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Singapore Art Week: ST's guide to must-see exhibitions and arty stops

Navigate the packed Singapore Art Week with The Straits Times’ guide of must-see exhibitions and arty stops. Deepika Shetty reports

DOWNTOWN/CIVIC DISTRICT

1. PUBLIC ART WALKING TOUR & ENVISION

The Public Art Trust, a new initiative by the National Arts Council, aims to make art a part of Singapore's urban spaces.

The first three works commissioned by the trust are along the Jubilee Walk, a commemorative 8km-long trail, which covers 25 historic sites in and around the civic district.

Sculptor Han Sai Por and artist Kum Chee Kiong collaborate to present the colourful installation, Rising Moon, at the Esplanade Park. Outside the Asian Civilisations Museum is sculptor Baet Yeok Kuan's audio sculpture installation titled 24 Hours In Singapore, made up of five stainless-steel spheres.

At the waterfront area opposite the Esplanade, artist Tan Wee Lit will present Cloud Nine: Raining, an installation with a floating cloud made of perforated stainless steel and a glass-reinforced polyurethane base.

Another showcase of monumental sculptures in the city is Envision: Sculptures@the Garden City. Presented by Singapore gallery iPreciation, the trail has 13 sets of sculptures by 11 artists from Singapore, China, Taiwan and Indonesia. These include Singapore "chilli" sculptor Kumari Nahappan's new work with saga seeds titled Road To Fifty and Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming's life-sized bronze piece from his Living World Series.

Where: Jubilee Walk Art Trail, Civic District; The Arts House, Empress Place, Asian Civilisations Musem and The Fullerton Hotel (for Envision)

When: 24 hours Admission: Free

Info: www.ipreciation.com/envision

2. ART WALK LITTLE INDIA

This multidisciplinary art festival, set in the cultural precinct of Little India, allows you to journey along the lanes and alleyways and immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of traditional Indian percussion instruments.

Discover and hear the stories behind an eclectic mix of captivating artworks, such as mural installations showing traditional trades of Little India. These can be found along Belilios Lane.

When: Jan 19 to 23, all day

Admission: Free

Info: Go to facebook.com/artwalklittleindia or artwalklittleindia.tumblr.com

3. NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE, EXHIBITION SPOTLIGHT - AFTER THE RAIN: CHUA EK KAY

See the works of the late artist, Chua Ek Kay, at the National Gallery Singapore (above).
See the works of the late artist, Chua Ek Kay, at the National Gallery Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

Round off your trip by visiting the National Gallery Singapore. The beautifully restored City Hall and former Supreme Court buildings have been receiving international nods. For the first time, art lovers get to see the sweep of Singapore art from the 19th century to the present in one space in a long-running show titled Siapa Nama Kamu (What's Your Name?).

See the works of the late artist, Chua Ek Kay (above), at the National Gallery Singapore.
Chua Ek Kay. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Another ongoing exhibition, After The Rain, looks at the two- decade-long practice of the late Singapore ink artist, Chua Ek Kay (1947-2008). The 1999 Cultural Medallion recipient was known for his contemporary Chinese ink paintings and paintings of Chinatown street scenes, lotuses and abstract works inspired by aboriginal cave paintings.

The exhibition features about 50 works from the national collection as well as loans from private collectors and other institutions.

Where: 1 St Andrew's Road

When: For general admission to the National Gallery Singapore: 10am to 7pm (Monday to Thursday, Sunday and public holiday), 10am to 10pm (Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday)

After The Rain

Where: Level 4 Gallery, City Hall Wing

When: Till May 3, 10am to 7pm (Sunday to Thursday), 10am to 10pm (Friday and Saturday)

Admission: Free for Singapore citizens, permanent residents and children aged six and below; $20 (adults), $15 (children aged between seven and 12, students and seniors with valid identification)

Info: www.nationalgallery.sg


GILLMAN BARRACKS

1. ART AFTER DARK AT GILLMAN BARRACKS

Enjoy a night of fun, food and music at this outdoor party with several new shows premiering. All galleries are open till late.

Where: Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road

When: Jan 22, 7pm till late

Admission: Free

Info: www.gillmanbarracks.com

2. STEVE MCCURRY: THE ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS

American photojournalist and war photographer Steve McCurry is known internationally for his compelling and hauntingly beautiful Afghan Girl, the famous National Geographic cover image. For this solo show, he presents 53 photographs spanning 30 years of his work, including images from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka as well as India.

