DEEPIKA SHETTY RECOMMENDS

Arts picks: Buddhist art from The Indian Museum, Kolkata, Murasu and more

Karthikeyan Somasundaram.
Karthikeyan Somasundaram. PHOTO: RAVINDRAN DRAMA GROUP
Bring it to life. -
Bring it to life. -PHOTO: NTU CCA SINGAPORE
Standing Buddha.
Standing Buddha. PHOTO: ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM
Om Mee Ai.
Om Mee Ai. PHOTO: UOB

BUDDHIST ART FROM THE INDIAN MUSEUM, KOLKATA

Asian Civilisations Museum's latest exhibition, which covers almost 2,000 years, showcases more than 80 pieces of Buddhist art from the Indian Museum, Kolkata. Viewed collectively, the artefacts on display offer a chronological narrative of the life of Buddha. The exhibition is a first-time collaboration between the Singapore and Indian museums and marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. There are several rare pieces on display, including a Standing Buddha dating back to the Gupta period in the 5th century which would influence Buddhist art for many years after. Founded in 1814, the Indian Museum in Kolkata is one of the oldest museums in the world and many of its artefacts have rarely travelled out of the country.

Where: Asian Civilisations Museum MRT: Raffles Place When: Till Aug 16, 10am - 7pm (Sat - Thu), 10am - 9pm (Fri) Admission: Free

BRING IT TO LIFE

This is a curatorial project conceived by a young, all-female team at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. Presented as four different episodes, Bring It To Life presents artworks by four artists including Singapore-based Kray Chen. Each work engages with issues of labour and capital while addressing themes of migration and capital transactions. In addition, it uses space to look at how people's movements are altered when they find themselves in confined spaces. Chen plays with the idea of transaction not only in a monetary sense, but also explores the confusion multiple choices lead to. You can meet the artist and learn more about his work tomorrow and on Sunday at 6pm.

Where: The Lab, Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks MRT: Labrador Park When: Till July 12, noon - 7pm (Tue - Sun), noon - 9pm (Fri), closed on Mon, open on public holidays Admission: Free

COLOUR OF MIND BY OM MEE AI

Om Mee Ai’s deeply layered, mysterious canvases often use nearly 20 layers of paint and can take anywhere from two to three months to complete. She was the winner of the 2014 UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore) in the established artist category. Her complex artworks have long held the attention of art lovers. She says she is drawn to the abstract form as she believes viewers are compelled to use their imagination and each painting is open to infinite interpretations. Each work involves meticulous techniques of taping, layering and wiping, which she has honed over her 12-year career. Her paintings often appear monochromatic from a distance but reveal a detailed structure of small skeletal squares on closer examination.

Where: UOB Art Gallery, lobby of UOB Plaza 1, 80 Raffles Place MRT: Raffles Place When: Till July 31, 9am - 6.30pm (Mon - Fri), 9am - 2pm (Sat), closed on Sun Admission: Free

MURASU

Singapore's Ravindran Drama Group presents Murasu, the story of the man who founded the local Tamil newspaper Tamil Murasu and strove to give Tamil Indians a voice in post-colonial Singapore. The play commemorates the nation's 50th anniversary as well as the 80th anniversary of the newspaper. The late Thamizhavel G. Sarangapany is also well known in the Tamil community as the man who campaigned for Tamil to become one of the four official languages here. Actor Karthikeyan Somasundaram plays Sarangapany, while Gillian M. Tan plays his Peranakan wife Lim Boon Neo. The 23-member cast of Indian and Chinese actors are directed by Subramanian Ganesh. The play is staged in Tamil with English surtitles.

Where: University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore MRT: Clementi When: Tomorrow, 8pm Admission: $20 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Arts picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe