In 2012, the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) will participate in The Armory Show in New York City, now in its fourteenth edition. STPI is the first Southeast Asian gallery ever to attend Armory. They will be part of The Armory Show – Contemporary fair on Pier 94.

Teresita Fernandez, 'Tristan and Isolde', 2011, hand-dyed and formed paper pulp with UV ink print and mirror. Image courtesy of Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Milestone for the region

STPI’s attendance is a major milestone in Singapore’s quest to become an international arts centre. The gallery will also be showing work from two Singaporean artists Herman Chong and Ho Tzu Nyen, making the 2012 Armory Show the first time Singaporean artists are shown at the fair as well.

Many important, international curators, galleries and collectors will be in New York for The Armory Show. It has a real energy and is home to the biggest names in contemporary art. STPI’s representation at the fair is a presentation of the exciting developments in Singapore to the world.

STPI Director Emi Eu, from a company press release

STPI will feature a solo booth dedicated entirely to American artist Teresita Fernández and her dreamy skyscape series “Night Writing”, made in collaboration with the institution’s print facilities. Singaporean audio-video artist Ho Tzu Nyen will be exhibiting his piece, Cloud of Unknowning at Armory Film, the fair’s video portion in its inaugural year. STPI will also debut the latest works from conceptual artist Herman Chong: “Calendar (Past)” is a colourful series of abstracted calendars marking pivotal moments in history.

Herman Chong, 'November 1998', 2011, acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Few Asian galleries in attendance

The Singapore Tyler Print Institute is not the only Asian gallery making its first appearance at the fair in 2012. Istanbul provides two new offerings, with RAMPA Gallery and Pi Gallery both set to make their début this year. Several Asian galleries are also returning to the Armory show after long absences. The Tang Contemporary gallery of Beijing will attend for the first time since 2004, while Tokyo’s Kaikai Kiki will break their three-year hiatus from the fair. Most notably, big name Korean gallery Gallery Hyundai will return after an eight-year absence.

Click here to view The Armory Show’s 2012 exhibitor list in its entirety.

The fair’s exhibitors list has been dramatically cut back for 2012, down a quarter from 2011 to around 220 galleries. Despite an increase in the number of Asian galleries in 2012, they remain a relatively small presence at the fair, with only eleven galleries in attendance that come from the region or focus on work by Asian artists.

Ho Tzu Nyen, film still from 'The Cloud of Unknowing', 2011, video. Image courtesy of Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Slow progress

In 2008, only four galleries from Asia attended the show, making up just two percent of the attendees. While some international galleries also sell Asian art, they are still in the minority. In 2011, there were only two European galleries selling contemporary Chinese work. Former Executive Director Katelijne de Backer said that in recent years the fair has made an effort to include more Asian exhibitors. She also remarked that one major reason Asian applicants are rejected is because the committee finds their proposals insufficiently innovative in that they often plan to show established, blue-chip Western artists instead of emerging artists from Asian nations.

The Armory Show will run in New York City from 8 to 11 March 2012.


Related Topics: Asia expands, art in Singapore, art fairs

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar for more on contemporary Asian art abroad

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *