Just as we are winding down from the hype of the Singapore Biennale and last year’s Affordable Art Fair, Singapore Art Week 2020 has sprung upon us. The week brings us a slew of Instagrammable pop-ups, along with exhibitions, art trails, studio tours, lectures, and site-specific works. These programmes shed light on art making and collecting in the country and the wider region.
This year, Singapore Art Week celebrates local practitioners and community experiences with curated shows that will explore the socio-political, interpersonal, and regional themes. Here’s a round up of 10 events that will both broaden your understanding of art today.
Singapore Art Week 2020 runs from 11-19 January.
The fourth edition of the Light to Night festival takes its inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The seminal novel follows Marco Polo’s imaginative descriptions of the fictional cities encountered across his travels. The event showcases artists and creatives responding to the novel’s themes and transform the Civic District with light, sound, and movement.
Events are spread over multiple cultural institutions, such as the National Gallery Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall, and Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay. Highlights include ‘City State of Mind,’ where seven iconic district monuments will be illuminated with light projections designed by local artists; ‘True Lies – Secrets of the Gallery,’ an escape room set in National Gallery Singapore; and local poetry showcase ‘Note for Note: Stop, Look and Listen.’
Singapore Art Week 2020 sees the opening of pop-up arts space Twenty Twenty. The venue is a former shoe repair factory that stands out for its Art Deco structure. The iconic architecture can be traced back to the 1930s. The exhibition ‘Strange Things’ breathes new life into the once-derelict complex and features works of contemporary art that contemplate and disrupt the structure’s sense of space and place.
Look out for famed multimedia artist Dawn Ng’s massive mirror-based installation ‘Merry-go-round,’ which explores themes of memory, change, and the fragmented self. Participating artists include Santi Wangchuan, Mike Chang, Wong Lip Chin, Tuan Mami, Muhammad Akbar, Nicholas Ong, and Celeste in collaboration with Shawna Wu.
Public spaces and the ability of artists to co-opt them for purposes of education and empowerment lie at the heart of The Substation’s latest programme, ‘Stealing Public Space.’ The exhibition features a selection of works by Southeast Asian contemporary artists. These works have been created for specific public spaces in response to the shortage of exhibition spaces. Out of a desire to make art accessible for the masses, other works call for audience participation.
The Private Museum will celebrate its 10 year anniversary with a selection of events that bridge the gap between public audiences and private art collections. ‘Emerging: Collecting Contemporary Singapore – Selections from The Duo Collection’ is the first of five exhibitions that seeks to stimulate dialogue around local contemporary art and the role of the private collector today.
The Duo consists of collectors who choose to remain anonymous and have been collecting the works of emerging practitioners from Singapore and Southeast Asia for the past five years. Viewers can expect to view 20 works by 16 emerging local artists.
The Impart Art Collectors’ Show was first founded in 2017 to together the art market, makers, and masses. Curated by Tan Boon Hui, Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York, the show’s third edition presents an exceptional opportunity for the public to access works from 13 prominent local and international collections. Look out for Bharti Kher’s bindi-studded fibreglass baby elephant, ‘I’ve Seen an Elephant Fly,’ and Christine Ay Tjoe’s dynamic oil paintings.
S.E.A. Focus is a showcase of contemporary art hosted by STPI. The programme brings together artists and galleries from Southeast Asia to foster a deeper appreciation of art from the region. The showcase serves an opportunity for culture vultures to explore 20 galleries from Singapore, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Specialist-led panels will delve into discourses surrounding the production of contemporary art, covering topics such as ‘Local Infrastructures, Global Ecologies,’ ‘The Future of Exhibitions’ (led by the esteemed curator and Director of Serpentine Galleries London Hans Ulrich Obrist), and ‘The Future of the Singapore Art Scene.’ Individual ‘Art Watch’ talks will shed light on the states of developed and emerging art scenes across Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The newly opened National Archives of Singapore acts as the backdrop for State of Motion 2020 Rushes of Time. The exhibition contemplates the relationships between ideas of time, bodies of memory, and the moving image. Site-specific installations and live performances highlight how artists bring personal and collective histories to life. The accompanying programme features curators’ talks, performance lectures, archive tours and panels on performance art history.
Ever wondered what artists do all day? NTU CCA answers that with its ‘Residencies OPEN’ event. It offers a rare glimpse into the studios of artists who work and experiment across a variety of mediums and disciplines. Meander through the workspaces of current artists-in-residence including Rossella Biscotti (Italy/Belgium), Carolina Caycedo (United Kingdom/United States), Fyerool Darma (Singapore), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Prapat Jiwarangsan (Thailand), Alecia Neo (Singapore), Trevor Yeung (Hong Kong).
Art Week at Bras Basah Complex sees 10 local galleries collaborating on a single unique programme. The iconic structure will play host to several exhibitions, which will feature works by prominent Nanyang artists who have blended Chinese and Western artistic practices to great success. These practitioners will be present during the showcase, meaning that visitors will be able to speak with them and gain a valuable first-hand understanding of their works.
Light, sound and technology converge at DE:VOTED. Artists from Singapore and Japan will come together to engage with themes of devotion and intimacy, as well as the claustrophobia that comes along with surveillance capitalism. Join the artists as they activate the space with installations, guided tours, and workshops that celebrate everyday life and the body as material.