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On the Wall: Art shows and exhibitions in Singapore this July

Art fans! Whip out those diaries and pencil in some of the best exhibitions across Singapore from our July highlights…


Get Intimate  
Back for its fourth edition, the Art Apart Fair will feature over 2,000 works from a selection of emerging international artists, with a particular focus on Russian artists this time around. Known for its more cosy, unconventional setting – 33 guest rooms and suites on the fourteenth floor of the Parkroyal on Pickering hotel will be converted to “home art galleries” – the fair is designed to let collectors view artworks in a more intimate context. The three-day event will include an art auction and a lucky draw, as well as talks by experts, performance art and live painting by a Russian character artist. 18 to 20 July at Parkroyal on Pickering, 3 Upper Pickering Street. Tickets are $10.


Mixed Media Madness   
Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) exhibition, Medium at Large: Shapeshifting Material and Methods in Contemporary Art, explores some of the most fundamental aspects of modern art – its making and our understanding of it – as well as the wealth of materials with which contemporary artworks can be created, and the shifting nature of media as genres begin to merge with one another. From traditional media like oil painting, drawing, photography and sculpture to more eccentric materials like whitening soap, bullet shells and human hair – and “dematerialised” media such as sound, language and text – the exhibit probes and ponders the fluid, and often obscure, nature of art. See it until May 2015 at SAM, 71 Bras Basah Road.


Modern Art Mash-up    
Curated by Singaporean June Yap, Guggenheim UBS Map Curator for South and Southeast Asia, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia features 19 thought-provoking works across various media – including painting, sculpture, photography and video – by 16 diverse artists and collectives from 11 countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Singapore and Vietnam, among others. The acclaimed exhibition was first presented last year at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, before showing at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions, and encompasses residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. See it until 20 July at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks.


Culture Cloths
Altar cloths, called tok wi in Baba Malay, the language of the Peranakans, are an often overlooked aspect of Chinese Peranakan culture, yet one that perfectly represents the community’s rituals and ceremonial practices, from weddings and funerals to ancestor veneration and Chinese New Year celebrations. As Asia’s first large-scale exhibition of batik altar cloths, Auspicious Designs: Batik for Peranakan Altars presents a collection of 72 cloths that combine traditional Chinese symbolism with motifs and designs from Southeast Asia and Europe, together with furniture and other household objects to provide context. The exhibition illustrates how art and religion evolve in changing local conditions, as cultures borrow from one another, and gives a glimpse into customs that are quickly fading. See it until 28 December at the Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street.


Ruptured Refuge
In his new exhibition, We are Home and Everywhere, Singaporean artist Zai Kuning uses beeswax – a material that’s produced by honeybees to create safe havens – to reflect upon issues of displacement. Influenced by the Orang Laut – the nomadic, indigenous fishermen of the Riau Archipelago, also known as “sea gypsies” – and the survivors of Japan’s massive earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011, Zai’s work is a commentary on how these groups have been affected by external circumstances beyond their control. See it until 10 August at Ota Fine Arts, 7 Lock Road, #02-13 Gillman Barracks.


Trickery Treat   
The new Trickeye Museum has opened at Resorts World Sentosa’s Waterfront, offering visitors a unique opportunity to become part of the artworks on display. Already a popular attraction in South Korea, the museum, which derives its name from the French expression trompe l’oeil – meaning “trick of the eye” – features over 80 two- and three-dimensional paintings, sculptures and optical illusions, located across six themed zones: Love, Circus, Masterpiece, Safari, Fairytale and Adventure. Look forward to an interactive experience with plenty of bizarre scenes to step into and funny photo opps for the whole family. Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway.


Calling All Comic Enthusiasts   
Until 31 August, the Singapore Philatelic Museum is commemorating Batman’s 75th anniversary with The League Against Evil: A DC Super Heroes Exhibition, which showcases Comics Super Heroes stamps from the museum’s permanent collection, Batman-themed Singapore Post MyStamps and stamp artworks, as well as rare, original comic art pages and collectibles on loan. In addition, fans shouldn’t miss out on the Draw Your Own Super Heroes Workshop for adults and children, conducted by renowned comic artist and Association of Comic Artists president, Jerry Hinds, on 19 July and 16 August. 23-B Coleman Street.