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Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

‘A Red Carpet’ for Singapore’s Digital Nights Showcase, courtesy artist Tom Carr

Posted by artradar on September 7, 2010


DIGITAL ART SINGAPORE PUBLIC ART

Racing fever hits Singapore as the city prepares to host the Singapore Grand Prix from 17 to 26 September. And with the expectant influx of tourists, preparations are in full swing for the Digital Nights Showcase (DNS). The festival entails interactive new and digital artworks that will be displayed simultaneously with the Grand Prix for ten nights, allowing locals and tourists to enjoy works by internationally acclaimed European artists.

The DNS will feature at the Singapore Arts Museum and Orchard Road, Singapore’s high fashion street and as part of this, artist Tom Carr is getting ready to present his work for the first time in Asia. DNS Project Manager, Frederic Chambon says of the festival,

“Digital Nights will present some of the best works of world-renowned French and European artists in the digital arts field. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds will be able to interact with the artworks, designed to envelop the senses through stimulating visual and digital technology.”

A preparatory drawing for Tom Carr's 'A Red Carpet for Orchard Road' (detail).

A preparatory drawing for Tom Carr's 'A Red Carpet for Orchard Road' (detail). Image courtesy of the artist.

Tom Carr, one of a handful of contemporary European artists chosen to present at the DNS, will be showing A Red Carpet for Orchard Road. The artwork projects a red carpet onto the street, inviting everyone to walk on the digital projection for their moment of VIP experience. Unlike a real red carpet, the projections will not be static. Carr’s audience can play with shadows and lights, and become a part of the installation by moving around with the projection. A euphemism for celebrityhood, A Red Carpet invokes celebrity notions of beauty and fame; the location of Carr’s enterprise, Orchard Road, is also Singapore’s go-to street for celebrity fashion.

Carrʼs light projections have been shown at museums such as the Musée dʼArt Moderne de Céret in France, the Science Museum in Barcelona, Spain and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. Carr lives and works in Sant Quirze del Valles, Spain. The dual concepts of space and time appear often in his works – most so with his famous installation for the Miro Foundation. His first project in Singapore is being facilitated by Bartha & Senarclens, Partners. Frederic de Senarclens from this firm says,

We are very excited to introduce a work of art by Tom Carr to the Singapore public. Public accessibility of new media and digital art in Singapore has increased tremendously in recent years, a demonstration of the governmentʼs recognition of the long-term implications of enhanced urban living through exposure to art and culture.

Digital Nights is being held from 17-26 September, 2010 in Singapore.
AM/KN/HH
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Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Electronic art, European, Festival, Installation, Interactive art, Laser, Light, Museum shows, New Media, Open air, Participatory, Public art, Singapore | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

National Art Gallery Singapore pays homage to 1970s leading artist Yeh Chi Wei in a retrospective

Posted by artradar on July 14, 2010


NATIONAL MUSEUM ART RETROSPECTIVE SINGAPORE

The Story of Yeh Chi Wei” at the National Art Gallery, Singapore celebrates the life and times of pioneering artist Yeh Chi Wei, a critical current in the shaping of a unique Southeast Asian style of painting in the 1960s and 70s.

Born and educated in China, Yeh became a well-known artist and educator in Singapore. He is most remembered for his role as the leader of the influential Ten Men group – a group of artists and art educators that would later take on the form of the seminal Southeast Asian Art Association.

Credited with defining the course of the Singapore arts scene in the early days of the 1960s and 70s, Yeh became famous with his unique style that drew from his interests in Chinese woodblock print, Han dynasty carvings, decorations on bronze vessels and oracle and stone drum inscriptions. In his paintings,varied Southeast Asian painting traditions achieve an unlikely unity, evoking a monumentality in both figurative and non-figurative works.

Drummer by Yeh Chi Wei. 1963

Yeh Chi Wei, 'Drummer', 1963.

Yeh took influence from his travels across the Southeast Asian subcontinent with the Ten Men group. Imbibing local painting styles, flavors and colors, Yeh’s works move from representational to an investment in abstraction during his career as an artist.

Boats in Bali by Yeh Chi Wei. 1962

Yeh Chi Wei, 'Boats in Bali', 1962.

In the heyday of Yeh’s popularity as an artist, educator and part of the Ten Men group, Yeh moved to a village in Malaysia where his career took a downward turn. A lot of his works never made it out of Malaysia and the artist fell into obscurity. In an article in The New York Times, Southeast Asian curator Ong Zhen Min said,

It was not until we delved into the archives that we realized how interesting and innovative this artist was, and understood the uniqueness of his art. Most of his paintings were in his Malaysian studio and were not widely circulated beyond that point, so his name faded into obscurity. We hope this exhibition would be able to reintroduce audiences to his art works.

