Culture vultures! Looking to soak up some astounding art? Read on for the latest exhibitions popping up around Singapore in April…
Art for All
The ever-popular Affordable Art Fair is back for its spring edition, showcasing works from more than 85 galleries around the world, with a focus on contemporary art from Asia. Popular for featuring a diverse selection of art at various price points – from as low as $100 to $10,000, with 75 percent of the works priced under $7,500 – the fair has become a favourite event on Singapore’s art calendar. New to this edition is a “SG50 Feature Wall”, highlighting specially commissioned works from 50 artists; all of these pieces will be priced at $500, with 50 percent of the proceeds donated to the charity, Playeum, and the other 50 percent going to the artists. There’ll also be a Children’s Art Studio with interactive activities, as well as thematic tours on art styles and media to guide new collectors. See it from 17 to 19 April at F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard.
This month, Malaysian artist Vincent Chow presents his third solo exhibition at Flaneur Gallery, an up-and-coming arts space in Little India that promotes the work of emerging artists. Known for his paintings, installation and performance art, Vincent combines technique and instinct to create light-hearted yet meaningful works. In his new collection of acrylic on canvas paintings, titled Light Breaks (Where No Sun Shines), each work achieves a complementary balance between the primitive and the delicately abstract.
“My approach to painting is to emphasise the aesthetics by downplaying the technical painting skill. In other words, I paint as primitively as possible so that it looks as if from an untrained hand,” Vincent says. “The mood of the paintings often turns out to be spontaneous and less self-conscious, with a sense of childlike playfulness.” He adds, “My work explores how our visual perception of the physical world forms our inner world, and how our inner world affects the way we interpret the physical world. I see a spiritual connection between my paintings and life. Letting go, being free and light – things I strive to achieve in my art and my life.” See it from 16 to 26 April at Flaneur Gallery, 129 Jalan Besar.
Memories in Motion
This month, award-winning Singaporean watercolourist Ong Kim Seng presents his solo exhibition, Nostalgia in Transformation, at Ode To Art gallery. Having witnessed some of Singapore’s most pivotal changes, including industrialisation, Kim paints the country’s two most defining features – the nostalgia that forms its backbone and the transformations that drive it forward. His new series of work juxtaposes the city’s historical pride with its modernised joy, featuring some of its most familiar streets and views, displaying the artist’s signature translucence and en plein style. See it from 9 to 14 April at Ode to Art, 252 North Bridge Road, #01-36E/F Raffles City Shopping Centre.
This month, Chairity: Arts and Design Against Cancer, a fundraising project benefiting the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF), presents an exhibition of 45 one-of-a-kind chairs, 30 of which have been designed by Singapore-based artists of different disciplines and cultures; the other 15 were designed by young artists – including students from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, Alliance Française de Singapour, Blue House International and APSN (Association for People with Special Needs), Tanglin Trust School, as well as kids from CCF – as part of a programme aimed at encouraging students to contribute to the less fortunate.
Organised by BackRest in support of the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), Chairity provides a collaborative platform for Singapore-based designers and educators to express their interpretations of cancer using classical Louis Armchairs as canvases, based on the themes of “empathy”, “sacrifice”, “love and support” and “dedication”.
So, why chairs? Though a chair is probably the most essential piece of furniture used today, it’s often taken for granted and left unnoticed unless it has distinguishing characteristics. Similarly, we all know about cancer, yet we ignore its existence in the hope that we and the people close to us will not be victims of it. Proceeds of the sale of each unique chair will benefit the children of CCF, a non-profit organisation with a mission to improve the quality of life of children with cancer and their families; funds will also be used to help the SCS in its public education and cancer screening services for the prevention and control of cancer. See it from 2 to 16 May at Maya Gallery, 62 Ubi Road 1, #01-21 Oxley BizHub 2. Check Chairity’s Facebook page for updates.
To commemorate the Year of the Goat and Sheep, Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) presents the Counting Sheep, Dreaming Goats exhibition. It takes adults and children alike on a multi-sensorial experience that features 300 beautiful sheep- and goat-themed stamps from around the world (including the latest stamps from Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Liechtenstein) and the opportunity to touch the wool of some of the most famous breeds – including the Merino sheep, the Cashmere goat and even the endangered Manx Loaghtan goat. Visitors can also learn about the different sounds of goats and sheep, and play familiar tunes like “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a toy piano, among other interactive features. See it until 27 September at SPM, 23-B Coleman Street.
Singapore Art Museum (SAM) presents Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, an annual contemporary art exhibition for children featuring both local and regional artists. In the spirit of SG50, this year’s exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, a symbol of a young nation on the rise and, with it, the capacity to dream big and think large. Kids will love the interactive and immersive artworks, as well as the variety of hands-on activities. See it from 14 March to 19 July at SAM 8Q, 8 Queen Street.
This story has been published in Expat Living’s April 2015 issue.