Local talents showcase their works at Singapore Art Week

Enjoy the works of home-grown artists at exhibitions and museum shows islandwide during Singapore Art Week

Artist Donna Ong's solo exhibition, My Forest Has No Name, explores the fascination with tropical forests.
Artist Donna Ong's solo exhibition, My Forest Has No Name, explores the fascination with tropical forests. PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIME

Home-grown artists are having a strong showing at this year's Singapore Art Week, with museum shows, solo exhibitions and an increased presence at two art fairs opening simultaneously.

At STPI in Robertson Quay, painter Jane Lee makes a significant departure from her large-scale paintings working with print and paper works and introducing animation, video and sound in her art for the first time. The solo titled Freely Freely is the culmination of her residency at the institute.

Artist Donna Ong takes her experiments with installation art a step further in her solo exhibition. My Forest Has No Name at Fost Gallery in Gillman Barracks explores the fascination with tropical forests.

There are many other group exhibitions opening islandwide, including at art schools and at the National Institute of Education gallery. Several of these shows highlight the works of Singapore's emerging artists.

  • Exhibition highlights

  • Quek Kiat Sing’s Everyday Singapore Knocking Off From Work. -- PHOTOS: ART-2 GALLERY, SARAH CHOO


    In this solo, the ink painter presents three different bodies of work. She finds inspiration in everyday folks including commuters on trains and diners in hawker centres. She revisits one of her favourite subjects, the lotus pond. Experimenting with traditional Chinese ink, she creates layered collages and mixed media works.

    WHERE: Art-2 Gallery, 01-03 Old Hill Street Police Station, 140 Hill Street

    WHEN: Today to Jan 30, 11am to 7pm, closed on Sunday




    This group show presents the work of nine emerging artists, who are all art educators undergoing training at NIE. Their themes include forgotten spaces, the idea of home and journeys.

    Using photography in a work titled Blue-Green, Joscelin Chew takes a walk through Google Earth into landscapes of medium format photography and text. Multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Choo presents a video installation titled Nowhere Near, exploring themes of place and where people belong. Michael Ee looks at how artists who have spent time outside of the country respond to the idea of home.

    WHERE: NIE Art Gallery, Block C, 1 Nanyang Drive

    WHEN: Today to Jan 22, 10am to 4pm (Monday to Friday).

    INFO: Call 8822-8743

    Joscelin Chew’s Blue-Green.


    In conjunction with the Singapore Art Week, The Private Museum presents this commemorative solo to remember Singapore sculptor Anthony Poon (1945-2006). The first major exhibition of his sculptural maquettes from the estate collection features 25 maquettes. Some of these have been turned into public commissions.

    WHERE: The Private Museum, 51 Waterloo Street

    WHEN: Jan 20 to March 10, 10am to 7pm (Monday to Friday), 11am to 5pm (Saturday and Sunday)



STPI director Emi Eu says the support of art enthusiasts has helped the scene to grow. "The interest in Singapore art has been strengthened because of the opening of the National Gallery Singapore, which adds to the foundations laid by the Singapore Art Museum.

"The launch of Art Stage Singapore six years ago created new platforms for our artists. Institutes such as the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, the Institute of Contemporary Arts at Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts all contributed.

"It seems to be coming together well. We are not just seeing more shows by Singapore artists, but stronger exhibitions."

Anchored by the sixth edition of the premier contemporary art fair Art Stage Singapore, Singapore Art Week, which gathers key players from the arts, has emerged as an important platform for home- grown talents to showcase their work alongside renowned international names such as conceptual China artist Gu Wenda and American photo-journalist Steve McCurry.

At the National Gallery Singapore, art lovers can see pioneer artist Tang Da Wu's Earth Work, 1980/2015. This series of installations and drawings, which includes his iconic Gully Curtains, was his response to the increasing urbanisation and major construction works going on in Singapore then. This work, first exhibited in 1980 at the National Museum Art Gallery, has been referenced extensively in the documentation of Singapore art of the period.

The key work in this show are the Gully Curtains (1979), which are the first recorded instances of land art here. The artist had placed large pieces of fabric between gullies and with the rain washing over the fabric and the sun drying them out, they took on the textures and character of varied earth marks.

Together with this original work, Earth Work displays some of his original mineral pigment drawings and archival materials to revisit a key moment in Singapore art.

Such museum exhibitions and show openings at art galleries give visitors greater access to the range of art being created here.

Art Stage director Lorenzo Rudolf says the main aim of Art Stage "is to support the South-east Asian art scene, especially the Singapore one, and to position them in the international art world".

Several artists and fresh names have benefited from the exposure. In 2014, artist Sarah Choo, represented by gallerist Vera Wijaya of Galerie Sogan & Art, sold all five editions of her photography works within hours of the fair to a Singapore-based buyer at $6,500 for each edition.

Choo, 25, says: "Singapore has come a long way in terms of development and appreciation of the arts. There is more acceptance of works by younger artists and a greater understanding of art by established ones. I feel there are more platforms to show varied works and this is a great thing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'Strong showing by Singapore artists'. Subscribe