Preview: Singapore Contemporary 2017 art fair highlights

Held in conjunction with Singapore Art Week, this second edition of the art fair will bring together over 90 exhibitors from 20 countries.

Art Radar takes a look at some of the highlights from this year’s fair.

Martin Chambi, 'Cruz Velacuy - Festival of the Cross', ENLACE Contemporary Art, Peru, Latin American Voices. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Martin Chambi, ‘Cruz Velacuy – Festival of the Cross’, ENLACE Contemporary Art, Peru, Latin American Voices. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

From 19 to 22 January 2017 Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre will host the second edition of Singapore Contemporary. With over 90 exhibitors from 20 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America, the event is part of Singapore Art Week from 11 to 22 January.

Singapore Contemporary is divided into five sectors: Photo17 Singapore, Latin American Voices, Artists Dialogues, China Encounters and Gallery Projects. It also has a number of accompanying programmes including art tours, kid’s studio, art talks and live painting demonstrations.

Masayuki Tsubota, 'The Layer of Self', Yamaki Art Gallery Japan. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Masayuki Tsubota, ‘The Layer of Self’, Yamaki Art Gallery Japan. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Singapore Contemporary has increased the number of exhibitors by 30 per cent since the first edition in 2016. There will also be two new features that highlight photography and Latin American art that aim to reflect the current movements in the contemporary art market.

Shen Gubo, 'Green Hills', Art Xchange, China. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Shen Gubo, ‘Green Hills’, Art Xchange, China. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

In the press release Director Douwe Cramer comments that a core aim of the art fair is to increase opportunities for learning about art. He explained that

Singapore Art Week is not only about the art, it is about the learning and experiencing of art, the talking about art, and Singapore Contemporary supports this ethos with a defined program that fosters artistic discovery – whether through educational talks led by experts in the field or artists themselves, or through a series of exciting and informative tours led by experienced docents from some of Singapore’s most respected art institutions. The aim is to create a nurturing environment where art is felt, its context and processes demystified.

Olivia Marty, 'reCollection - Bi kịch nhỏ (Un petit drame)', Visionairs Gallery Asia, Singapore. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Olivia Marty, ‘reCollection – Bi kịch nhỏ (Un Petit Drame)’, Visionairs Gallery Asia, Singapore. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Encouraging the collection of photography

Photo17 Singapore is a newly curated segment that focuses on contemporary photography. The exhibition focuses on the innovative nature of photography, exploring not just the photo-taking but rather the whole process from conception to final print. The curated works display continuous evolution of new ideas and practices, with special attention given to fine art, conceptual, documentary and digital installation photography. The exhibition explores the growing importance of photography in creative practice and it highlights the collectable nature of the art form.

Kate Baker, 'Flux Series 3 - Panel 5'. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Kate Baker, ‘Flux Series 3 – Panel 5’. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

In the press release Director Cramer observes that there is a need for more informed discussions about contemporary photography. He states:

Although there is widespread interest in photography, many art buyers are still reluctant to add photography to their collections. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of the medium and the processes involved. With Photo17 Singapore we want to help make a larger group of art buyers comfortable with photography and introduce some genuinely collectable works.

Two examples of innovative photography on display at Singapore Contemporary are Kate Baker from Australia, Olivia Marty from France (represented by Visionairs Gallery, Singapore) and Daido Moriyama from Japan (represented by Akio Nagasawa Gallery in Japan).

Daido Moriyama, 'Rose', Akio Nagasawa Gallery, Japan, Photo17 Singapore. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Daido Moriyama, ‘Rose’, Akio Nagasawa Gallery, Japan, Photo17 Singapore. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

A feature on Latin American art

Although Latin American art is new to the Asian region, it has increased in popularity, which can be seen in Christie’s recent Latin American Art successes. The new section called “Latin American Voices” is a special exhibition showcasing more than 25 artists from across Latin America, including Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and Chile. Presenting a range of emerging, mid-career and established artists, the exhibition focuses on artists who have already been collected in institutions across the Americas.

Gallery ENLACE Contemporary Art from Peru is featuring, among others, Uruguay artist Pablo Atchugarry (b. 1954). Working principally in Carrara or pink Portuguese marble, Atchugarry creates monolithic pieces of art that are sumptuous, smooth and simple.

X Espacio de Arte from Mexico is presenting Mexican artist Mayté Guzmán (b. 1956) at Singapore Contemporary. Well-known across the Americas and Europe, Guzmán recreates the movement of the body on canvas with a technique of random paint drippings. The works are spontaneous, powerful, organic and expressive.

Ignacio Poblet, 'Untitled', Arte Amerika Gallery, Colombia, Latin American Voices. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Ignacio Poblet, ‘Untitled’, Arte Amerika Gallery, Colombia, Latin American Voices. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Colombian gallery Galería Arte Amérika is exhibiting Peruvian artist Ignacio Poblet (b. 1975) who explores today’s Latin American reality. Using a neo-figurative style in acrylic and oil, Poblet creates an anonymous urban hero who takes responsibility for the difficult conditions of his life.

Other highlights

Akio Nagasawa Gallery represents Japanese and international photographers and artists. For Singapore Contemporary they are showing Japanese photographers including Daido Moriyama (b. 1938), Sakiko Nomura (b. 1967), Toshio Shibata (b. 1949) and Eiichiro Sakata (b. 1941).

Taipei-based gallery ARTISTS IN TAIWAN (AIT) supports up-and-coming artists from China, Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Taiwan and USA who practice in diverse media and styles. The gallery is bringing a wide range of artists to Singapore, including several works from Singaporean Teo Huey Min who connects with nature through collecting, mould making and slip casting of seeds and seedpods, as well as Japanese glass-worker Satoshi Nishigaki and South Korean Ji Yo-Sang, who draws on the traditional style of ink painting and the western technique of chiaroscuro.

Lin Xueming, 'Falling Mountains No.76', Pu Gallery, China. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Lin Xueming, ‘Falling Mountains No.76’, Pu Gallery, China. Image courtesy Singapore Contemporary.

Located in Guangzhou Redtory Art District, Pu Gallery works mainly with contemporary Chinese artists. To Singapore Contemporary they bring artists Lin Xueming (b. 1954), who is inspired by the exchange of both Western and Chinese art, and Shen Shaomin (b. 1956) who works between Beijing and Australia and whose work reflects the darkness of the human being.

Kuala Lumpur-based Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery is showing a number of artists from Malaysia, Thailand, China and Taiwan. The newly established space will bring works from artists such as Malaysian Ng Foo Cheong, whose abstract expressionist style layers paint, symbols and textures, Thai artist Saenkom Chansrinual, who uses a technique layered technique of melted, squeezed and planted acrylic, and Chinese contemporary painter and designer San Zi.

Claire Wilson

1518

Related topics: Singapore art galleries, art fairs, Southeast Asian artists, emerging artists, market watch, events in Singapore, Asian artists

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