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Art news and events in Singapore and around the world

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  • 11/11/15--01:22: THE ESSENTIAL RHYTHM
  • A drawing into space, by Denise Schellmann from Austria and local artist Nandita Mukand.

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    With the Affordable Art Fair around the corner and the much awaited opening of the National Gallery at the end of the month, November promises to be an art-full month. The Affordable Art Fair, which will run from Nov 12-15 at the F1 Pit Building, is now into its sixth edition. 86 local and international galleries will be participating in the Fair, showcasing original contemporary work from more than 600 artists, all priced between$100 and $10,000. Though finding anything towards the lower end of the range is a challenge at best, the Fair is a good way to look at a wide range of art in a short span of time and space; and for the emerging art collector, this is a great place to start. The fair also offers talks, and educational and interactive programs during the four days as well as an online guide to first time buyers of art. The National Gallery Singapore which opens to the public on November 24, 2015 will be home to the largest public collection of modern Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. Beautifully restored and transformed, the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings are a work of art in themselves. The [...]

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    The debate between what is art and what is craft has been a long and ongoing one. In (Western) art academic terminology, crafts such as needlework, quilting, beading, batik and rattan work are seen as decorative and/or functional in purpose, and have therefore not been considered fine art. Rather, they falls into the category of applied art, craft or handicrafts.

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  • 11/18/15--02:08: Over the Rainbow
  • Drawing inspiration from the famous song, it is a fittingly appropriate as the title of the sixth solo exhibition of artist Yen Chua.

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    The notion of corporate art feels like an unsavoury oxymoron – art that is sacred and transcendent now acquired at sky-high auction prices by ostentatious capitalists who are less concerned with matters of taste than the occupation of wall space or the decoration of a lobby. Not to mention any piece of art that ends up in private hands equates to one less piece available for public appreciation, leaving us only with paltry photographic reproductions. Yet perhaps these business monoliths have genuine good intentions in their voracious art acquisitions, and can be considered as modern day artistic patrons not unlike the Medici family or the Rothschilds.

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    German artist Georg Baselitz's first ever solo in Asia. Showcasing two previously unseen series of powerful paintings, a new group of prints and a new, large-scale sculpture at White Cube Gallery Hong Kong.

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    The National Gallery Singapore gets ready for their Opening Celebration Special, by dressing up the front steps of the former City Hall with a blown up version of the portrait of Lee Boon Ngan.

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    Making its comeback for the sixth time, Affordable Art Fair – the Autumn 2015 Edition, graced our little sunny island from November 12 to 15. Taking place at the F1 Pit Building, there were a total of 86 local as well as international galleries, featuring original contemporary work from more than 600 artists. With a smorgasbord of remarkable art pieces priced between SGD$100 and $10,000, Affordable Art Fair has once again reminded us of the possibility to enjoy, view and buy art. With its truest intention to make art fun, accessible and most certainly affordable, Affordable Art Fair – the Autumn 2015 Edition was a nothing less than spectacular art fair for any artholics: from season collectors to art enthusiasts. Some of us from Artitute were very lucky to be given the opportunity to scope around the tremendously exciting and enriching fair ground to see what actually went down during the fair stint. We’ve definitely made a few discoveries that we’re dying to share with our readers. We certainly hope that our list of top 5 favourite art works from Affordable Art Fair – the Autumn 2015 Edition will make you want to visit the Affordable Art Fair when it’s [...]

