What Else Is Happening During Singapore Ark Week?
As the country gears up for Art Stage from the 12th to the 15th and Singapore Contemporary from the 20th to the 22nd in January next year, SingArt highlights a selection of additional exhibitions kicking Singapore Art Week 2017 off with a BANG from the very 1st day of the New Year.
Exhibition: Poised for Success
Artist: Zhang Fuming
Where: AC43 Gallery, 231 Bain Street, #03-39 Bras Basah Complex, Singapore 180231
When: Till 8 January 2017
Having developed an appreciation for woodcut during his college days as a printmaking major in LaSalle College of the Arts, emerging artist Zhang Fuming taps on the simplicity and power of the medium to convey socio-realistic observations on the pressures shaping the future of a child finding his place within Singapore’s success-driven society.
Possibly the only printmaker of his generation whose unique woodcut print-making techniques bear close resemblance to the works of German expressionistic printmaker Kathe Kollwitz, whose bold utilization of blacks and whites captured 20th century social conditions, Zhang continues to cast illuminating glimpses into subjects situated within the most ordinary of routines and conventions, like playtime; granting his seemingly placid observations an ironic distance through which social commentary may be underlined.
Through his immersive black-white engaged large wood carved prints Zhang thus heightens the stark emotional quality of his images; generating narratives with a sense of weight and melancholy.
Exhibition: Collector Spotlight – 2017
Artists: Aaron Kinnane & iconic Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists
Where: ReDot Fine Art Gallery, 140 Hill Street, #01-08, Singapore 179369
When: 2 January to 4 February 2017
Engaging with painting in its purest form to crystalize his effervescent vision of the natural world, Aaron Kinnane’s works display visceral layers of paint forming sublime and atmospheric landscapes that are at once sullen and savage, bleak and beautiful, heavy and desolate, and hence wildly alive.
In addition to Kinnane’s 12 oil paintings is a rotating salon hang of over 30 additional works by some of Australia’s most accomplished and renowned artistic talents, like Indigenous Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Naata Nungurrayi, Wingu Tinguma and Harry Tjutjuna; heralding a merging of opposing Australian art forms, and opening up a dialogue about the interconnectivity of modern Australia and its more fragile Indigenous heritage via the usage of mediums ranging from acrylic and oil on canvas, wooden artefacts, bronze and steel sculptures, and even reclaimed environmental materials – all blending harmoniously into one collector’s paradise.
Exhibition: We Are The World – These Are Our Stories
Artist: Amanda Heng
Where: STPI, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238236
When: 7 January to 25 February 2017
A highly unique presentation of a single work comprising 12 personal stories of 12 individuals, performance artist Amanda Heng applies her collaborative and process-driven approach to printing and papermaking techniques in her “We Are the World – These Are Our Stories”, pushing for the very first time the STPI technical team to create art beyond their Creative Workshop space.
Beginning with Heng’s iconic performance piece, “Let’s Chat”, where she engages 12 ordinary men and women from all walks of life in conversation about their individual chosen treasured object or heirloom while cleaning beansprouts together, she draws out values central to each person to become the foundation of their individual stories, after innovatively weaving QR codes into each by originally including digital mediums into her works, and thus propelling the STPI Creative Workshop team to extend the territory of collaboration to communities.
Thus bringing communication from the artist to the public to another level – a ground breaking chef-d’œuvre that highlights social issues, especially vanishing values and the disintegration of the social fabric in the face of modernity to bring about social change.
Exhibition: Greetings from Singapore
Artist: Samantha Lo
Where: One East Asia Gallery ,15 Scotts Road, #09-03 Thong Teck Building, Singapore 228218
When: 10 to 31 January 2017
Perhaps best known by her moniker ‘Sticker Lady’, installation artist Samantha Lo subtly interrupts Singapore’s ordered and practical daily routines through her witty and gently subversive placement of stickers on the city’s pedestrian crossings, bins and CCTV cameras.
“Greetings from Singapore” features photographs of her interventions past and present, providing tangible and permanent documentation of her practice, along with the launch of her book bearing the same title.
Artists: Tan Ngiap Heng
Where: The Substation Box Office, 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936
When: 6 to 24 January 2017
Opening Performance: Fire《野火》
Artist: Lim Chin Huat
Where: The Substation Theatre
When: 6 January 2017, 8PM
Weaving together live plants and multimedia projection into an eco-installation, photographer Tan Ngiap Heng and multi-disciplinary dance artist Lim Chin Huat base “Soil” on the Chinese mythology of 夸父追日 (Kua Fu Zhui Ri), which alludes to The Substation as fertile ground for the growth of artists, including the personal artistic journeys of both artists.
Transforming the box office into a lush grotto of wild plants accompanied with multimedia projections of the folklore, the work tells the story of a giant who nobly dies after saving his village from the scorching sun; his body altruistically in turn becoming a source from which new life springs.
