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Art news and events in Singapore and around the world

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    After the super busy month of January with a dazzling array of art fairs, art events, art walks, talks, and exhibition openings, February has been a rather quiet month. As we recover from the Chinese New Year festivities and slowly start nudging ourselves back to business, here are some events and happenings that are on our list of must-sees this quarter. Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA), Girl Balancing Knowledge Childhood Memories by Yinka Shonibare The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare’s first ever exhibition in Singapore opened on 21 January, 2016. Titled Childhood Memories, the exhibition features sculptures and screen prints and utilises the artist’s childhood memories of Nigeria. It draws on surrealism to explore the artist’s half-remembered childhood tales, as well as the constructed and fictitious memories of childhood, folklore, and tradition. Shonebare’s trademark material of brightly coloured African batik fabric – which was inspired by Indonesian design and mass-produced by the Dutch to be eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa where it became a new sign of African identity and independence in the 1960s – can be seen throughout the exhibition. The exhibition also features two documentaries about Yinka Shonibare life and practice. The exhibition runs through 13 March, [...]

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    The latest edition of Arts in Your Neighbourhood (AYN), taking place from 10 to 27 March, returns with an emphasis on ‘play’ through an exciting line-up of 27 activities over three weeks, across 17 locations island-wide.

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    Aspiring young talents with a passion for music, photography, moving images, and art & design are invited to apply for the 11th edition of Noise Singapore

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    Art Projects Gallery proudly presents “Hide & Seek”, a solo exhibition by renowned Japanese artist, Mayuka Yamamoto, featuring her latest works.

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    Singapore Night Festival, Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore Art Week… Good news for fellow festival goers: this month, you won’t want to miss out i Light Marina Bay! It is a light art festival which features 25 light art installations by local and international creative talents. Did I say where? As obvious as it can be, you say. But, wait. Yes, we all recognise the iconic Marina Bay Sands building, the unique architecture of the ArtScience Museum, the Fullerton Hotel and the list goes on. How about the waterfront promenade or the promontory? Most of the installations can be seen there. Grab a copy of the festival map and you are ready to set off.  Take this opportunity to explore and have a deeper understanding of what else the bay area has to offer! However, don’t forget to stroll along the Fullerton Heritage precinct too. Otherwise, you might miss installation #16! The glowing bamboo lattice by MisoSoupDesign (a Taipei-based design studio) is indeed a perfect addition to it’s surrounding ambience. LightScape Pavilion by MisoSoupDesign (Taiwan)Location: Clifford SquareImage courtesy of i Light Marina Bay 2016 As you continue your stroll, you will find installations which are either statement-making, beautiful, or meaningful. And [...]

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  • 03/17/16--00:06: Wanderlust
  • Internationally-celebrated contemporary photographer, Rohit Chawla, presents his remarkable series ‘Wanderlust’ in his first solo show in Singapore this coming April 19th

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  • 03/17/16--00:35: SINGAPORE SENSATION
  • The title of the exhibition ‘Singapore Sensation’ is inspired by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze who posited that visual sensation runs through a painting like rhythm runs through a piece of music. The “logic of the senses” is irrational; it is what determines instinct at a particular moment. The painter would then attempt to make a kind of “original unity of the senses” appears visually.1 Rozana LeeUrban, 2016,Acrylic, Ink, Fabric, and Paper on loose canvas Rozana LeeSingapore Sling, 2016,Acrylic, Ink, Fabric, and Paper on loose canvas Through the process of painting, these works are conceived as investigations into the idea of excess, sensation, and vitality as potential in the emergence of rhythm in a painted image – how the seemingly contradicting qualities, such as diverse cultural motifs, colour, and gestures are weaving together, forming complex interactions, and moving toward new rhythm that is radical in nature as they depart from tradition. The intention is to harvest the energy pulsating from the richness of Singapore’s tapestry of cultures and give a work of art the intensity that is open-ended, tempting the viewer to experience disorienting or familiar/ unfamiliar sensation. At the beginning each painting, nothing was decided except the fabric collages acquired from Little India or China Town laid and glued onto the surface [...]

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    The 500 Arhats
, 2012,
 Acrylic on canvas mounted on board
, 302 x 10,000 cm
 Private collection 
Installation view: “Murakami – Ego,” Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall, Doha, 2012 Photo courtesy of GION © 2012 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Last week, Artitute was fortunate enough to attend an exclusive invitation to the closing of Takashi Murakami: The 500 Arhats Exhibition, which had been held at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in Japan. This exhibition is remarkable in a sense that it marked Murakami’s first solo museum exhibition in Japan in 14 years. Takashi Murakami. Photo courtesy of  Okazumi Chika Born in 1962 in Tokyo, Takashi Murakami completed his doctoral work at Tokyo University of the Arts School of Fine Arts, becoming the first person at the university to earn a Ph.D. in Nihonga. Murakami is known in today’s mainstream culture for his corporate branding projects, which include collaborations with Louis Vuitton, VANS, Shu Uemura, and Roppongi Hills. Murakami has gone on to cement his presence in the art world, having held solo exhibitions and large-scale installations at a number of venues such as the Palace of Versailles,The Rockefeller Center and The Guggenheim, to name but a few. It [...]