A lot of Yeh’s work stands out for its choice of palette. Of the artist’s unique selection and application of color, Ms Ong says,

Yeh was probably one of the most daring artists of his generation in his use of black. Most artists use black to highlight things, but he actually used black and its different shades as a color. From a distance, it almost looks like a cave drawing, which I think is an effect he was trying to achieve.

Drummer by Yeh Chi Wei. 1970

Yeh Chi Wei, 'Drummer', 1970.

Yeh taught art for 22 years at different schools around Singapore and Malaya and passed away in 1981. This exhibition is the first survey show since his passing, and is an overview of his artistic career and his contribu­tions to the Singapore art scene.

The Story of Yeh Chi Wei” is on at the National Art Gallery, Singapore until 12 September, 2010.

AM/KN

Related Topics: Singaporean artists, museum showsgroups and movements

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Posted in Chinese, Events, Groups and Movements, Museum shows, Painting, Singapore, Singaporean, Southeast Asian, Venues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pop culture references abound in Indonesian art: curator Eva McGovern discusses Indieguerillas’ Happy Victims and the Southeast Asian art climate

Posted by artradar on June 23, 2010


INDONESIAN CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY EXHIBITION

Indieguerillas is made up of Indonesian husband-and-wife duo Miko Bawono and Santi Ariestyowanti, whose artistic skills stem from roots in the design industry. Known for their smooth blending of pop culture aesthetics, subtle social commentary and use of traditional Javanese folklore elements, Indieguerillas presented “Happy Victims“, their latest solo exhibition, at Valentine Willie Fine Art Singapore.

The title “Happy Victims” reflects the fact that consumers have willingly but unconsciously become dominated by capitalist spending customs – people no longer spend only for pure necessity, but now spend to gain symbols of status and success. Touching on this popular subject, Indieguerillas’ renderings are colourful and uplifting. A good sense of humour and playful attitude draw the viewer in to investigate the relationships between various elements in their works: sneakers, Mao’s headshot, Astro Boy, Colonel Sanders, Javanese folklore characters.

All Hail the Choreographer, acrylic on wood, 2010. Courtesy of artists and Valentine Willie Fine Art

All Hail the Choreographer, acrylic on wood, 2010. Courtesy of artists and Valentine Willie Fine Art.

The Southeast Asian art scene is both fascinating and difficult, elements which are highlighted in “Happy Victims” and can be attributed to the area’s diversity and rich cultural history. Art Radar Asia spoke with Eva McGovern, the exhibition’s curator, to talk about Indieguerillas, the show, Southeast Asian art, and her experiences working in the region.

Can you describe the process of curating Indieguerillas’ “Happy Victims”? How did you generate the idea?

As it is a solo show by Indieguerillas, the central idea of “happy victims of the capitalism and the material world” was generated by the artists themselves. The curator provides the support structure. One of my personal interests is in urban and youth culture and street style, so I got to know the two artists about 18 months ago and visited their studio. We discussed their idea together, taking inspirations from urban culture.

What’s unique about the Miko Bawono and Santi Ariestyowanti working as a duo?

Miko and Santi have worked together since 1999 and formed Indieguerillas professionally in 2002. The husband-and-wife team usually conceptualise together for the overall big picture. Then, Miko usually makes the initial design and outlines the images while Santi creates the details. They share similar interests in urban and youth culture, which is a big part of their lives. Their works are the visual output of how they live their lives basically.

What’s the unique quality of Indieguerillas’ works compared to other contemporary Indonesian art? Is it their use of youth culture?

It is actually very popular in contemporary Indonesian art creation to incorporate urban culture elements. For example, there is a huge mural tradition in Yogyakarta [which is] common and well celebrated. Younger artists are very interested in this dimension and Indonesia is a very playful place. So lots of humour [and] social comedies can be seen in contemporary Indonesian art.

There are two striking things about Indieguerillas: first, the fact that they work as a husband-and-wife team; second, their proficient experimentation with multiple medium – paintings, installation, design, etc. They benefit from their position as designers by training. Graphic design influences the way they construct their works where there is a considerable amount of experimental energy. They do some commercial work as well, and operate between the two worlds – fine art and commercial art.

Hunter-Gatherer Society III  Javanicus Sk8erensis-Hi, mixed media, 2010. Courtesy of artists and Valentine Willie Fine Art

Hunter-Gatherer Society III Javanicus Sk8erensis-Hi, mixed media, 2010. Courtesy of artists and Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Can you elaborate more on the overlapping between fine art and design manifested in their works?

While design has an imbedded sense of usefulness and fine art is not about being useful, the line between fine art and design is a very flexible one. Indieguerillas do make merchandise and T-shirts, and customised sneakers. In terms of the show [“Happy Victim”], objects are fine art. It can be a bit dangerous trying to block down Indieguerillas in any camp. In this post-modern world, anything goes really.