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    An exciting week lies ahead for art enthusiasts and history lovers as the National Gallery opens today. Holding a record-breaking collection of Southeast Asian art in a single space, the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery discusses the region’s artistic development from 19th century onwards while the DBS Singapore Gallery provides a deep and comprehensive overview of Singaporean art from the 19th century to the present day. With this much art, there is always something that requires just that extra hour of browsing. Here are some of the highlights from each gallery to add to your list. Oh and we definitely recommend setting aside one full day for the visit! UOB Southeast Asia Gallery Raden Saleh, Forest Fire, 1849, Oil on canvas, 300.0 x 396 cm, Adopted by the Yong Hon Kong Foundation, Collection of National Gallery Singapore.Image courtesy of National Heritage Board. Raden Saleh’s Forest Fire demands your attention the minute you step into Southeast Asia’s first gallery. At three metres, the painting easily dwarfs everything else in the room. The immediate appeal however is in the dramatic storytelling of a tragic forest fire. Here you see depictions of animals, both predator and prey, perhaps indicative of a play on the [...]

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    Nicola talks about meaning, medium and backstories with Shubigi Rao, who recently exhibited in Sundaram Tagore's Dear Painter and was granted the Centre for Contemporary Art 2015-2016 Artist in Residence. ‘Five Minutes With Nicola’ is a column where two artists have a conversation, to bring you the inner workings of the creative mind.

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    Discover and document secrets in Singapore's history in this one-day photography competition, where you and your team will need to decipher clues in a race to win! Open to students from ages 10 to 18, who will represent their respective schools as a team of two to four members.

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    Ever wonder why the Peanuts gang is named Peanuts? Do you know who loves to collect stamps in the gang? How about Snoopy’s best friend or the hair colour of Charlie Brown’s crush? If you are a Snoopy fan, all these questions should be nothing new. But if you – like me – know of Snoopy as a household name and nothing beyond that, this cutesy exhibition at the Philatelic Museum has all the answers to the above. The exhibition With Love from Snoopy, Charlie Brown & the Peanuts Gang in conjunction with SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE  is a happy visual space, filled with a good balanced spread of huge sized sculptures for visitors to admire from a distance as well as small stamps and comic strips to read up close. Here’s are the highlights of the exhibition: Wide Range of Collectibles Snoopy fans will surely love this! One entire shelf dedicated to the showcase of collectibles on loan from private collectors, Charlie Brown Café and Mint Toy Museum. From lobby cards to water bottles to soft toys, the complete set of McDonald’s Snoopy World Tour toys is the most nostalgic. These four bronze sculptures caught my attention, [...]

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    Star Bags. Image Copyright Guy Lucas de Peslouan Little Room of Wanders is a veritable Alice in Wonderlandesque experience where mundane objects take on new purposes whilst retaining an aesthetically delightful appearance.  Each item in the Hermès family collection is embellished with an exquisitely crafted explanation by the renowned French children’s illustrator Philippe Dumas, who is also the grandson of Hermès Founder, Emile Dumas, and the designer of Hermès carrés, at the Saut Hermès in Paris. On entering the small orange inspired cube located at the centre of the Asian Civilization Museum front lawn, one is transported to a particularly well-curated, visual snapshot of an individual’s silver spooned life during the late 19th and early 20th century. The Hermès family collection encompasses both city and country pursuits and fine craftsmanship – be it a Chinese lacquered saddle from the Qing dynasty or a Spanish studded travel chest.  There is a strong focus on equestrian pursuits and luxury goods that would have embellished the lifestyles of not only their customers but also their own. Man’s Travel Case. Image Copyright Guy Lucas de Peslouan The Little Room of Wanders exhibition features numerous beautiful objects such as the Man’s Travel Case signed by Martin [...]

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    New art fair to kick-off the Asia art calendar

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     The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Dr Susie Lingham will be stepping down as Director of the Singapore Art Museum, a position which she has held since August 2013. Dr Lingham’s last day of service will be on 31 March 2016. Senior Curators Ms Tan Siuli and Ms Joyce Toh will take over the curatorial duties undertaken by Dr Lingham as Curatorial Co-Heads. Meanwhile, SAM CEO Mr Leng Tshua and senior staff will continue to oversee the administrative aspects of the Museum. Dr Susie Lingham Steps Down As Director of Singapore Art Museum In her time at SAM, Dr Lingham had provided a new vision and mission for the Museum. Under her guidance, SAM’s exhibitions have taken on a thematic approach and engaged with the big ideas that inspire and promote future-forward thinking and discussion. Dr Lingham oversaw the presentation of 13 exhibitions, which were curated to high standards of imagination and realisation, leading to enhanced local and regional recognition for SAM. The exhibitions include: Unearthed Medium at Large Sensorium 360° Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection Image & Illusion: Video Works from the Yokohama Museum of Art Collection Once [...]

