SINGAPORE -Next year's edition of the Art Stage Singapore art fair will launch a series of programmes including an exhibition and talks themed around urbanisation.
There will be talks by architects, social scientists and city planners, on topics such as global cities and the role of art in shaping cities today.
While the speaker line-up has not been confirmed, a potential name on the list includes renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
An exhibition will present 10 projects by artists who deal with issues relating to urbanisation in their own countries. For instance, Indonesian artist Aliansyah Caniago will present Titik Balik, an ongoing art project about the dumping of factory waste into the Situ Ciburuy lake in Bandung, and how it has affected the fishing industry there.
These programmes were unveiled at a press conference on Thursday (Nov 5) at the Singapore Art Museum hosted by Art Stage director Lorenzo Rudolf, who reaffirmed the fair's South-east Asian emphasis.
"A fair in Singapore is a fair in and for South-east Asia. We see it as our responsibility to promote South-east Asia," he said.
The fair's sixth edition runs between Jan 21 and 24 next year, with a vernissage on Jan 20. Held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, it will anchor the annual Singapore Art Week, which runs from Jan 16 to 24.
The National Arts Council's director of visual arts sector development Low Eng Teong, who was at the event, gave a sneak peek of what to expect at next year's Singapore Art Week.
Activities include exhibitions by local artist Jane Lee at STPI and acclaimed visual artist Joan Jonas at the Nanyang Technological University's Centre for Contemporary Art.
And while Mr Rudolf acknowledged that the art scene here has not fared well this year with some galleries closing, he said: "It is logical that it cannot go up all the time. Sometimes, it goes down. This is a situation we've to go through."
He also fielded questions on the Singapore Contemporary Art Show, by the Hong Kong company Asia Contemporary Art Buyer, a new fair set to go head to head with Art Stage Singapore on the same dates next year.
"Yes, in a way, it's a competition, because there are not many new collectors coming in. That means you have to be better," he said.
Next year, Art Stage Singapore will draw some 143 galleries from 33 countries worldwide, a slight dip from this year's edition, which saw 153 galleries from 29 countries and pulled in a record high of 51,000 visitors.
Among the 67 returning galleries next year is London's White Cube Gallery, Marc Straus from New York and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.
There will be 112 Asian exhibitors of which 32 are Singapore-based. Notable local artists such as David Chan, Donna Ong and Ruben Pang will also present their works.
Visitors to the fair will be treated to Dada On Tour, a multimedia installation housed in a tent to celebrate the Dadaism art movement's 100th anniversary. At the entrance, they can expect to see Netscape, an artwork by Thai artist Ploenchan Vinyaratn, done in her signature style of handwoven textiles.
Art Stage Singapore 2016
Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Level B2, Halls D, E and F
When: Vernissage on Jan 20, Jan 21, noon to 8pm; 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: Go to www.artstagesingapore.com