Design is more acceptable in a way because it can reflect the pop culture we are in. People enjoy looking at design objects, which implies that power comes with an entertaining medium, so artists can convey their messages more effectively. Indieguerillas are not making political comments but simply observations, incorporating Javanese folklore. It is about how things meet and collide together. Even if no one gets the message behind, the beautiful design with its youth finish is pleasing to look at; viewers can just get a sense of enjoyment when looking at the execution of their works. Their works become a bit more sinister as you spend more time looking at it.

By lifting and restyling the Javanese folklore and wayang (shadow puppetry) and mixing them with comical and urban objects such as briefcase and sneakers, Indieguerillas display their sense of cultural pride while connecting with the younger audience.

Across contemporary Indonesian art, is it common that the traditional elements are reinvented to adapt to the new context?

The trauma of political events is still very resonating to people. Traditional culture is still very influential and you can never really escape it. The younger generation of Indonesian artists are more focused on asking themselves about their identities: what it means to be “Indonesian”, what it means to live in the 21st century…. They try to deal with these issues in an open-ended playful way. Indonesian art has many discourses around these issues, supported by solid academic writings.

The Marionette Faithful, Screen printing on teakwood, aluminum plate & digital printing on acrylic sheet, 2010, Courtesy of artists and VWFA

The Marionette Faithful, screen printing on teakwood, aluminum plate and digital printing on acrylic sheet, 2010. Courtesy of artists and Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Can you share with us your views on the art scene in Southeast Asia and any regional differences you noticed, in particular, between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore?

It can be troublesome when trying to discuss generally and authoritatively such a complex region [as] Southeast Asia. If I were to make some observations, I would say:

Indonesia:

It is much bigger and has many more artists producing a huge volume of interesting art. There are many more art centres in the country too: Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta. The nature of the communities in the country is very creative and art is well integrated into daily life. Art and creativity is celebrated here.

There is stronger international funding compared to Malaysia and the country’s link to Holland is still very productive in terms of arts funding, cross cultural dialogues, residencies and exhibitions. Overall, Indonesian artists have more confidence about being “artists”.

Malaysia:

Having gained its independence in 1957, the country is much influenced by being more multi-racial. Malaysia has a challenging funding structure for the art, because it is not appreciated or valued as much. Institutionally, the country does not have an intellectual voice guiding or analyzing contemporary art. There are not enough curators and writers. Commercial galleries are leading the way of what kind of art is being bought and seen.

Since the 1990s, artists turned their preoccupation to social commentary and released their frustration in their works. There are several camps of artists: market-friendly traditionalists who are locally inspired and interested in abstract expressionist and realist painting, and the more international groups doing conceptual, performative and installation based work.

Singapore:

There are a lot less artists but the funding stream is well established. The country has a set of well integrated resources, such as biennales and art fairs. It is facing a top-heavy situation: it has an internationally influenced strategy on top, while due to the strict censorship, art creation is much more challenging in terms of producing politically critical work.

What is often seen is some beautifully crafted installation [work] and engagement with international critical theory and conceptual practive. Artists could be more provocative in terms of social commentary, but they are unable or don’t want to do so in this slick and modern, and financially stable, country.

Can you share with us your personal experiences working in the region? How did you first start working in Malaysia?

I came to Malaysia in 2008. Prior to that, I worked in London at a major gallery for four years. I am half English, half Malaysian. Before coming back, I got interested in the burgeoning Southeast Asian art scene and was getting a sense of what is going on. In London, a lot of my time was devoted to facilitating other people’s programmes and I did not have time to research on topics I was interested in.

After I came back, I started writing for a lot of magazines, so I forced myself to think critically. Then I started to teach Malaysian art history in Singapore. I was invited to be part of a group curatorial show on Southeast Asian in February 2009 in Hong Kong. I also work as the Managing Editor of Arteri, an arts blog that looks at Malaysian and  Southeast Asian art. I was accepting a lot of opportunities coming my way in order to figure out what my true interests were. I will be joining Valentine Willie Fine Art to become their regional curator soon.

Back here, hierarchy is not as tight as in London or the US. One is able to connect with the artists and make tangible contributions. Unlike being a small fish in a huge over saturated pond, I feel I am part of a growing changing scene. I find it very inspiring and rewarding to work with people with shared experiences, who are committed to doing something great.

SXB/KN

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Is Singapore threatening Hong Kong as next Asian art mecca? Wall Street Journal

Posted by artradar on November 17, 2009


SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG’S COMPETING ART MARKET

Singapore’s art scene has grown rapidly since its 1989 government mandate to recognize the “importance of culture and the art.” Thriving to a point that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong–Asia’s epicenter of art–is beginning to take its competitor seriously.

Hong Kong’s challenging art scene

Today’s numbers would suggest that Hong Kong has nothing to worry about for competition.  Hong Kong is currently the third-largest auction market in the world with both Christie’s and Sotheby’s in its territory, and has set aside close to US$3 billion in order to create a much needed world class arts and culture development known as West Kowloon Cultural District. The project, however, has been slow to start and left many frustrated.

“The Hong Kong government first hit upon the idea in 1998 of building an integrated arts and culture neighborhood on 40 hectares of reclaimed land in the West Kowloon district. After many fits and starts, planning for the project recently picked up some momentum…Nevertheless, even if it all goes as planned, the first phase won’t be open until 2016.”

West Kowloon

One of the proposed models for the West Kowoon Cultural Centre

The West Kowloon project has been “frustrating and painful,” says Asia Art Archive’s Ms. Hsu, who is also on the advisory panel for the museum at the new West Kowloon development. “For the public it has looked like the government is stalling, but it gives me a lot of hope. The government is very concerned about getting it right.’”

Singapore makes its move

The time spent behind making Hong Kong’s “necessary cultural move” may eventually result in Singapore gaining ground in the market by the country’s pushing ahead with so many art-hub projects of their own.

“It [Singapore] invested more than US$1 billion in infrastructure, including several museums and a 4,000-seat complex of theaters, studios and concert halls called the Esplanade, which opened in 2002, and spiced up its arts programming with diversity and a regional flavor.”

singapore esplanade

The Esplanade, Singapore

The benefits of Singapore’s art initiatives are already apparent. According to Singapore’s National Arts Council “between 1997 and 2007, the ‘vibrancy’ of the local art scene, measured by the number of performances and exhibition days, quadruped to more than 26,000.”

However, Singapore is still missing a key ingredient to perhaps prosper further: a big art-auction market like Hong Kong’s.

“Some smaller art-auction houses hold sales in Singapore, but the big ones — Christie’s and Sotheby’s — have pulled out and moved their Southeast Asian art auctions to Hong Kong, the former British colony that is home to seven million people and became a Chinese territory in 1997.”

For a city, having the ingredients for a thriving art market creates a virtuous circle. The powerful marketing machines of the big auction houses, including public previews of coming sales, raises awareness and appreciation of art in the community. All this encourages local artists to create more art. And that momentum, in turn, contributes to the development of a city’s broader cultural scene, including music, theater and design.”

Singapore looks ahead

The relationship between big art-auction markets and a thriving art scene can be so entangled that it would appear difficult to navigate a new course in order to adequately compete. Singapore, it seems, is trying anyways.

“Undaunted, Singapore is diligently pushing ahead and has opened several museums and other arts venues while Hong Kong has dithered on the construction of West Kowloon. Christie’s also recently picked Singapore to be the site of a global fine-arts storage facility to open in a duty-free zone in January.”

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Posted in Advisors, Auctions, Biennials, Business of art, China, Chinese, Collectors, Fairs, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Market watch, Shanghai, Singapore, Singaporean, Southeast Asian, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Singapore Museum Guide

Posted by artradar on November 11, 2009


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO SINGAPORE’S CULTURAL TREASURES

Singapore is home to a diverse offering of heritage attractions ranging from arts, history, culture, lifestyle, science, to healthcare. According to the Renaissance City Plan III developed by the National Heritage Board, as of 2007 there are 52 museums located in Singapore including both private and public institutions. The focus of this guide will center on the public arts related museums including the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and its extension gallery 8Q, the National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, NUS Museum, Peranakan Museum, and Red Dot Design Museum.

Singapore Art Museum (SAM): opened in 1996, with the  mission to preserve and present the art histories and  contemporary art practices of  Singapore and the Southeast  Asian region. SAM has amassed the largest public collection of  modern and contemporary Southeast Asian  artworks comprising of over 7,000 artworks from mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, print, and photography.

8Q_buliding

8Q hosted the highly publicized "Masriadi: Black is My Last Weapon" exhibition in August 2008.

8Q at SAM: is an extension gallery to the main museum space showcases fresh, multi-disciplinary, interactive and community oriented programming by living artists. 8Q aims to offer visitors a diverse sampling of contemporary art practices ranging from painting and sculpture, to installation, film and video, new media, performance art and sound art.

National Museum of Singapore: Housed in its current location since 2006, the National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum. Designed to be the people’s museum, the National Museum is a custodian of the 11 National Treasures, and its Singapore History and Living Galleries adopt cutting-edge and varied ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience.

Christian Lacroix 10

The National Museum of Singapore hosted "Christian Lacroix the costumier" exhibition in March 2009.

Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM): is the first  museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated  perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations.  Spread over 11 galleries and three levels, ACM presents  the story of Asia showcased in themed galleries  (Singapore River, Southeast Asia, West Asia, China, and  South Asia). Virtual hosts, in-gallery videos and  interactive ExplorAsian zones are incorporated in the  galleries as guideposts which help visitors learn more  about the multi-faceted aspects of Asian cultures.

