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State of Art: 6 exhibitions to see this May 2017

Come May 13, local multi-disciplinary artist Zai Kuning will represent Singapore at the 57th Venice Biennale with a new installation titled Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge. The exhibit is a 17m-long ship fashioned in rattan, beeswax and string, and will be displayed at the show’s Singapore Pavilion until 26 November. We’re already contemplating making a trip down to check out his new art installation in person, as well as to set aside some time for sightseeing around the beautiful Italian city.

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Zai Kuning’s “Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge” exhibit. (Photo: Choo Yut Shing/ Flickr)

But if jetting off to Venice isn’t really on the cards for you, fret not, as our own local little red dot has its share of excellent design and culture-related events to explore. There’s the ongoing The Art Behind the Game – The Ubisoft Experience exhibition at the National Design Centre, which features a behind-the-scenes look at the artistic process in the making of popular video game Assassin’s Creed. And if you’re a Star Wars fan, mark May 4 (Star Wars Day) down in your calendar, as the Gardens by the Bay will launch a special three-day festival comprising a movie screening, night run, and a light and music show. The Supertrees will even be transformed to glow like lightsabers.

For art aficionados, next month also promises a stellar line-up of exhibitions to visit. From tech-inspired works at the ArtScience Museum’s upcoming presentation, to a display of pencils meticulously sculpted into Game of Thrones motifs, here are 6 art shows to explore this May.

(Main photo: Cherie A Bitanga/ Di Legno Gallery; Featured photo: Gillman Barracks/ Arndt)

1
Ahead of Itself Already Being In

Named after a quote from German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit (Being and Time), this exhibition by Indonesian artist Syagini Ratna Wulan explores the themes of existentialism and the state of being. Her mysterious paintings feature pieces of cloth draped over figures or objects, leading viewers to imagine what could be hidden beneath. The ongoing exhibition takes place at Fost Gallery, and ends 14 June.

Fost Gallery, 1 Lock Road, #01-02, Singapore 108932

2
HUMAN+: The Future of Our Species

Slated to open on 20 May, this upcoming, technology-focused exhibition at the ArtScience Museum delves into topics such as robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetic modification. It showcases the work of 40 international artists, scientists, technologists and designers, and is a collaboration between the museum, Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, and The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.

ArtScience Museum, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956

3
Game of Thrones: A Pencil Microsculpture Exhibition

If you can’t get enough of the award-winning fantasy series Game of Thrones, here’s a presentation you don’t want to miss. Organised by HBO Asia, it features pencils shaped into microsculpture carvings of significant motifs such as the Iron Throne, House sigils and Cersei’s crown. These intricate carvings are crafted by Russian artist Salavat Fidai, who’s known for his miniature sculptures and paintings. The ongoing showcase ends 4 June. More details here.

K+ Curatorial Space, Scotts Square, #03-11/12/13, Singapore 228209

4
Spectator and the Pit
Australian artist Gregory Hodge’s latest show at Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore features several acrylic paintings on canvas, alongside an eye-catching suspended collage composed of painted cut-outs that create a three-dimensional effect. These colourful works easily call to mind the painting techniques of cubism, abstraction and Italian futurism. The exhibition ends 7 May.
Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore, Gillman Barracks, 5 Lock Road, #01-06, Singapore 108933
5
Myriad

Filipino artist Cherie A Bitanga’s first solo exhibition here features 10 new paintings inspired by her personal experiences and “the woman who blooms where life takes her, the story she carries, and the culture that makes [her] heart sing”. The result is a series of vibrantly coloured works depicting women in kebayas, with a cluster of flowers  — symbolising their hopes and dreams — crowning their heads. The ongoing exhibition is held at Di Legno Gallery and ends 18 June.

Di Legno Gallery, 188-6 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 436990, +65 6346 2012

6
Land, Landscape and Utopia

Conducted at Arndt gallery, this ongoing group show examines the concept of a traditional landscape and reimagines it with utopian and dystopian elements. It highlights fascinating and surreal works by contemporary artists the likes of Del Kathryn Barton, Qiu Zhijie, and Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. The latter’s Landscape Painting 2 (pictured), for instance, is a hodgepodge of landscapes, while Nightingale and the Rose (see featured image) is a beautifully melancholic piece inspired by Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name. The presentation closes 25 May.

Arndt, 47 Malan Road, #01-25, Singapore 109444 

(Photo: Gillman Barracks)

Sara Yap
Deputy Director, Digital Operations (Asia)
Sara Yap is the Deputy Director of Digital Operations at BurdaLuxury, and a contributing writer to Lifestyle Asia’s dining and jewellery beats. When she’s not on the lookout for exciting new restaurants or bejewelled trinkets, she’s probably buried in a riveting read, or reminiscing the good ol’ days with her favourite playlist of ’90s boyband hits.