Where: Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 01-05, 5 Lock Road

When: Saturday to Feb 21, 11am to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday)

Admission: Free

Info: Call 6694-3378 or go to www.sundaramtagore.com

3. JOAN JONAS: THEY COME TO US WITHOUT A WORD

They Come To Us Without A Word by American video and performance pioneer Joan Jonas was commissioned for the United States Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale last year. A version of the show will be put on at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and will form the 79-year-old artist's first major exhibition in South-east Asia. Awarded a prestigious Special Mention at the Venice Biennale, this work evokes the fragility of nature in a rapidly changing environment and addresses the irreversible impact of human intervention on the environment.

Where: NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Block 43 Malan Road

When: Jan 22 to April 3, noon to 7pm (Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), noon to 9pm (Friday), closed on Monday

Admission: Free

Info: Call 6339-6503

4. ANTIPODEAN INQUIRY: AN EXHIBITION OF WORK BY AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND ARTISTS

Australian Tamara Dean's Emerge (2015, above).
Australian Tamara Dean's Emerge (2015). PHOTO: YAVUZ GALLERY

This show explores the vast and varied artistic approaches that make up contemporary art from Australia and New Zealand. It showcases works by 14 leading artists including London-based Australian artist David Noonan, who is known for his sepia-toned imagery on collages and silkscreens; as well as Australian installation artist Tamara Dean. It is curated by independent arts writer and curator Owen Craven.

Where: Yavuz Gallery, 02-23, 9 Lock Road

When: Jan 23 to March 5, 11am to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 1 to 5pm (Sunday)

Admission: Free

Info: Call 6734-3262 or go to www.yavuzgallery.com

5. SOLO BY CHRISTOPHER LE BRUN


British artist Christopher Le Brun’s oil on canvas Sound (2015). PHOTO: ARNDT

This exhibition presents new paintings on canvas by acclaimed British painter, sculptor and printmaker Christopher Le Brun, who continues to experiment with colours in his first outing in Singapore. Palettes of tarnished reds, oranges and yellows are completed with deft brushstrokes.

Trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art in London, his art has been the subject of several group and solo shows since the 1980s.

He was elected president of the prestigious Royal Academy in 2011.

Where: Arndt, 03-21, 9 Lock Road

When: Jan 22 to Feb 28, 11am to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday), closed on Monday and public holiday

Admission: Free

Info: Call 6734-0775 or go to www.arndtfineart.com


MARINA BAY AND TANJONG PAGAR DISTRIPARK

1. ART STAGE SINGAPORE 2016

The sixth edition of the premier contemporary art fair anchors the packed Singapore Art Week. More than 143 galleries from 33 countries are participating, though the fair's South-east Asian emphasis continues.

This year, it is introducing a South-east Asia Forum, comprising a series of public talks on contemporary issues shaping art practice in the region as well as an exhibition.

The exhibition features 19 artists creating works addressing issues related to rapid urbanisation in their own countries, including new works by Singapore painter Ruben Pang and contemporary Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul, who had represented his country at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Where: Halls D, E and F, Level B2 Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Avenue

When: Jan 20 and 21, noon to 8pm (vernissage); Jan 22, noon to 7pm; Jan 23, 11am to 7pm; Jan 24, 11am to 6pm

Admission: Tickets from $10 (concession group ticket) to $64 (four-day pass) from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

Info: www.artstagesingapore.com

2. THE GARDEN IN EDEN BY YUNIZAR


Indonesian artist Yunizar’s cast-bronze Male Lion (2014). PHOTO: GAJAH GALLERY

Step into Gajah Gallery's new 6,000 sq ft art space at Tanjong Pagar Distripark to experience Indonesian artist Yunizar's The Garden In Eden. Charming in its child-like simplicity and reflecting his fascination with nature, his work features miniature motifs and decorative borders that draw on traditional Indonesian patterns. Where: 03-04 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 39 Keppel Road

When: Jan 19 to Feb 7, 11am to 7pm (Monday to Friday), noon to 6pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Admission: Free

Info: Call 6737-4202 or go to www.gajahgallery.com

3. ART IN MOTION 2016

Eighteen galleries from the Art Galleries Association Singapore are joining the third edition of this art event. There will be joint exhibition openings and art talks in arts clusters such as Raffles Hotel and Old Hill Street Police Station.

When: Jan 19 to 24

Info: www.agas.org.sg

4. FREELY, FREELY BY JANE LEE

Singapore artist Jane Lee's Playing I (Detail, 2015, above).
Singapore artist Jane Lee's Playing I (Detail, 2015). PHOTO: STPI

The home-grown artist often blurs the line between the two- and three-dimensional with her tactile paintings, which question the limits of painting. At print institute STPI, she moves away from abstraction and painting to experiment with print and paper. Where: STPI, 41 Robertson Quay

When: Jan 17 to Feb 20, noon to 5pm on Jan 17; 10am to 7pm (Monday to Friday), 9am to 6pm (Saturday) on other days

Admission: Free