Exhibition: Intersection: Poetry and Visual Art
Artists: Nicola Anthony & Marc Nair
Where: Intersections Art Gallery, 34 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198892
When: Part 1: 11 January to 28 February 2017 & Part 2: 22 February to 5 March 2017
Singapore-based British artist Nicola Anthony and Singaporean poet, spoken word performer and photographer Marc Nair’s “Intersection” is an artistic map exploring geographies, names, stories and memories in Singapore, London and Yangon, as well as an artist book reflecting their exhibition.
Encompassing layered ink drawings on calligraphy paper and installations, the other installation “Observatory” is part of the show by being first displayed at Singapore Contemporary 2017’s 3-day event before returning to Intersections Art Gallery for Part 2 of the exhibition.
Exhibition: Gutai Spirit
Artists: Chiyu Uemae, Kazuo Shiraga & Yozo Ukita
Where: Kato Art Duo, 328 North Bridge Road, #01-26 Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore 188719
When: 4 to 15 January 2017
With the word amalgamated from the kanji ‘gu’, meaning tool, with ‘tai’, denoting body, birthing the resultant connotation ‘concreteness’, Gutai is the first postwar artistic group founded in 1954 by painter Jiro Yoshihara in Osaka, Japan in response to the reactionary artistic rejection of traditional art styles in the context of the time.
The influential group was involved in large-scale multimedia environments, performances and theatrical events; emphasizing the relationship between body and matter in pursuit of freedom of expression and originality, with Gutai artists expanding the definition of painting through novel techniques and methods of innovatively using the body in direct action with new materials, time, space and technology.
Exhibition: Reconfiguring Portraiture
Artist: Erizal As
Where: Gajah Gallery, 39 Keppel Road, #03-04, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065
When: Till 2 January 2017
A few years ago, Erizal As’s fascination with the role the musical conductor plays in an orchestra in relation to his innate charisma and overt influence developed this emerging Indonesian artist’s intrigue with societal leaders’ appearances; especially with the frequently revealed disparity between their proclaimed and demonstrated personas.
“As political subjects, we are not familiar with their true substance – their true face,” As shares.
Creating a highly-charged distorted yet introspective view of the contemporary figure, As has no visual expectation of the final result; never feeling the need to sketch before he paints, letting every improvisation happen directly, unexpectedly, impulsively and sensitively on the canvas to heightened energetic states of the symbolic function of the traditional portrait in his “Faceless” series.
Exhibition: A Totem For Your Genuine Internals
Artist: Ruben Pang
Where: Chan Hampe Galleries, 328 North Bridge Road, Unit 01/21 Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore 188719
When: 10 January to 9 February 2017
Given a blank canvas at a space at Raffles Hotel Arcade to step into the unknown, Singaporean artist Ruben Pang delivers his vibrant and ethereal oeuvre; combining fluid technique with a kaleidoscopic palette.
Without a preconceived image of the final composition as well, Pang’s artistic practice evolves throughout the painting process of scratching and erasing on aluminium panels with brushes, hands, palette knives and sandpaper to remove the boundary between abstraction and representation while revealing layers of colour reflecting his projected psyche; allowing dynamic imagery that tests the boundaries of colour, form and transparency to surface as spontaneously as “visual syncopation, like searching for a melody in white noise”.
Exhibition: The Photograph as Atlas
Artists: Ang Song Nian & Robert Zhao Renhui
Where: DECK, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937
When: Till 26th January 2017
Looking at photography’s concurrently objective and subjective role as a mirror of history, Singaporeans Ang Song Nian and Robert Zhao Renhui’s “The Photograph as Atlas” explores the navigation and creation of history through photos, and how their service as a record of history may also be manipulated and navigated in new ways not in the least faithful to the photographer’s original intent.
Revisiting his personal discomfort and unease when visibility was savagely reduced by severe air pollution significantly contributed by frequent Indonesian forest fires, Ang’s “Hanging Heavy on My Eyes” is based on his collection of average recordings of particulate matter 2.5 data to showcase man’s continual control, intervention and manipulation of the natural and man-made environments to selfishly service his narrow-minded agenda.
Providing an overarching view of Singapore’s relationship with its natural landscape from his own collection of archival materials dating back 100 years to images from the present day, Zhao’s “The Natural History of an Island” results from his use of a self-made mobile expedition vehicle during his explorations to maps out ‘natural’ spaces under stress in Singapore as well; uncovering historical narratives of the various ways our needs and desires of what nature should be have altered the tropical isle’s landscape.
Exhibition: Solid Prayers
Artist: Chun Kai Qun
Where: Fots Gallery, 1 Lock Road, #01-02, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108932
When: 10 January to 19 February 2017
Just as prayers are predicated on desires, dreams, hopes, as well as taking the form of words and deeds, Chun Kai Qun’s art objects are imbibed by the desire to remake his world as he believes that man has always projected his identities onto objects, thereby creating a permanent essence of substance and dwelling within a material thing.
And just as the enduring materiality of objects can sometimes outlive the creator and is able to procure a sense of existence beyond the mortality of the physical body, Chun, as the quintessential object maker, thus transforms a spiritual invocation into a solid form, and possibly extending his prayers well into the afterlife.
Photo and information credits: The respective galleries.