Portable Art Week showcases emerging local artists

Featured at iPreciation gallery are Corner (above) by Bess Chan and Plugged by Yang Zhongda.
Featured at iPreciation gallery are Corner (above) by Bess Chan and Plugged by Yang Zhongda.PHOTO: IPRECIATION
Featured at iPreciation gallery are Corner by Bess Chan and Plugged (above) by Yang Zhongda.
Featured at iPreciation gallery are Corner by Bess Chan and Plugged (above) by Yang Zhongda.PHOTO: IPRECIATION

Portable Art Week gives budding artists a gallery space to display their works, which are priced from $900

For those curious about what emerging artists in the local scene are up to, an event such as Portable Art Week is a good place to start.

Of the 13 artists featured, 12 are Singaporean, while Japan's Kenichiro Fukumoto has a Singapore connection as he studied at Lasalle College of the Arts as an exchange student in 2013.

In its fourth edition, the annual group exhibition aims to be an accessible platform for those interested in local and Asian contemporary art, with offerings from both established and emerging artists.

The preview is on Thursday and the exhibition takes place from Friday to Oct 21 at gallery iPreciation.

The works here are in the more affordable range. Paintings are priced from $900 to $4,000 each, sculptures from about $1,200 to $3,000 and a few mixed media works are going at $4,800.

Featured artist Yang Zhongda, who is studying Western Painting at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, says he likes to take note of "the little corners and little moments" in his works, which are mainly still-life compositions.

The 29-year-old adds: "I prefer monochrome as it's more direct. I like drawing without the distraction of colours."

Gallery manager Brian Foong says: "What makes Yang's works stand out are his attention to detail and the ability to capture an intimate sense of quietness and mystery in his scenes of everyday objects."

  • VIEW IT / PORTABLE ART WEEK 2017 – 4TH EDITION

  • WHERE: iPreciation, 01-01 HPL House, 50 Cuscaden Road

    WHEN: Preview on Thursday, 6.30 to 8.30pm; exhibition period, Friday to Oct 21

    ADMISSION: Free

As for artist Bess Chan, 21, she is interested in the idea of home and the sense of belonging.

Born in Singapore, brought up in Hong Kong and now a final-year student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London, her art is a reflection of her peripatetic life and drawn from observations of her surroundings.

Chan, who is participating in her first Portable Art Week, says: "In a sense, it doesn't really matter if the picture is from Singapore or Hong Kong or London.

"These cities are more alike than they may seem to be in the sense that they're all changing and so fast-paced that I see these feelings of temporality and discontent everywhere."

Asked what distinguishes Portable Art Week from, say, the larger-scale Affordable Art Fair (the next edition of which is from Nov 17 to 19), Mr Foong says: "In terms of setting, our works are exhibited in a gallery space, which allows for a more intimate experience where visitors are able to view and interact with the works."

He adds that the pieces selected are no larger than a certain size so that they are "small and easy for collectors to display and admire".

For drawings, prints, paintings and mixed media works, the size ranges from 28 by 33cm to 92 by 122cm. For sculptures, the maximum height range is 42cm and the maximum width is 14cm.

Portable Art Week is a useful platform for artists as well. As Yang puts it: "It's actually quite important to put your works out there and a lot of younger artists don't know whom to approach, or galleries don't really take on new artists."

He has exhibited at shows including Affordable Art Fair (Singapore, 2013) and Primeval: A Group Exhibition (Goodman Arts Centre, 2012).

The event gives them welcome exposure and a taste of what the future might hold.

Chan says: "It's an opportunity to show the works without the pressure of having a full-on exhibition."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2017, with the headline 'Cosy platform for rising artists'. Print Edition | Subscribe