NUS Museum: The National University of Singapore established the museum in 1997 to create an enriching experience of the social history and the art of Asia to NUS and the nation. The museum hold three separate permanent collections (Lee Kong Chian Collection, Ng Eng Teng Collection, and South & Southeast Asian Collection) as well as hosts special exhibitions like “Mapping the Corporeal: Ronald Ventura” exhibition in September 2008 and “Jendela – A Play of the Ordinary” in February 2009.

abtmuseum

The Peranakan Museum

Peranakan Museum: explores the culture of Peranakan communities in the former Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang and their links with other communities in Southeast Asia. Three floors of permanent galleries illustrate important rituals, practices and the material culture of the Peranakans, as well as how this unique fusion culture is viewed today.

The museum’s mission is to explore and present the cultures and civilisations of Asia, so as to promote awareness and appreciation of the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans and their links to Southeast Asia and the world.

red-dot-design-museum-singapore

Red Dot Design Museum

Red Dot Museum: The museum engages, excites and inspires its  visitors with interactive installations and interesting exhibitions on  design. It is the focal point of design and creative activities such as  design conferences, exhibitions and parties.

 

Progressively, these efforts will transform Singapore into a global city of arts and culture. Indeed, the world is noticing– media articles and analyst reports are describing how vibrant Singapore has become, and what an attractive place it is to live in….more importantly, it will provide Singaporeans with a rich cultural life, nurture the sense of pride in our heritage and history, and strengthen our identity as a nation.

~ Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the Official Opening of the New Peranakan Museum on 25 April 2008

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Posted in Art districts, Museum collectors, Museum shows, Museums, Profiles, Resources, Singapore, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Singapore Tyler Print Institute – international art collaboration at world-class print studio – profile

Posted by artradar on November 4, 2009


CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART ORGANIZATIONS

STPI

Metal Bull Year I, by Chang Fee Ming at STPI. Watercolor, acrylic, etching, gold leaf, on STPI handmade paper. 77 x 62 cm.

Art Radar remains devoted to sharing important and unique Asian arts institutions with readers, and few are as exciting as the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. Regular art fair goers may already be familiar with the institute, which is a fixture at many Asian art events. STPI is based (you guessed it) in Singapore, and stands alone in all of Asia as the only fully-equipped, artist’s printmaking and papermaking workshop. It was established in 2002 under the guidance of the American master printer Kenneth Tyler with support from the Singaporean government, and is a non-profit organization specializing in the publishing and dealing of fine art prints and remains dedicated to collaborating with extraordinary international artists. STPI boasts the foremost print and paper making facilities in the world for all the major printing techniques- lithography, intaglio, relief, and silkscreen printing, and continually attracts some of the most respected working artists to its studio.

Visiting Artists Program

One of the more interesting aspects of this organization is its Visiting Artists Programme, which offers residencies to 6 exceptional international artists each year, lasting 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, artists live on the premises in fully furnished apartments and can freely experiment with different print and papermaking techniques while enjoying unbridled creative freedom. This dynamic environment has produced a wide range of works, including ‘paper pulp’ paintings, paper assemblage, and mixed media pieces. At the end of the residency, each visiting artist’s new works are curated and shown in a solo exhibition at the STPI gallery.

Participating Visiting Artists

STPI strives for diversity in its range of visiting artists, and has hosted artists from the United States, China, France, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. Renowned artists, including Donald Sultan, Ashley Bickerton, Zhu Wei, Atul Dodiya, Lin Tian Miao, and Chun Kwang Young have particpated in this Visiting Artists Programme.

Artists who have or are currently participating in the residency program in 2009 include:

Agus Suwage (Indonesia)   Tabiamo (Japan)   Chang Fee Ming (Malaysia)   Thukral & Tagra (India)
Trenton Doyle Hancock (USA)   Guan Wei (China/Australia)

State-of-the-art Facilities

The STPI 4,000m2 facility is also extraordinary, featuring a modern printmaking workshop, a paper mill, an art gallery, an artist’s studio, and 2 fully furnished artists’ apartments. Many of the printing presses are customized to print on large format papers, and were designed and customized personally by Ken Tyler.

Collaboration with New York’s Asia Society

STPI participates in special projects each year in addition to its main programming. The most notable of these ‘special projects’ was a rare collaboration of New York’s Asia Society and STPI in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Asia Society. The effort produced  ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’, a limited edition portfolio of nine prints by respected Asian artists working in Asia, the United States, and Europe. This portfolio of works, curated by the Asia Society’s Museum Director and Curator Melissa Chui, was the first of its kind published by the Asia Society.

Artists featured in ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’ include:

Nilima Sheikh (India), Lin Tian Miao (China),  Amanda Heng ( Singapore), Wong Hoy Cheong (Malaysia), Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand), Wilson Shieh (Hong Kong), Michael Lin (Taiwan),  Jiha Moon (Korea), Yuken Teruya (Japan), and Xu Bing (China).

Regarding the selection of artists, Melissa Chui comments:

“I wanted a selection of leading artists from across Asia as a representation of what’s happening today in contemporary Asian art.”

