Feature

From Home to Canvas

By Zaki JufriEvents - 22 July 2014 9:00 AM | Updated 24 July 2014

From Home to Canvas

Nocturnal party animals will not want to be caught wearing the same set of clothes twice a week, but when the party venue goes for a change, you can almost hear the collective gasp as the music momentarily stops.     

””
Interior of Canvas

Whether or not the dancing continues, especially in Singapore’s already crowded nightlife scene, is anyone’s guess. 

If you ask former Home Club co-owner Roy Ng, for a nightclub to be successful, it has to be able to create unforgettable memories for partygoers.

And he plans to do just that now that he is wearing a new hat as co-owner of new club Canvas, which opens its doors on Wednesday 30 July.

Art gallery by day and dance club by night, Canvas is a collaboration between Home Club, which closed its doors early June, and Bangkok-based Bed Concepts, the people behind Bed Supperclub in Bangkok which closed in 2013. 

Ng told inSing: “Canvas is an evolution of Home Club and will embody the same independent, creative spirit that Home Club was known for.”

Home Club, the decade-old nightspot, was a hit because of its alternative and eclectic music programming, serving as a springboard for new and upcoming artistes and musicians as well as DJs.

””
The Canvas team

TALENT PUSH

Ng said Canvas would not just launch new talent from Singapore, but overseas ones as well.

“Canvas is presenting a fresh new perspective on the nightlife scene. Home Club was already considered rather unique as a nightlife venue in its day, and Canvas will be no different,” Ng added. 

Inspired by pop-art icon Andy Warhol’s The Factory, the 3,000sqf venue will operate as a gallery across the various art disciplines – painting, photography, multimedia and sculpture – during day, and at night, DJs and musicians will take over space, adding a digital soundtrack to the space. 

Ng said: “Mahen (Nathan from Bed Concepts) and the people at Bed Supperclub initially developed the concept of Canvas about a year ago. The idea was to go beyond the boundaries of what it meant to be a nightlife space. 

“At the same time, the aim was also to cultivate a community that was both creatively minded and inspired and to combine all the elements of art, music and nightlife together.” 

He said the management realised that Canvas and Home Club shared many similar visions and ideals, so it was “a perfect fit” for both to come together to push this new space, bringing together the communities of Home Club and Bed Supperclub.

"The timing to open this kind of venue here is just perfect. The nightlife-going crowd is more discerning now. They want to be more intellectually engaged as well as be entertained. This is what we want to achieve with Canvas," said co-owner Mahen Nathan.

NEW MUSIC DIRECTION

Canvas' resident DJs: (from left) Jerls, Ming and William J

Former Home Club resident Ming Yuen will head the club’s entertainment programmes, while Razi Razak of The Rock Star Collective (RSC) will curate the art.

But don’t be expecting drum-and-bass or live indie rock music at the club anytime soon. Ming said the club’s new music direction will lean towards nu-disco, funk, indie electronica and hip-hop, by resident DJs such as William J, Jerls and Ming himself.

"Musically, we want to keep it fun, sexy and most importantly, musical. I think we're opening at the right time where a growing number of people are questioning why they like what is fed to them, and they're starting to seek out different alternatives -- looking up the likes of Disclosure, Sam Smith and Katy B. You can expect the same edginess, that Home Club offered but more inclusive," Ming said.

Clubgoers may also expect the return of comedian Kumar doing his fortnightly One Mic Stand nights.

Razi said: “With the new direction, I intend to take this opportunity to explore and find the right balance between digital and contemporary art.” 

””
Artist Zul Othman (Zero) painting at Canvas' soft launch on 18 July 2014

ART ADVISORS

He and his team will be responsible for ensuring the quality of the art and they will be supported by an advisory panel made up of leading figures in the creative industry here, including National Art Gallery’s Woon Tai Ho, Phunk Studio co-founder Alvin Tan, designer Lucas Burrows and filmmaker Mikael Teo.

Ng said: “The role of this Art Advisory Council is to look out for possible collaborations with artists and creative individuals in the scene.

“Mikael Teo, who is making a specially commissioned film for our launch, will be able to connect us with other filmmakers in the industry who would be able to collaborate with Canvas on films and other creative endeavours.” 

Two Singapore artists, photographer Russel Wong and urban artist Zul Othman (Zero) will have their works displayed at the club.

Graphic designer John Liu is excited about the opening: “I was quite sad when Home Club closed. I am very surprised that they managed to open Canvas quite fast and with a new direction and look. I can’t wait.”

Canvas | Address: #B1-01/06 20, The Riverwalk, Upper Circular Rd. | Tel: 65382928 | Opening hours: Mon-Tue 3pm-midnight, Wed-Sun 3pm-late | Tickets: Free for daytime entry; $20 (women), $25 (men) includes one standard drink from 10pm


Zaki Jufri (@mzplusj) is inSing.com's arts, entertainment and film editor