As modernised and westernised a host Singapore is, one often forgets the richness of its context, the beauty of its surroundings, its neighbours and its own Asianness. Singapore Art Week (January 13th – 19th, 2014) brings the richness of Asia, in particular South East Asia into multiples spaces within one city. In a span of seven days, over 70 art related events occurred across the city island state. There has not been a better time to appreciate this richess and diversity.
© Nobuhiro Nakanishi
The anchor event has to be Art Stage Singapore where over 600 artists were showcased through 130 galleries. Known for it width and breath in the specturm of works, this year’s Art Stage brought different Asian countries into the spot light through its platforms. Showcasing the likes of Australian, Central Asia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and South East Asian art at dedicated platforms placed at strategic locations across the exhibition, Asia was brought to Art Stage. The mix of mediums from installation, painting to scupltures brought a flavour of the region to the table. For example, at the Japan Platform, the beauty of the Japanese landscape was on showcase through Nobuhiro Nakanishi’s Layer Drawing – Sunrise 2007 which saw multiple sheets of the Tokyo sunset overlaid, while the obsession with technology was seen through Tatsuo Miyajima’s Life (Corps sans Organes) No.19. Flickering, clicking. With reduced hours, Art Stage still managed to attract over 40,500 visitors to grace the event.
© Tatsuo Miyajima
The 4th edition of the Singapore Biennale saw a refreshing curation that brought 82 artists from 13 regional countries together to reflect upon the world that we live in, and the state we wish to create. “If The World Changed” saw a leaner, tigher and closer Singapore Beinnale where vistors were transported through a myriad of spectacular South East Asian experiences and thoughts without having to travel. Drawing from Japanese festivals and celebrations, teamLab’s Diorama created an interactive visual and audio spectacle as audiences brought the sound scape to life through the aid of motion sensors to create a haunting and engulfing environment, symbolising harmony. From modern technology to the more traditional use of material, Vietnamese artist Nguyen Oanh Phi Phi created a space to contemplate and ponder using material and light. Located in the chapel, the lacquered space creates impressions of its viewers as Specula invites vistors to enter and the tunnel and reflect upon their own existance.
Anchor events aside, art lovers were pampered to appproach art in a light hearted manner. Gillman Barracks was buzzing with activities at its inaugral Night Out. With galleries opening late into the night, fire eaters, musicians playing on the grounds and a DJ set, the delightful carnival setting set a different tone to the normally quaint and restful day time setting. While Art In Motion saw bus trails that ferried art hungry visitors between 13 different galleries. Featuring unique settings beyond the white cubed gallery, Dawn Ng’s installation in neon lights, for example was located at rooftop bar Loof.
© Nguyen Oanh Phi Phi
Just when you thought that a packed week of art was enough for the year, the Singapore Art Fair announced its debut this coming November. With promises of over 80 galleries and 20 individual shows, we would never say no to more art.
Singapore Biennal 2013
Date: October 26th, 2013 – February 16th, 2014
Place: Marina Bay Sands
Art Stage Singapore
Date: January 16th -19th, 2014
Place: Various Locations
Text: Fann ZJ