For art aficionados, the year starts with perhaps THE premier arts event of the year.
Art Stage Singapore returns in 2014 for its 4th edition with a stronger than ever showing of galleries from Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.
Underscoring the fair’s core Asian identity will be works from more than 100 galleries, of which 80 per cent are Asia Pacific-based.
A new fair format comprising eight country and regional “Platforms” including Southeast Asia, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Central Asia will also be introduced this year.
The ‘Platforms’ will take up 2,000 square metres - or 20 per cent of total floor space at the fair — and curated by the likes of independent Chinese art curator Huang Du as well as Mori Art Museum’s chief curator Mami Kataoka.
The new format will also provide everyone with an experience of art, and one with context.
Singapore performance artist Rizman Putra at Art Stage 2013. Photo: Art Stage
“This will give artists more opportunities to exhibit their works and find more avenues for financial support. It will also encourage galleries to look further for means of exhibiting their artists and generating interests. The opportunity to show in Singapore will generate a curiosity if not, interests to see more,” said Charles Merewether, curator of the Central Asia Platform.
“When we speak about Asia, we cannot speak about an undifferentiated, single Asian contemporary art scene as the region is highly segmented,” explained Art Stage founder and fair director Lorenzo Rudolf.
“We feel that it is important that we present a mirror of the dynamic and diverse art scenes across Asia Pacific through these ‘Platforms’. This will give visitors not only a holistic overview of artistic developments, but also a deeper understanding of contemporary art from the region,” said Rudolf.
Last year's event attracted an estimated 40,000 visitors - up from 32,000 in 2012.
WHAT TO SEE
Soe Naing, 'No.3, 2013', Acrylic on canvas. Photo: Yone Arts
Among the highlights this year will be Myanmar artist Soe Naing who will be presenting an installation-and-art-performance piece, ‘Intermission’.
In this work, sketches drawn by the artist will line the interior of shipping container and then the sketches will be painted black. Throughout the fair, Soe Naing will create a series of “reverse” paintings by dissolving the black paint, thus revealing his sketches for the first time to the public.
Also being presented at the South East Asia Platform is Malaysian artist Justin Lim’s ‘There is no other paradise’.
This multimedia installation features a video projection over a fibreglass bathtub filled with white flowers made of resin, which alludes to the mandi bunga, a traditional form of ritual cleansing.
Nobuhiro Nakanishi, 'Layer Drawing – Sunrise', Laser graphic print on film. Photo: Yumiko Chiba Associates
Over at the Japan Platform, artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi deconstructs the photograph in his installation ‘Layer Drawing – Cloud/Fog’. Here, the Japanese artist uses 100 pieces of acrylic film each printed with a time-lapse image of a sunrise or fog. The images are arranged in sequence and when a visitor walks past the installation, it is like “walking” through a forest with dense fog or “experiencing” a sunrise.
Like previous years, the fair’s education and fringe programme is one of the fair’s major highlights.
Partnering with the likes of Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) and LASALLE College of The Arts, the fringe programme will offer a selection of panel discussion, talks and activities including talks by artists and curators at the respective country and regional platforms as well as professionally guided tours for visitors
Art Stage Singapore 2014 | Date: 16-19 Jan | Time: noon-7pm (Thu-Fri); 11am-7pm (Sat); 11am-6pm (Sun) | Venue: Sands Expo & Exhibition Centre | Address: Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Ave. | Tickets: $33-63