What a fantastic year! 2019 has been a year of growth and expansion in an ever-changing market. We showcased the best of contemporary art and design through a new office launch, art events, exhibitions, and art consultancy projects. We added new features and improved existing ones on our e-commerce platform to make it easier to buy art online. And we did all this while staying true to our values and striving to build a platform that continues to create value across the entire arts ecosystem in the long term.
As we close out the decade, we want to take a moment to celebrate our favorite highlights of the year.
Our most exciting milestone this year was expanding our online art gallery beyond Asia to artists, designers, and galleries from all over the world! Our total representation of artists and designers has grown to over 2,200 artists in addition to 300 galleries across the globe. We made significant improvements to our online platform to make it faster and easier for art lovers to buy art online and for artists to sell art online with The Artling. Lastly, our Artzine saw over 150 articles published presenting the best of contemporary art events and exhibitions, interviews and features showcasing popular and emerging artists, and in-depth art and city guides for art collectors.
The Artling officially opened its Private Viewing Space in Shanghai in August 2019 featuring a selection of artworks by several emerging and established contemporary Chinese artists. The inaugural showcase featured works by Alice Wang, Liu Ren, Shi Zheng, Shi Xiabo, Xu Zhen, Zhang Ruyi, Pu Yingwei, and Shen Han.
Nestled within architectural and interior firm Neri & Hu’s main headquarters, The Artling’s space in Shanghai is centrally located in the Jing’an district, on the edge of the French Concession. This new space offers our clients an opportunity to experience and view pieces in person, whilst allowing us to delve further into various cross-cultural projects and collaborations.
Located at 1F, Building 31, No. 322, Jiaozhou Road, Shanghai, The Artling looks forward to highlighting this new space as one that is versatile, refreshing, and open to collaborations for creatives.
The week of Design Shanghai saw The Artling’s first pop-up in Shanghai. A collaboration with Roche Bobois, we presented a pop-up exhibition by Capsule Shanghai artist Maya Kramer at Jing'an Kerry Centre. This exhibition included a selection of Kramer’s sculptures and installations that reveal her observations and reflections on humanity, nature, and the mechanical. The Artling also hosted a dinner in conjunction with Design Shanghai at 55 by the Group in the former French Concession, followed by a VIP party thereafter.
A panel, ’Making Modern: Art, Design, & Craft’ was conducted on March 12 as part of the KYO Collection 2019 Launch programme. Moderated by The Artling’s Gallery Director Kim Tay, panelists included Marc Webb and Naoko Takenouchi, Takenouchi Webb, Kyo Designer; Jackson Tan, BLACK, KYO Curator and Creative Director; and Regina Chan, Pomegranate, KYO sales, and Marketing Manager. The panel discussed the intersections between art, design, and craft in a contemporary context, through the lens of Japan and Southeast Asia.
On 2 April 2019, TASCHEN presented Murals of Tibet at Straits Clan. Murals of Tibet was not only one of TASCHEN's most ambitious projects to date, but also constituted a landmark project that has been a decade in the making. The author and photographer Thomas Laird introduced the project thoroughly and outlined its importance in the study, appreciation, and conservation of Tibetan art and culture in an intimate 90-minute talk at Straits Clan, exclusively for members of Straits Clan and The Artling.
Opening on 6 November 2019, The Artling presented a group design show, ‘CHINA DESIGN [WORKING TITLE],’ in our Shanghai private viewing space, curated by Yoko Choy. The exhibition coincided with two major art fairs in Shanghai (Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and West Bund Art & Design) with the intent to present a different perspective to the creative scene and aimed to highlight the breadth and depth of creative talents that exist in China, with a focus on collectible, limited edition chairs. The event was featured in the prominent art and design publication Dezeen.
The Artling collaborated with Jennifer Roberts, CEO of Design Miami/, Aric Chen, Curatorial Director of Design Miami/ and Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu of Neri&Hu over a dinner and cocktail event celebrating Shanghai Art Week and Design Miami’s future initiatives in China. The cocktail was hosted by Talenia Phua Gajardo at The Artling’s new private viewing space with a special exhibit, China Design [Working Title], curated by Yoko Choy Waiching, creative consultant and the China editor of Wallpaper* global edition.
The Artling proudly project-managed Then Now Beyond, an exhibition of limited edition art and design pieces by some of the leading figures in the fields of contemporary art and design, commissioned on the occasion of The Hour Glass' 40th Anniversary.
The Artling worked to come up with an initial brief for the artists and designers, inviting them to explore and engage with differing perceptions of time. Then Now Beyond presented these findings with a series of commissioned objets d’art by American artist Daniel Arsham, Australian designer Marc Newson, Japanese design studio nendo and Rotterdam-based Studio Wieki Somers, that seek to challenge our relationship with the past, the present and the future.
