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The Shock Cancellation of Art Stage Singapore

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The Shock Cancellation of Art Stage Singapore
Image courtesy of Art Stage

In a shock announcement, Art Stage Singapore cancelled the ninth edition of its fair on the 16th of January – just 9 days before it was scheduled to take place. 35 galleries were set to participate, ranging from both local and international. Art Stage's founder and president Lorenzo Rudolf asked these galleries to "cease all preparations for Art Stage Singapore 2019" or to reverse them in the statement sent out Wednesday morning. "The given circumstances, about which we shortly will inform you, unfortunately, leave no other choice," he said in the message. According to galleries, communications with Art Stage had been sparse, with some already harbouring hunches that it might not take place.

What Singapore has now been left with are stranded galleries and their works, months of preparations down the drain, and even collectors from the region unsure of what their next steps are (Art Stage would have hosted a Collectors’ Show alongside the fair). Perhaps the major positive light to come out of this is the minute reactionary time needed for Singaporeans to step up for each other. Amidst this art world buzz on Wednesday morning, Plural Art Mag, in about an hour of the statement’s release, created a Facebook group titled 'Art Stage SOS’ where people from all walks of life came forward, offering their spaces to galleries left at wit’s end.

From individuals posting images of their homes, struggling artists offering their studio spaces, and local galleries freeing up spaces in their own exhibitions to accommodate for works in Singapore with nowhere to go (this Facebook group even had a lawyer offering up legal advice for galleries who are unsure of how to proceed), there was and still is a unanimous air of pride for Singaporeans in the art world. Vanessa Ishikawa’s "Condo" model comes prominently to mind. The undivided reassurance in the unity of our arts platform both for our fellow residents and those abroad have surfaced over the course of such adversity, and we could not be more proud.

Art Stage President Lorenzo Rudolf has made an official statement, and a joint statement made by the National Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board, and the Economic Development Board followed soon after. Whilst we won’t go into the specifics, tittle-tattles or finger-pointing, we will say that the respective statements speak for themselves.

Above all, we’re happy to have noticed that a good number of galleries have already managed to find solutions. Spaces such as Kult Gallery, artcommune gallery, and G4Si Logistics have offered their spaces and service. With the help of some entities, 15 galleries will also get to exhibit at a different location (more will follow in a statement set to be released soon). ‘Art Stage SOS’ is also still active for those who need to state their needs. Whilst we wait for this art-nightmare to blow over, we take comfort in the fact that as one fair closes - another opens - bringing life and optimism to Singapore’s art scene.

Updates:

  • Gajah Gallery helmed by Art Galleries Association Singapore Secretary Jasdeep Sandhu, has generously made room in their exhibition MONUMENTA, which opens to the public next week on 23 January, for the showcase of 2 artworks by Yeo Shih Yun and Laudi Abilama, that were meant to be displayed at the INSTINC Collective booth.
    Find out more here.

  • MARC STRAUS (New York) is pleased to announce Jong Oh's solo installation at Blk 22 Lock Road, 01-35 Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109444, hosted by Richard Koh Fine Art who has kindly given 1 room in their space to MARC STRAUS. Oh will present a new site-specific installation, made in response to the gallery space. The installation will be available for public viewing from 23 - 27 Jan 2019. 
    Find out more here.

  • Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA-KL) announced Yeoh Choo Kuan’s solo installation showcase at Blk 22 Lock Road, 01-35 Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109444. Yeoh will unveil a monumental 20-meter canvas piece - the largest from his Streaming Mountain series. The installation will be available for public viewing from 23 – 27 Jan 2019.
    Find out more here

  • Aicon Gallery is delighted to return to Singapore on Thursday, January 24th, 6 pm at The Arts House (next to the National Gallery). The exhibition runs till the 27th of January and features works by A. Ramachandran, M.F. Husain, B. Prabha, Jamini Roy, Anjolie Ela Menon, Paresh Maity, Rachid Koraïchi, Mohamad Kazem, Natvar Bhavsar, Victor Ekpuk, Bernardo Sciciliano, and Saba Qizilbash.
    Find out more here

  • The Culture Story and MARC STRAUS (New York) are proud to present for the first time in Singapore new paintings by the renowned Viennese artist, Hermann Nitsch, on view at The Culture Story (2 Leng Kee Road #03-06 Thye Hong Centre) from January 24 - 27, 2019.
    On this occasion, The Culture Story is organizing a talk on the life and art of Hermann Nitsch by Ken Tan (Director of MARC STRAUS (New York)), with introductions by Mr. Chong Huai Seng (Co-Founder of The Culture Story). The talk, to be held on Thursday, January 24th, 2019, (2:30pm-4:00pm) focuses on the integral role of Art in an individual and society.
    Find out more here

  • Now taking place at Marina Bay Sands is the ARTery, organised by Art Outreach Singapore, a non-profit organisation that promotes visual literacy in Singapore, with support from Marina Bay Sands, and with the assistance of the agencies behind Singapore Art Week – National Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Economic Development Board. Galleries participating in this include Artify Gallery (Hong Kong), BLINK Gallery (Hong Kong), Galerie GAIA (South Korea), Gallery Khankhalaev (Russia), Gnani Arts (Singapore), Linda Gallery (Beijing / Singapore / Jakarta), Mazel Galerie (Belgium / Singapore), Mookji - JEON Art Collaboration (South Korea), NEW MUSEUM (South Korea), Tang Contemporary Art (China / Hong Kong / Bangkok), Tanya Baxter Contemporary (U.K. / Hong Kong), THE FARKASH Gallery (Israel), VISIONAIRS GALLERY (France / Singapore), WHITESTONE (Japan / Hong Kong / Taiwan). 

  • Ins Tinc have found a new home at Plot, 23 Teo Hong Road, S088332, a charming shophouse space in the Bukit Pasoh conservation area. "Things Fall Together", an exhibition of works by Shih Yun Yeo, Laudi Abilama, Chihiro Kabata and Yuuri Kabata will be open from 12 pm - 8 pm on Saturday, 26 January and Sunday, 27 January. There will be a panel discussion with the artists, moderated by curator Jennifer K.Y. Lam, at 3pm on Saturday, 26 January and an opening party from 7pm - 9 pm that evening.

     

There are still plenty of events taking place during Singapore Art Week 2019! Check out The Artling's Guide to Singapore Art Week to find out more. 

Excerpt from Lorenzo Rudolph, President of Art Stage Singapore.


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.



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