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    Singapore Art Museum’s newest exhibition, Time of Others opened on November 21, 2015. It is a survey of contemporary art from the Asia Pacific region and is a collaboration between the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), National Museum of Art Osaka (NMAO) and the Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA ). The exhibition presents the works of 17 contemporary artists from the Asia Pacific region and  poses  the paradoxical question of how we can authentically and meaningfully conceive, understand and engage with other cultural contexts of society, while residing within our own localities, and being part of a globalised world today. The title of the exhibition as well as the artworks in it are intriguing and a challenge to understand: but when looked at within their political, historical, personal or cultural context each work will resonate deeply with the viewer. The majority of the works are digital – photographs and videos, both of which have become a popular media for contemporary artists in this region. Of the more than 25 works in this iteration of the travelling exhibition, three works stand out for their unique concept and production. Pratchaya Phinthong, Give More Than You Take, 2010 – [...]

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    I remember the first time I saw Li Shuang’s paintings while I was gallery sitting as an undergraduate. Six paintings lined the walkway entrance, emanating a regal elegance and an undeniable calm. Quirky details like a floating lotus or a butterfly right on the edge of the canvas felt like secret codes. Before I knew it, I had been staring at each painting for hours. Time stood still for me and I felt as though I was staring at my own reflection in still waters – I was struck by its quiet beauty. As I read more about the artist, I soon understood that each element is a reflection of her own history, from being born to a scholarly family during the cultural revolution to finding love and her artistic awakening as the only female artist founder for the Star group which led to her imprisonment by China and eventual extraction to Paris. Li Shuang’s artistic career can be traced back to 1980 but her contemporary works from 1995 onwards have been described as mainly of Chinese women painted in a classical style with religious elements. Her fascination with female figures can be traced to her earlier works; her style [...]

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  • 12/30/15--01:35: Sophrosyne
  • INSTINC SOHO opens with a newly renovated space in 2016, presenting Sophrosyne: Polyethylene-based Control, showcasing art by INSTINC AIR Anya Mielniczek (Canada) including collaborative work Origomi created with local artist Li (Singapore).

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    As Art Week descends upon us, with its plethora of fairs, exhibitions,events and happenings, you may want to sneak out some quiet time catching an exhibition in the comfort of  a retro cinema seat in Singapore. The Projector, which opened its doors in 2014, in the historic Golden Theatre housed within the Golden Mile Tower, aims to bring back the past glory of cinema as well as an alternative to the generic and commercial movie experience that is available in Singapore. History Of Golden Theatre Golden Theatre was the biggest cinema in Singapore and Malaysia when it was completed in 1973 totaling over 1500 seats. It was built by Chong Gay Theatres Ltd who also built the 2400-seater Kallang Cinema in 1978, the largest cinema in Southeast Asia at that time. Golden Theatre, like many other cinemas built in that time, was originally one big movie theatre with stalls and circle seats. It was well patronised for its good quality Mandarin films in the ‘70s and ‘80s, ‘adult’ artistic films in the ‘90s and, more recently, Bollywood hits.The space was subdivided into three separate halls in the 1990s. The Projector comprises two halls (Golden 1 and Golden 2) on the fifth floor that were once the circle seats of [...]

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    The Singapore Chinese Language Theatre Alliance (SCLTA) 新华剧体 was recently formed by local companies, artists and practitioners from the contemporary Chinese theatre scene, and will be organizing a public symposium “Singapore Chinese Language Theatre, Now” on 30 January 2016.

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