No doubt still the new cool kid on the block in Singapore’s art scene, Gillman Barracks turned two this September and celebrated with an exciting month-long series of events – and a cracking bash at the end. How we wish the fun could’ve gone on longer! But even if you missed out on the treats, there’s still plenty of hubbub at their cluster of galleries on a daily basis. We’ve peeked into each of the galleries to suss out what they’re about. Read on below for their colourful background and specialties…
#03-21, 9 Lock Road | 6734 0775
Hailing from East Berlin, where it’s known as one of the front-runners of contemporary art, Arndt’s Singapore HQ aims to introduce works from a mix of both seasoned and emerging artists from the Asia Pacific to Europe and beyond. Past artists who have graced its space include German video whizz Julian Rosefeldt, French conceptual artist Sophie Calle and Filipino artist Norberto Roldan.
#01-22, 47 Malan Road | 9835 8271
Future Perfect’s three head honchos – Jasper Knight, David Teh and Nina Miall – have a vast pool of experience in art scenes across different regions. Thus, it’s not surprising that this gallery leans towards forward-thinking, innovative works. They’ve had several innovative artists make their debut in Singapore, such as video manipulator Daniel Crooks and British artist Nathan Coley, who’s known for his lightbox installations.
#01-21, 47 Malan Road | 6694 3727
With roots in Magelang and Jakarta, Equator Art Projects has spotlighted plenty of Indonesian artists, like husband and wife duo Indieguerillas and sculptor Yuli Prayitno, while also showcasing art from other countries like The Philippines and England.
Michael Janssen Gallery
#02-21, 9 Lock Road | 6734 8948
An offshoot from Michael Janssen’s flagship gallery in Berlin, this venue showcases artists from all levels of fame and experience. It’s also expanded to include South East Asian artists in its regions covered, which include Europe and North America. To date, one of its most prolific exhibits has been Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s first solo show in South East Asia.
Ota Fine Arts
#02-13, 7 Lock Road | 6694 3071
Since its beginnings in Tokyo in 1994, Ota Fine Arts has been lauded as one of the pioneers of spreading Japanese contemporary art. More recently, they’ve widened their net to include artists from the Asian region, stretching as far as the Middle East. During their opening, they had the privilege of hosting Yayoi Kusama’s first show on our shores, and continue to present bright minds like Korean artist Yeesookyung and Japanese painter Tomoko Kashiki.
#01-24, 47 Malan Road | 6694 3362
The sister gallery to Cottonseed, a multi-purpose art space and cafe in Mullae Art Village, Seoul. When Space Cottonseed isn’t featuring ground-breaking contemporary artists from Korea, which they frequently do, they also bring in respected names from the region. Past artists represented include ceramic artist Hun-chung Lee and Singaporean painter Guo Liang Tan.
#02-23 9 Lock Road | 6734 3262
Anchored in Singapore, this contemporary art gallery mainly highlights cutting-edge artists from the Asian region, with unexpected elements and a social stance whenever possible. Recent artists featured include graffiti-inspired Indonesian artist Wedhar Riyadi and zoology-loving local artist Robert Zhao.
#01-34, 22 Lock Road | 6570 2505
Opened by revered Japanese curator Sueo Mizuma, who also owns spaces in Tokyo and Beijing, the gallery juggles promoting both Japanese and South East Asian artists in the global arts arena. It’s featured celebrated talents like Indonesian photographer Angki Purbandono and comic book-influenced Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano.
#01-02 1 Lock Road | 6694 3080
The Singaporean-and-proud-of-it gallery dedicates itself to exhibiting contemporary art from all over the world, although it does have a natural soft spot for artists based in the little red dot. Known for being more liberal and revolutionary than other local galleries, it has supported conceptually intriguing artists such as Heman Chong and Song-Ming Ang.
Sundaram Tagore Gallery
#01-05, 5 Lock Road | 6694 3378
Making its mark in New York, Hong Kong and now Singapore, this gallery prides itself in supporting all sorts of cultural events, from book launches to film screenings. Showing off contemporary art that crosses boundaries, from every corner off the world, it’s had ties with artists like American photojournalist Steve McCurry and Korean digital printmaker Kim Joon.
Pearl Lam Galleries
#03-22, 9 Lock Road | 6570 2284
Originally from Hong Kong, the gallery focuses a good chunk of its time on contemporary Chinese art, but also introduces major international artists into the Asian market. Influential artists that have exhibited here include multi-talented abstract artist Zhu Jinshi, and experimental Indonesian artist Syaiful Garibaldi.
#01-25, 47 Malan Road | 6694 4077
Although the Manila-based gallery started out in 2004 exhibiting purely photos, it has since branched out to include paintings and sculptures. It’s regarded as one of the front-running contemporary art galleries in the region, having participated in prominent art fairs and collaborated with several museums, including New Museum of New York City. Mostly concentrating on Filipino talent, it’s previously featured artists like multimedia ‘alchemist’ Poklongong Anading and Leslie de Chavez.
Tomio Koyama Gallery
#01-26, 47 Malan Road | 6659 7068
Head to this Tokyo-based gallery for some of the most fondly appreciated Japanese artists, both up-and-coming and established – past shows include Tomoko Nagai’s child-like, fantastical montages, and Atsushi Fukui’s surreal painted sceneries. Aside from repping their homegrown talent, they also exhibit works from international greats like American photographer Ryan Mcginley.
The Drawing Room
#01-06, 5 Lock Road | 6694 2389
Another Manila-based gallery, The Drawing Room centres its attention on Filipino contemporary artists whose works often have a socio-politicial stance – particularly about neocolonialism. Notable artists who have had their politically charged works featured include ballpoint-pen illustrator John Frank Sabado and multi-disciplinary artist Diokno Pasilan.
#02-22, 9 Lock Road | 6734 9537
The Shanghai-based gallery is considered one of the bigwigs of contemporary art, having at one point been named one of the 75 most influential galleries in the world by a Thames & Hudson publication. Chinese artists are its forte, with artists like painter Zhou Zixi and contemporary video artist Yejiang making the rounds.
Partners & Mucciaccia
#02-10, 6 Lock Road | 6694 3777
‘Smart art’ is the draw at this Italian gallery, which lends its space to innovative, highly regarded artists that consider art a means of adventure and exploring. Luminaries that have had their prized works displayed here include avant-garde Italian painter Agostino Bonalumi, late American artist Keith Haring and hyper-realistic painter Luciano Ventrone.
The multi-purpose art space relocated to Gillman Barracks in late 2013, continuing to host thoughtful exhibitions as well as other artistic events like talks and symposiums. Both local and international artists are in the limelight here, with recent shows exposing how artists are pushing the boundaries of their mediums, like painting and drawing.