SINGAPORE: Keen to spend the whole weekend checking out some great art? You’re in luck.
While National Gallery Singapore’s double-whammy Century Of Light showcase on 19th century art takes centre stage, audiences can check out more than just its shows on Impressionists and Southeast Asian masters.
If you’re already done with these – or looking for some alternatives – there are two other group shows and one familiar annual fair, which have all just opened, to check out.
1. PIXEL ART AND MORE AT SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM
Its main building might be closed for renovation, but the Singapore Art Museum’s 8Q wing continues to present interesting work. Its current exhibition is about as far as you can get from the Impressionists but if you like your art on video screens, Cinerama: Art And The Moving Image In Southeast Asia should be on your checklist.
The show comprises works by 10 contemporary artists and collectives from the region, kicking off with Indonesian artist oomleo’s quirky pixel video and sticker installation Maze Out at the entrance (which comes with an equally jaunty soundtrack reminiscent of 8-bit video games).
Other works include a stop-motion music video made with beads and buttons by fellow Indonesians Tromarama; Filipino artist Victor Balanon’s film history crash course video using techniques such as time lapse and hyperlapse; and Vietnam’s The Propeller Group’s installation AK-47 vs M16, which comprises a block of ballistics gel they used to shoot bullets into – and a hypnotic slow motion video of the impact it makes.
The show also includes works by three Singaporean artists, including Venice Biennale hotshot Ming Wong’s trademark roleplaying on display in Making Chinatown, an installation that features him performing all the main roles from Roman Polanski’s classic 1974 movie.
There might be only 11 works to see here, but as with all video art, it pays to linger.
Cinerama runs until March 18, 2018 at SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street. More details here.
2. MARINA ABRAMOVIC, GILBERT & GEORGE AT PARKVIEW MUSEUM
After launching with a sharks-themed exhibition earlier this year, the new Parkview Museum at Singapore’s own “Gotham building” is all set to give other museums in town a run for their money, beginning with its very impressive second show.
The Artist’s Voice features 36 artworks from artists that include acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramovic, pioneer video artist Bill Viola, and art duo Gilbert & George. The former is represented by two awe-inspiring photographs: Pieta and Balkan Baroque, a chilling image of the Serbian artist cleaning a mound of cow bones as a commentary on the tragic civil war that ravaged the Balkans in the 1990s.
Many of the artists may be unfamiliar to most Singaporeans but the quality of the art is undeniable, ranging from video to sculpture to paintings, which touch on myths, religion, history, and pertinent social issues. According to the museum’s artistic director, Lorand Hegyi, The Artist’s Voice will be the first in a series of thematic exhibitions that will re-look different narratives in contemporary art.
It also doesn’t hurt that the museum’s cavernous space is the kind most art galleries (and museums) would die to have. Oh, and admission is free, too.
The Artist’s Voice runs until March 18, 2018 at the Parkview Museum, 600 North Bridge Road. More details here.
3. SEE AND BUY AT AFFORDABLE ART FAIR
It’s already a fixture on Singapore’s art calendar so there’s probably nothing you didn’t already know about Affordable Art Fair (AAF) – except that starting next year, the biannual fair will revert to its original annual format. So if you’re still on the fence about buying a painting for your home, you might want to check it out this weekend or wait a while.
This year features 70 galleries, with 75 per cent of the works priced under S$7,500 (and if you’ve got a keen enough eye, there are some that go for as low as S$100).
Perhaps the most “wholistic” artistic experience among the three, AAF has its own F&B areas and a children’s art studio for the young ones. Its regular Young Talent Programme section has proven to be a place to catch some up-and-coming artists, with alumni including the likes of Luke Heng, Hilmi Johandi, Alecia Neo, among many others. (This year’s works include some wearable art and huge molar pieces made of marble.)
While it might not be the place to see really experimental works, there’s an interesting section called Catarart, which features artists using a VR headset to create works while mimicking the condition of having cataracts. Proceeds from sales for these go to the John Fawcett Foundation, the fair’s charity partner this year.
Other works in the spotlight this year are London-based Chloe Manasseh’s new media installation, and a couple of murals by Singapore-based street artist Didier “Jaba” Matthieu, whose works you might have seen around Haji Lane.
Affordable Art Fair runs until Nov 19 at F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard. More details here.