage Singapore announced that it would not go ahead with the preparation of its ninth edition. Art Stage, which was once heralded as the catalyst and the highlight of Singapore Art Week, has now been relegated as the black sheep of the local arts community. The art fair’s sudden cancellation also reflected problems in Singapore’s art scene.
But it has also shown a more heartening side. Local galleries opened up their spaces to affected exhibitors. Within days, a pop-up art fair, The Artery, was created as a backup for Art Stage.
Still, the Singapore Art Week isn’t the only time for local artists to show off their chops. There’s the launch of the Singapore Bicentennial and the Singapore Biennial this year featuring insightful works and exhibitions. This month, we get a taste of what’s to come.
(Hero image: Miaja Gallery, Featured image: Intersections Gallery)
The Asian Civilisations Museum re-explores Sir Stamford Raffles in its latest exhibition. Co-curated with the British Museum, the exhibition seeks to reveal the prejudices of Raffles during his time as Lieutenant-Governer of the Dutch East Indies and Bencoolen. It also serves as quick insight to the rich heritage of Java and the Malay World that Raffles failed to understand.
(Image: National Museum of Singapore)
Eminent art collector and gallerist Richard Koh presents a preview of his art collection at The Private Museum. The showcase of 33 selected artworks is a rare insight to the collection Koh has built over the past 20-plus years. Referred to him as ‘landscapes of memory,’ each work holds specific memories of Koh’s life.
(Image: The Private Museum)
Burmese art group, Bart Was Not Here, brings a taste of Yangon’s street art scene to Singapore with a series of individual artworks and collective paintings. The group, made up of artists Wunna Aung, Thu Myat and Kyaw Moe Khine, constructs a ‘sidewise world’ with their art as an escape from the political transitions and discontent at home. Historical and mythical characters star as the main muses for this colourful pop-art exhibition.
(Image: Intersection Gallery)
In her latest solo exhibition, Singapore-based artist Nandita Mukand juxtaposes growth and decay in the wilderness with the workings of the urban mind while drawing on her interest in metaphysics, neuroplasticity, quantum physics and religious texts. Mukand interprets her ideas with organic, mould-like sculptures and paintings made of epoxy resin. A spiritual show that leaves the audience much to contemplate after.
(Image: Miaja Gallery)
In his latest exhibition, LASALLE’s guest curator, Raphael Fonseca, provides his ruminations of contemporary art and history a local context through never-before-seen works from ten local and international artists. The presented works address collections of art and artefacts, while others critique the transparency and accountability in managing such collections. One of the highlights includes a painting by Brazilian artist Ismael Monticelli which reflects on the demolishing of the Poh Tiong Keng ‘sunken’ temple in Toa Payoh.
Lost and Found: Imagining New Worlds
Local artist Michael Khoo makes his first debut exhibition at ION Orchard, featuring eight decades of artworks portraying his dynamic style. His work reimagines well-known landmarks, such as the Singapore River and the CBD, inspired by the realism and abstract expressionism art movements.
(Image: Micheal Khoo)