Museum and Gallery Guide

Top art picks for November

By Patrick BenjaminEvents - 19 November 2012 7:00 PM | Updated 03 April 2013

Top art picks for November

'Navigator' by Mark Justiniani | Photo credit: Valentine Willie Fine Art

Regional art fans are in for a treat this month with two vibrant exhibitions that are respectively devoted to the modern artworks of the Philippines and Thailand, while aficionados of local art can check out the latest works of emerging homegrown talents, Joo Choon Lin and Genevieve Chua.

And that’s not all. We also have Lego inspired sculptures to unleash your inner child as well as an intriguing exploration of traditional Laotian courtship rituals from a pair of internationally acclaimed New York-based artists.       


'Vapourised by Sunrise' | Photo credit: Joo Choon Lin

Conceptual art: ‘Resolution of Reality’

We have been keeping tabs on 28-year-old Glasgow based Singaporean artist Joo Choon Lin since she charmed us with her whimsically captivating, live stop-motion work at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in 2009.

In her latest solo exhibition ‘Resolution of Reality’, she explores the unlikely nexus between technology and nostalgia through her site-specific installation works. Rekindling her fascination with old-school technology, she presents ‘Vapourised by Sunrise’ a series of stop-animation videos focusing on the disintegration of Styrofoam replicas of obsolete electrical appliances such as microwave ovens, printers and television sets.

In ‘Multi-Tiered Falls’, a fully functional, ancient dot matrix printer hangs on a ceiling as it evocatively stutters patterns reminiscent of waterfall on paper. The works comment on how our personal memories as well as larger issues such as environmental concerns are shaped by technological progress.          

Until 16 Dec 16 │ Venue: 3/F, Hermes, 541 Orchard Road │ Tel: 6738 9807 │ Free

7 Nov, 8pm; 9 Nov, 9pm; 10 Nov, 2pm │ Venue: Goodman Arts Centre , 5 Goodman Road │ Tel: 63425790 │ Free

Edgy, forward-thinking art: ‘Birthing Ground Not a Sound’ and ‘Maelstrom’

Avant-garde contemporary art gallery Valentine Willie Fine Art Gallery finally bids an adieu to its physical space with not one but two fine shows.    

Multi-disciplinary artist Genevieve Chua, who was awarded the prestigious NAC Young Artist award this year, wows us with a solo exhibition, ‘Birthing Ground Not a Sound’. Featuring a series of post-apocalyptic oil and acrylic paintings inspired by geological ultrasounds, these imaginative works are an offshoot of the artist’s predilection with the psychology of fear and Southeast Asian horror.

‘Maelstrom’, an edgy anchor exhibit showcases the multifarious, large-scale works of 10 leading Filipino artists including the likes of Mark Justiniani, Lyra Garcellano, Don Salubayba, and Leo Abaya. Although the approaches and mediums are diverse, the vivid works ruminate on Filipino identity and culture.               

10 Nov–2 Dec │ Venue: Valentine Willie Fine Art, #02-24 Tanjong Pagar Distripark,  39 Keppel Road │ Tel: 81331760 │ Free

'Yellow' by Nathan Sawaya | Photo
credit: ArtScience Museum

Young and fun art: ‘The Art of the Brick’

Artist Nathan Sawaya is known for his custom creations out of Lego bricks and everyday objects. In his first ever South-East Asian show, punters can get up close and personal with 52 monumental Lego sculptures including a specially commissioned ArtScience Museum and ‘Yellow’, a sculpture of a thousands of plastic toy bricks spilling out of a human torso. The 39-year-old New York based artist takes two to four weeks and utilises between 25,000 and 500,000 bricks for each quirky creation.  

17 Nov–14 Apr 2013 │ Venue: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue │ Tel: 66888868 │ Admission: $8–$14.

'Games of Desire' by Shirin Neshat |
Photo credit: Art Plural Gallery

Anthropological art: Games of Desire

Having first achieved global recognition through her arresting black-and-white images of armed, veiled women with their bodies inscribed in Farsi poetry, New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat finally makes her debut with a solo exhibition here.  

Based on her visits to idyllic Luang Prabang in 2005 and 2008, she veers away from her pre-occupation with Iran, Islam, femininity and militancy by focusing on the soon-to-be extinct, traditional Laotian courtship rituals in ‘Games of Desire’.

The main highlight in this exhibition is the dual screen projections of humorously effervescent and occasionally bawdy interaction between elderly Laotian women and men, as they banter, gesticulate, sing and dance their ways into the hearts of their loved ones. They make us reframe our stereotypical perceptions of the elderly, predefined gender roles and social expectations.

Until 15 Dec │ Venue: Art Plural Gallery, 38 Armenian Street │ Tel: 66368360 │ Free

'Local Fashion around Kard Luang Market'
by Dow Wasiksiri | Photo credit: Dow Wasiksiri

Intriguing modern Thai art: ‘Thai Transience’

This inaugural Thai contemporary art survey exhibition in SAM presents over 50 works by both well-known and emerging artists. Among 25 featured artists are internationally renowned artists like award-winning filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and conceptual artist Rikrit Tiravanija, alongside rising stalwarts like Yuree Kensaku and Bussaraporn Thongchai.    

Reflecting the fleeting unpredictability of life in Thailand, the artists have expressed their thoughts and feelings on impermanence, inspired by the nation’s rich cultural heritage and religious traditions. Beyond that, there is also abstract art, such as Pratchaya Phinthong’s untitled site specific installation, where various hues of blue paint are splashed on the museum’s walls to gradually fade away, provoking interesting questions about art and transience.

Until 6 Jan │ Venue: Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road │ Tel: 63323222 │ Admission: $5–$10; free on Fridays after 6pm