Other Services: Education, Art Collection Management, Studio Rental, Contract Publishing

In addition to hosting international leading artists and publishing their artworks, the institute also enriches the Singaporean community with public art education programmes. Furthermore, the STPI curatorial team offers a collection management service for private art collectors, and will digitally archive a collection, provide reports on the value of the artworks, recommend how to best preserve the art, and source new works for a collection. The print studio and gallery are available for rent on a daily basis. Also, if a gallery or artist needs to publish a series of prints, this can be achieved by collaborating with STPI’s professional printmakers.

Art Radar is pleased to see an innovative organization fostering creative dialogue with the international community, and suggests readers keep their eyes open, because you will likely see the Singapore Tyler Print Institute at Asian art fairs!

EW/KCE

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Posted in Art spaces, Connecting Asia to itself, Melissa Chiu, Nonprofit, Profiles, Singapore, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New auction houses with new strategies open in Singapore art market

Posted by artradar on October 28, 2009


ASIAN ART MARKET TRENDS

Usually, to be a part of the bubbling Asian art market scene, buyers need to associate themselves with industry leaders Christie’s and Sotheby’s for lack of other options. In South East Asia, however, there’s a new way for collectors to discover their contemporary art. According to a recent article by the New York Times, a host of new and smaller auction houses—such as Borobudur, 33 Auction, and Larasati in Singapore—have successfully emerged to “fill in the gaps” of the market, which means they are opening their doors to a broader range of the market, from high-end collectors to first time buyers. So far, sales suggest this may be the right strategy to entice new buyers:

“Last week, sales by two auction houses in Singapore, Borobudur and 33 Auction, brought in a combined $10 million, with the larger sale, by Borobudur, easily beating its pre-sale estimate. Later this month another Singapore auctioneer, Larasati, will offer 160 lots of Asian modern and contemporary art with an estimated value of 2 million Singapore dollars, or $1.4 million.”

A.C. Andre Tananma, "Run Away" 2008. Part of Larasati's Asian Modern and Contemporary Art auction in Singapore on October 25th, 2009.

A.C. Andre Tananma, "Run Away" 2008. Part of Larasati's Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Auction, Singapore, 25 October 2009.

Many of the new auctions houses have developed as off springs from established galleries, such as 33 Auction (Singapore), Maestro Auction House (Jakarta, Singapore) and Kingsley Art Auction (Beijing), as a way of broadening their offerings to current clients, while also becoming accessible to new ones:

“Like everything else, the art market is not immune from the global recession and consequently sales at most galleries have been down for the past 12 months,” said Valentine Willie of Valentine Willie Fine Art, which has galleries in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and has in the past helped Borobudur curate its auctions. “Auctions may seem a good way of clearing gallery stock and they offer the possibility for collectors of bargain hunting, especially after the boom of two years ago.”New and smaller auction houses would naturally try to fill in the gaps with more adventurous offerings and lower entry price points because, “the industry leaders, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have a somewhat limited and conservative offering of Southeast Asian art,” Mr. Willie added.”

Some auction houses are targeting the middle class crowd in particular, a demographic rarely cornered by larger and more established auction houses like Christie’s or Sotheby’s. To entice the middle class market, Singapore’s Ziani Fine Art Auction House tactic was to award cash prizes, serve wine, and even offer whiskey tastings at their September 20 debut auction:

“‘When you launch a new business you need to attract new people,” said Frank Veyder, a banker and partner in Ziani, before the auction. “We are very conscious there is a risk that people might think it’s just a fly-by-night, gimmicky house, but we’re holding this auction in a five-star location and we’re offering quality art.

“The pieces are not of the level you would see at Christie’s or Sotheby’s, but we’re not trying to play in that space,” Mr. Veyder added. “Our marketing is targeting to a wider, middle-class crowd.”‘

Though it can be said that the competition between auction houses is good for business, there are some auctioneers that are concerned that the market may have a hard time absorbing everything on offer.  Daniel Komala, chief executive of Larasati Auctioneers, explains:

“‘The art market has bottomed out; in fact, it’s fair to say that it has picked up some speed of late,” Mr. Komala said. “Having said that, the real capacity to absorb, over all, especially in Singapore, is only going to increase by 20-30 percent maximum from its rock bottom level. So, it’s wishful thinking to expect that the market will double up in capacity compared to how it performed six months ago.”

Read more New York Times

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ARTSingapore 2009 Fair – new photography fair, high value sales and gallerists pick top fairs in Asia today

Posted by artradar on October 21, 2009


SINGAPORE CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 2009

It is the most established art fair in Asia, having just completed its ninth consecutive year running, and it is uniquely different from other leading fairs in the region. ARTSingapore, despite being a major international art event, feels smaller and much more manageable than other leading fairs. ARTSingapore keeps its intimate feel in spite of the presence of 36 major international galleries and arts centers (complete list here), and also offers 2 new treats this year, with a ‘New Finds’ section for emerging artists and also the inclusion of a separate space dedicated to the photographic arts.