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    Singaporean painter Tay Bak Chiang will be enjoying a solo booth presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong in March 2016

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    From 21st March 2016, the hoarding surrounding H Queen’s (HQ), the new purpose-built 24-storey gallery and lifestyle tower also known as HQ, will showcase a series of newly commissioned works by 10 Hong Kong artists.

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    After a stellar inaugural fair, Art Central returns to Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront from 23-26 March 2016 as an Art Week highlight.

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    Exterior of National Gallery Singapore facing the Padang National Gallery Singapore opened in November 2015, helped position Singapore as an international hub for Southeast Asian visual arts, and contributes to Singapore’s ambition of becoming a global city for the arts. Occupying two important heritage buildings symbolic of Singapore’s nationhood, City Hall and the former Supreme Court buildings, the Gallery is a leading civic and cultural destination. Designed by studioMilou Singapore, in partnership with CPG Consultants Pte Ltd (Singapore), construction works on the two buildings started in January 2011. These beloved monuments have been transformed into an art museum of international stature while maintaining a deep respect for their original architecture. At a total gross floor area of approximately 64,000 square metres, it is the largest visual arts institution in Singapore, matching established museums such as Musée d’Orsay (France) and Tate Modern (UK) in size. Artitute’s contributor, Aaron Eng, took a tour and captured the beauty of National Gallery’s old and new facades. Here are 13 stunning shots of the National Gallery after her makeover. Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image. Aaron Eng is an advertising & design guy by training, and picking up photography & illustration is part and parcel [...]

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    A total of 62 arts organisations will receive Organisation Development support from the National Arts Council’s (NAC) Major and Seed Grant schemes for the Financial Year (FY) 2016. This year, $16.2 million has been set aside by the NAC for both grants, an increase of nearly $1.1 million from FY 2015 funding. The three-year Major and Seed Grant schemes continue to support Singapore’s diverse performing, literary, and visual arts scene, by encouraging a growing pool of strong artistic talents and arts managers to shape Singapore’s cultural development for future generations.   This year, 25 Major Grant recipients join the 19 arts companies who were awarded in FY14 and FY15. The Major Grant scheme will enable these established organisations to deepen their unique artistic capabilities and organisational strengths, champion the development of their art form and industry in Singapore’s cultural landscape, as well as actively engage the community. Recipients include TheatreWorks, Siong Leng Musical Association, Era Dance Theatre, and Bhaskar’s Arts Academy.   The Seed Grant, which focuses on helping emerging, non-profit arts organisations kick-start programmes and operations, will support five first-time recipients in addition to the 13 recipients from FY14 and FY15. The new recipients are National Poetry Festival, Objectifs [...]

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    Today marks the opening of Massimo De Carlo’s first Asian space. Located in Hong Kong’s Pedder Building, the gallery is inaugurated with a solo show by the Chinese artist, based in France, Yan Pei-Ming, with whom Massimo De Carlo has collaborated for almost 20 years, since 1998. Entitled ‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’, the exhibition will run from 21 March – 22 May 2016. Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong Yan Pei-Ming grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China and left Shanghai for France in 1980, where he studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. During the last 30 years he established himself as one of the most prominent artists, renowned for his impressive size portraits of key power figures from both the East and the West, from Mao Zedong and Barack Obama to Marylin Monroe and Alexander McQueen.   “I am honoured to be a part of the Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong gallery opening. Massimo is a dear friend and has always been very supportive of my career. ‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’ is a new body of [...]

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          Earier this year I was fotunate enough to be invited by the Sentosa HarbourFront Business Association to form part of their selection Committee for the third edition of The “Great Egg-Venture” at Sentosa. For this edition, we were looking for 25 talented artists, that were over the age of 18 and who resided in Singapore to participate. Teaming up with one of my favourite partners, the Affordable Art Fair Singapore, we had our work cut out for us as we deliberated through almost a hundred applications! Finding the right balance of artists was important for all of us, as we wanted to give something interesting for everyone who would come to this seasonal feature attraction. One of the final selected artists was a dear friend and collaborator of Artitute, Nicola Anthony, who submitted an entry based on words. Intrigued by her entry I thought it would be fun to try to unravel the words that encased her egg. Artitute: What was the inspiration behind the words that you chose to paint on the Sentosa HarbourFront Easter egg? Nicola: Well, the words actually come from a poem that I wrote which relates to new beginnings, moving forward, looking back on the [...]

