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One day to Singapore Art Week

Parties and family-friendly events to enjoy during Singapore Art Week

Check out the gigs, parties, markets and tours held to coincide with art week

The nine-day Singapore Art Week starts tomorrow with about 70 art shows, including premier art fair Art Stage Singapore.

But even the most die-hard art fan might suffer from art fatigue and need a break.

Thankfully, there are many other programmes to check out, including gigs, parties, markets and tours.

For example, the Singapore Art Museum's schedule for Art Week includes The Courtyard on Jan 22, the second edition of its popular party that it co-organises with W Singapore Sentosa Cove. The last edition of The Courtyard drew more than 1,300 partygoers.

 

On top of its usual programmes related to its current exhibitions, the contemporary art museum will also stage music performances as well as an art and food-and-beverage market done in collaboration with market organiser The Local People.

Ms Tan Shir Ee, head of programmes at the art museum, says offering a diverse array of programmes "allows the museum to breathe art into life and make it accessible to all".

Indeed, the National Arts Council, which started the Singapore Art Week together with the Singapore Tourism Board and Economic Development Board in 2013, acknowledges that the number of lifestyle-related events "has definitely grown over the past four editions", adding variety to the calendar.

Mr Low Eng Teong, the council's director of sector development for visual arts, says: "Artists, arts groups and event organisers increasingly recognise that the arts can be integrated in our lives... We hope Singaporeans will come to the art week and experience the visual arts in diverse, unique and entertaining environments."

Last year's Art Week drew about 126,000 visitors. The attendance this year is expected to be comparable.

Having diverse programmes helps to draw visitors as they appeal to different audience groups.

For example, younger and more street-savvy types might be drawn to the Aliwal Urban Art Festival at the Aliwal Arts Centre. It starts tomorrow and activities include a skateboard exhibition and live graffiti drawing.

Meanwhile, Tanjong Goodman at the Goodman Arts Centre on Jan 23 is suitable for families. Besides visiting artist studios and viewing exhibitions, parents can check out the farmers' market and garage sale, while children can take part in more than 20 workshops for activities such as face-painting and comic drawing.

Several specialised tours are also turning out to be sleeper hits at this year's art week.

The State Of Motion minibus tours, for example, which is organised by the Asian Film Archive, will take visitors to filming locations of old Cathay-Keris movies, such as former kampungs in Siglap.

Organisers say ticket sales for the tours - to be held tomorrow, on Sunday and next weekend - have been "encouraging", with nearly half of the tours booked.

Then there is No Man's Land, an immersive theatre art tour in Joo Chiat organised by art walkabout group OH! Open House. Tickets to the 16 performances, from Jan 22 to 31, are sold out. The organiser has extended the tour's run to include dates in February, March and April.

The Public Art Walking Tours, taking place tomorrow and next Saturday, will introduce three new public artworks commissioned by the National Art Council's Public Art Trust. The tours are also fully booked, but there is a waiting list for those interested.

Nonetheless, with close to 100 programmes spanning multiple genres happening during the Singapore Art Week, visitors will be spoilt for choice, no matter where their interests lie.

Graphic designer Hamaizah Kasban, 24, does not usually attend Singapore Art Week, but is planning to go to The Local People market at the Singapore Art Museum.

She says: "Programmes such as these appeal to me because they are social, laid-back affairs. I can hang out with my friends while checking out the market.

"And who knows, I might also go into the art galleries if they are not too crowded."

•For an overview of Singapore Art Week events, go to www.artweek.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'One day to Singapore Art Week Time for a break'. Print Edition | Subscribe