Traditional Fruitmarket, by Richard Winkler, 2009. Oil on canvas. 150x200 cm.

Traditional Fruitmarket, by Richard Winkler, 2009. Oil on canvas. 150x200 cm.

‘New Finds’ section for emerging artists

This year’s addition of a ‘New Finds’ section offers new artists and young galleries the opportunity to show their work to the international community. Regarding the decision to include this new section, Fair Director Chen Shen Po says:

“We are keeping in mind the current economic recession in Singapore and hope that ‘New Finds’ will provide emerging artists with a platform to develop and establish their career in the arts industry.”

Brand Obama!, by Hughie Doherty, 2009. Mixed Media. 76x50 cm.

Brand Obama!, by Hughie Doherty, 2009. Mixed Media. 76x50 cm.

This year’s 12 featured ‘New Finds’ artists include:

Brian Adams [Singapore]     Chankerk [Singapore, presented by Fill-Your-Walls, Singapore]     Christiane Wyler [Singapore]
Donovan Phity [Indonesian, presented by Adoramus Art Gallery, Indonesia]       Hughie Doherty [Hong Kong]
Hwang Ouchul [Korea]     Jennifer Tan Doherty [Hong Kong]      Kim Ki Soo [Korea, presented by Simyo Gallery, Korea]
Ling Yang Chang [ Singapore, presented by Momentous Arts, Singapore]     Marga Duin [Netherlands]     Nupur Chaube [India]
Shin-Young Park [Korea, presented by AndrewShire Gallery, Singapore & USA]

Within ARTSingapore: AIPF 2009- first Asian photography fair

The other new feature at ARTSingapore this year is the Asia International Photography Fair 2009 (AIPF 2009) exhibition, which is housed together with ARTSingapore and displays the works of 12 independent international photographers. This year’s inception of the AIPF marks the first Asian art fair dedicated explicitly to contemporary photo-based artworks.  The AIPF 2009 exhibitors include:

Andre Ruesch [Santa Fe, NM, USA]     Chris Enos [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Henry Aeagoncillo [Santa Fe, NM, USA]
Lee Manning [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Marcia Keegan [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Sealey Brandt [Singapore]
Susan Herdman [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Thea Witt [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Thomas Vorce [Santa Fe, NM, USA]
Ward Russell [Santa Fe, NM, USA]       Willis F. Lee [Santa Fe, NM, USA]        Yuki Aoyama [Japan, presented by Wada Gorou]

Kiowa Fancy Crow, by Marcia Keegan, 2009. Cibachrome archival prints, print 40.6x50.8 cm, matted 129.5x193 cm

Kiowa Fancy Crow, by Marcia Keegan, 2009. Cibachrome archival prints, print 40.6x50.8 cm, matted 129.5x193 cm

Satisfying sales and turnout, Richard Winkler emerging as hot star

Multiple presenters at ARTSingapore reported being satisfied with the visitor turnout and sales at the event. The obvious star of the show were the works by Richard Winkler, a Swedish artist who lives in Bali, presented by the Zola Zolu Gallery from Indonesia.  On Monday afternoon, the last day of the fair, at least 18 of Winkler’s paintings had sold to collectors from around the world. This is indicative of the prices that fair buyers were prepared to pay this year, as Winkler’s works started at $150,000 USD. Other galleries also reported encouraging sales, but some also mentioned that being present at this fair and making an impression was most important– immediate sales were not a top priority.

Which are the top fairs favoured by gallerists?

When questioned what fairs they will be attending this year, presenters stressed the importance of ARTSingapore, but also included ART HK, Art Dubai, the Korean International Art Fair (KIAF), and ART ASIA Miami on the short list of highly prioritized shows. Each show has its own character, and gallerists reported that ARTSingapore is known for its intimate and efficient atmosphere, and a dynamic mixture of art from anywhere and everywhere.

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Chance to learn where Singaporean art is heading plus two firsts for emerging artist competition Presidents Young Talents at Singapore Art Museum

Posted by artradar on September 9, 2009


SINGAPORE MUSEUM ART COMPETITION

Singapore had a predicament. The city-state needed to find the young artistic voices to represent Singapore at international level art fairs and events. The problem has been solved and future Singaporean art stars are being identified with the inception of the Presidents Young Talents (PYT) exhibition, a contemporary art exhibition series featuring the 4 most promising young Singaporean artists who compete for votes from a discerning public. The President’s Young Talents exhibition first debuted in 2001, organized by the Singapore Art Museum and Istana, butPresidents Young Talents this is the first year with the online voting function that includes an interactive public.

It works like this

Four young artists are chosen by a curatorial committee, and a special work is created by each artist and exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum in the PYT exhibition.

