Earlier in March, Singapore’s art scene lost one of its most influential artists. Leading performance artist Lee Wen passed on after suffering from a lung infection, leaving behind a legacy of works that will continue to inform the art community now and in the future.
The art scene, in the meantime, continues to trudge along. Changes are coming up. As Singapore Art Museum is starting a round of renovations, it has also revealed Dr Eugene Tan, currently National Gallery’s director, as its new director.
Singapore’s Bicentennial celebrations are well underway now, with festivals and events unveiling more stories about the country. Here’s what else to check out this month.
British artist Jason Martin makes a return to STPI with his latest series of work experimenting with print and paper. Martin’s usual medium of abstract painting finds a new expression through his residency at STPI where he was exposed to the nature of printmaking and material qualities. The exhibition sees heavily textured works of his oeuvre merged with embossed relief and paper casting, adding a mountain of possibilities in the exploration of textures and aesthetics.
Indonesian artist Iqi Qoror is best known for his bleak portraiture paintings in which faces of his subjects are replaced with contrasting swirls of colourful embroidery. These melancholic aesthetics are also very fitting in his latest artistic introspective on life in a digital world for a second solo exhibition in Singapore. Qoror’s suited characters are left in states of weariness and exhaustion in his paintings -- a snapshot of the burnout from an ‘overwhelming culture of positivity’ on the web.
The Tony Award-winning musical is making its way back to Singapore after a six-year absence. The Phantom of the Opera, an adaptation of French novel of the same name, tells the well-known tale of a disfigured musical genius who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House and falls in love with a young soprano. While it is one of the longest-running musicals in the world, re-runs have never failed to impress audiences. This time, the musical is bringing along a 37-strong international cast complete with a full live orchestra.
UltraSuperNew’s latest exhibition sees the joined forces of two artists, Ginette Chittick and Hazel Lim, working with banal materials such as yarn and paper to create a slew of woven artworks. Here, the artists explore the lines between art, design and craft. These sculptures and wall works are fashioned in a way to retain and highlight the materials’ versatility and forms.
The Singapore Heritage Festival is back for a 16th edition with a month-long series of activities island-wide. The Bicentennial edition takes participants through heritage trails, open houses and performances revealing lesser-known stories of Singapore’s history and heritage. Some of the upcoming tours include a trip to Kranji’s farms and a letterpress workshop in Golden Mile Complex.
Singapore Heritage Festival
The Singapore Art Museum is set to start renovations in April. In the meantime, it is rolling out a travelling art exhibition in collaboration with the National Library Board. The Mini Mobile Museum will present a selection of artworks from SAM’s permanent collection ranging from drawings, installations and video works by Southeast Asian artists. It’ll make its first stop at Tampines Regional Library for a month before heading on to Woodlands Regional Library and Jurong Regional Library.