The objects included in the exhibition were selected by a committee made up of Mr Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass, British architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, and international watch specialist Mr Aurel Bacs. All the objects are produced in a limited edition and are available for purchase. In conjunction with this special occasion, the Hour Glass' flagship store, Malmaison by the Hour Glass, underwent a transformation by Milan-based JoAnn Tan Studio into a Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'-inspired aesthetic.
Singapore / Artist: Zheng Lu
Our year started off with the completion of a project years in the making. The Artling was proud to aid in commissioning a 6-meter work by Chinese artist Zheng Lu in the lobby of Frasers Tower, a new 38-storey development located in the heart of the CBD. The artwork comes across as gravity-defying, featuring Frasers' core values inscribed in the artwork, and is deeply influenced by Chinese calligraphy.
Chengdu, China / Artist: Juju Wang
We were delighted to work with Juju Wang, on a site-specific and immersive installation for the main Swarovski store in Chengdu. Mixing traditional Chinese culture with contemporary art, the artist created a glittering and interactive installation, transforming the space into a timeless and iconic piece for Swarovski.
Singapore / Artist: Muneera Malek
Singaporean artist Muneera Malek produced one of her largest commissions to date, located at the newly-opened flexible workspace JustCo at Marina Square. Working with bold color palettes and a strong influence of pop culture, the artist's mural incorporates JustCo's corporate logo and their tagline as well.
Singapore / Artist: mightyellow
This uniquely-shaped mural greets visitors as they enter JustCo Collyer Quay, adding a vibrant element to the coworking space. The mural is by Singapore artist mightyellow and is in the artist's signature style of presenting an abstraction of flora and fauna.
Melbourne, Australia / Artist: CHEHEHE
Strongly inspired by the trams and railways in Melbourne, we commissioned Australian artist CHEHEHE to create an abstract mural for the centre. Located at the reception, visitors are welcomed with the eye-catching mural and its bold colors. Similarly, we installed a handful of lively framed artworks by local print artist Mr Jaggers around the centre to further animate the space.
Taipei, Taiwan / Artist: Bamboo Yang
The Artling was excited to aid a working partnership between a Taiwanese muralist and a Singaporean artist for this project. Influenced by her own mural at JustCo Marina Square, Muneera Malek created a similar mural design with distinct features that are inspired by Taiwanese culture. Executed perfectly by the Taiwanese muralist, the piece highlights liveliness and vibrancy in JustCo's space in Hung Tai.
Taipei, Taiwan / Artist: Leo Ho
This project brought together works from artists from Taiwan, Singapore, and India. The Artling collaborated with JustCo to appoint a Taiwanese artist to complete an intricate in-house mural design created especially for the main wall of the centre. Alongside the mural, we installed a few striking framed pieces, by artists from Singapore and India, in key areas of the space.
Seoul, Korea / Artist: Junkhouse
For JustCo's very first and only tower, The Artling worked closely with two talented South Korean artists to produce both murals and framed artworks for the centre. Still representative of their unique styles, both artists created artworks that were also seamlessly complementary to the space. The pieces installed were deeply influenced by the local culture and landscape of Seoul.
Singapore / Artist: Lucinda Law
KēSa House is a unique flexible living concept located in a transformed row of iconic shophouses in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown. We commissioned Singapore artist Lucinda Law to create a botanical mural inspired by regional flora that weaves its way up the building, creating points of interest during visitors' journey up the three storeys. The in-room artworks are exclusively by Singapore artists, reflecting the space's strong roots in the area's heritage.
We worked with JMD & Openspace Ventures to commission local artist Aeropalmics for a six-storey mural for their office space at North Canal Road. The artist drew their inspiration from the themes of old and new Singapore. From the ground up to the office floors of JMD & Openspace Ventures, the artist incorporated familiar iconic areas of Singapore such as the Toa Payoh playground, followed by the fast evolution of technology to represent Openspace Ventures, to cityscapes of tall buildings and properties to symbolize JMD as a company.
Singapore / Artist: Lucinda Law
For Shiseido's headquarters in Singapore, we worked with Singapore artist Lucinda Law to create a mural inspired by the values of the cosmetics company and by flora native to the region, bringing a sense of vibrancy to the office space.
Timed for the opening of JLL's new headquarters at Paya Lebar Quarter, we commissioned Singaporean artist Aeropalmics to create a mural that closely represents the company's ethos and values. Stretching over 11 meters, the piece adds a stunning feature to the workspace.
In pursuit of its mission of highlighting the best of contemporary art and design from all over the world, The Artling partnered with 34 major art and design events globally such as:
We are thrilled with the progress made this year and can’t wait to share the exciting things we have lined up in 2020. Until then, enjoy our curated art collection and have a happy new year!
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