The public can also view artworks and artist biographies online, and is encouraged to vote for their favorite artist via the PYT website from Aug 15th through Oct 31st, 2009.  One of the 4 artists will be declared the winner, and receive a cash prize and art residency abroad, sponsored by Credit Suisse. The winner of the PYT 2009 will be announced on November 6th, 2009 at the PYT Gala dinner.

The artists nominated for the show, curated by Ms. Tan Siu Li, are: Donna Ong, Felicia Low, Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, and the artist collective Vertical Submarine. This is the first year in which an artist collective has been selected to participate, and Vertical Submarine’s inclusion reflects an acceptance of the current changes in contemporary art practices.

For a quick summary Art Daily gives an overview of each work below. However for a more lively description, we encourage you to click through to the particularly well-planned website (link above) where you can see short videos in which each artist discusses the concepts behind their non-traditional intriguing projects.

All the artists will create a new work for PYT 2009, and this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to take stock of where contemporary art in Singapore could be heading.

Donna Ong’s installation will examine the representation of perspective in Eastern as well as Western artistic traditions through a series of layered landscapes.

Twardzik Ching Chor Leng continues her practice of land-based art by inviting the public to reconsider the significance of the Singapore River in history, as well as in our lives today.

Felicia Low, who actively engages with (often marginalised or disadvantaged) communities in her work, will conduct live sessions in the gallery, leading groups of people in an exploration of family and social relationships.

Last but not least, tongue-in-cheek collective Vertical Submarine will present a work-within-a-work, inviting the public into their immersive installation which continues their earlier investigations into the relationship between text, image and representation.

Land art by Twardzik Ching Chor Leng

Editor’s note: We were particularly interested in Twardzik Ching Chor Leng’s plan to siphon an “‘umbilical cord” pipeline of river water through the streets of Singapore to connect the river and art museum. Land art is rare in Asia which makes the artist’s attempt to promote this genre in the confined space of city-state Singapore all the more inspiring.

Space constraints stimulate Singaporean artists?

It is interesting to note that each of the contestants deals with the topic of space in one form or another: from land art to the creation of domestic interiors to the study of perspective as a representation of space.

What the museum staff say

Regarding the exhbition, Mr. Tan Boon Hui, Director Designate of Singapore Art Museum, says:

“President’s Young Talents is SAM’s key platform to introduce Singaporeans to the work of a new generation of contemporary artists. The ‘can-do’ spirit that marks much of the best contemporary art coming out from Singapore now is clearly visible in these new works from Donna Ong, Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, Felicia Low and Vertical Submarine.

While their work has departed markedly from the traditional conventions of what art should look like, it is nonetheless as thoughtful, enjoyable and beautiful as the paintings and sculptures we are more familiar with.

Through such channels as the new PYT microsite, with its information rich content, SAM is working also to make contemporary art accessible to as large a community as possible. As one of the few platforms that regularly provides support to nurture the creation of original local art, SAM hopes to continue growing PYT along with the local contemporary arts scene.’

The President’s Young Talents is on display at the Singapore Museum from August 15th till December 27th, 2009, at the museum’s 8Q SAM art space and you can vote until the end October 2009. Be warned though that the voting mechanism requires input of addresses and phone numbers. We hope that this will be stream-lined in the future to encourage voter participation.

-contributed by Erin Wooters

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Posted in Conceptual, Domestic, Furniture, Galleries work the web, Landscape, Museum shows, Museums, Singapore, Singaporean, Space, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wu Guanzhong retrospective Singapore Art Museum – New York Times review

Posted by artradar on May 19, 2009


CHINESE ART SINGAPORE

Some of the best arts writing on the web is produced by the New York Times. Coverage of art in Asia is rare unfortunately which makes this review of the celebrated and influential 90 year-old Wu Guanzhong’s retrospective at Singapore Art Museum a must-read piece.

guanzhong_102

In this article Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop deftly explains how his oeuvre evolved in response to his experiences as a student in Paris and his later travails on his return to China where Communist authorities who exalted the Soviet Socialist Realist Style, branded him a ‘bourgeois formalist’ and ultimately destroyed much of his earlier work at the start of the Cultural Revolution.

 

Wu Guanzhong, Pandas

Wu Guanzhong, Pandas

“My father believes that this series of exhibitions are indeed the most important exhibitions of his entire life because they show the full spectrum of his artistic career, from the 1950s to last year. These are also what he considers his absolute best works, which he had kept because he had always planned to give them to museums, for all to see,” said his son, Wu Keyu, 62, who represented his father at the opening of the Singapore exhibition because, he said, the elder Mr. Wu was too frail to travel from Beijing, where he lives.

As a teacher and essayist as well as artist, Wu Guanzhong’s influence has been pivotal on the development of art in China and he  is particularly renowned for

 ”bridging together the Chinese art emphasis placed on the quality of lines and the Western art emphasis on color and the representation of the visual field,” said Kwok Kian Chow, the director of the Singapore Art Museum and the show’s co-curator.

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