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    Five Trees Make a Forest has recently opened at the NUS Museum and brings to the public artistic approaches in the portrayal of tropical landscapes. The exhibition combines Donna Ong’s collection of antique lithographs with NUS Museum’s selected nineteenth-century watercolors made by Charles Dyce, as well as Ong’s installation that gives the name to the show. As in many contemporary art exhibitions, the theme and research behind the show is much more complex and dense than the exhibition itself displays. In questioning the way artists have been representing landscapes since the nineteenth century, Five Trees Make a Forest invites us to reflect upon artistic choices and its role as truthful documentation through history. Donna Ong’s installation that gives name to the exhibition. Photo Credit: Christine Veras Ong’s installation is a modern interpretation of the nineteenth-century dichotomy between reality and representation that the entire exhibition reflects upon. In her installation, she follows instructions on a children’s book on how to create a forest. Using paper cutouts she builds a scale model of a forest, following the book’s premise that using a few different types of trees/plants, you would be able to ‘make’ a forest. According to Ong, ‘the instructions are so easy and [...]

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    Art Central 2016 The second edition of Art Central has been a remarkable success, with over 32,000 buyers, collectors and members of the art-loving public flocking to see Hong Kong’s most dynamic contemporary art fair. With First Night (Monday 21 March) attracting 4,500 guests eager to be among the first to see the fair, Hong Kong Art Week was welcomed in style. In its second edition, Art Central displayed a distinctly Asian edge with an ambitious program that included large-scale installations, engaging panel discussions and performance art. Over 100 galleries were on show in the architect designed temporary structure on Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront, 75% of which were from Greater Asia. From the talks program to the curation of experimental film, the spotlight was firmly on Hong Kong as a global center for contemporary Asian art and visitors were encouraged to explore, discover and redefine their boundaries. Tim Etchells, Co-Founder of Art Central said “The inaugural Art Central was a huge success in 2015, and we approached the second edition committed to once again over-delivering on expectations. Art Central 2016 saw us raise the bar on the quality of galleries and the depth of public programming, while also further defining [...]

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    Ye Shufang’s latest exhibition is The Loss Index II at The Private Museum, a sequel to The Loss Index: Perishables and Other Miscellanea in 2013. Comprising deceptively simple surfaces in unconventional forms of presentations – the three works are suspended by functional black binder clips, laid flat on a white plinth and in small plastic cups respectively – Ye reaffirms her affinity with the mathematical precision of a grid and manifests loss through honey.   Ye Shufang, Exercise in counting (27,005 days), 2016, watercolour on paper, 70x100cm The first piece, depending on how you wish to navigate the space, is Exercise in Counting (27,005 days). Short, vertical strokes of pink or red are lined side-by-side like matchsticks in a box, forming thirty-nine rows packed in a dense grid. Each slender line is rendered in a shade of watercolour lighter or darker than the previous one, producing a rhythmic ombré pattern, sparingly accented by snatches of non-pink or red colours. These recordings are inscribed on a piece of paper, whose serrated edges still bear trace of the crinkly adhesive that binds a drawing block together. Ye Shufang, Exercise in counting (27,005 days), 2016, watercolour on paper, 70x100cm Instinctively, one could view [...]

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    Nguyen Gia Tri, The Fairies, c. 1936, Collection of Geraldine Galateau Paris. Framing an ideology is not a task easily accomplished. Reframing it, is possibly, even harder. The National Gallery Singapore’s newest exhibition which opens on the 31st of March attempts to do this through its latest exhibition titled Reframing Modernism – Painting from Southeast Asia, Europe and Beyond. The exhibition which is co-curated and co-presented with Centre Pompidou, Paris is the inaugural exhibition at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. It showcases 217 works from 51 artists from the collection of both museums as well as loans from private and national collections. This is the first time that an exhibition displays significant Southeast Asian and European artists in parallel through its study of one of the most influential artistic and intellectual drives of the 20th century – modernism – from the perspective of Southeast Asia. Gallery 1 view, Reframing Modernism, National Gallery Singapore Beginning with the existing paradigm that modernism or modernistic painting was mainly a response by Western European and American artists to the events that were shaping the world in the late 19th and early 20th century (the industrial revolution, World War I, urbanisation, etc. ); and that [...]

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    Voilah! 2016 returns with its showcase of the very best of French creativity and innovation this April with over 40 bespoke programmes, ranging from visual and performing arts, gastronomy experiences, cinema retrospective and science. A diverse and immersive festival experience with something for everyone HE Mr Benjamin Dubertret, Ambassador of France to Singapore, said, “The multi-faceted and organic relationship between Singapore and France for over 50 years has facilitated collaborations and exchanges which allowed us to develop an appreciation towards the different aspects of our communities. Singapore is also an important gateway to showcase French culture and innovation to the rest of Asia. In this spirit, Voilah!, in bringing the best of French culture to Singapore, will provide the platform for French and Singaporean communities to meet, exchange ideas and contribute to the cultural vibrancy in both countries.” Organised by the Institut Français Singapour and the French Embassy in Singapore, in collaboration with the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Alliance française, Voilah! also partners the community to provide a diverse and immersive festival experience with something for everyone. The annual festival will open with the enchanting Luminéoles Ballet where giant dream-like changing colour LED light birds dance in [...]

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