Art Stage 2018 in Singapore happens from 26 – 28 January at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. This year’s trend spotting tour through the exhibitors’ hall reveals themes of colours, contemplation, and cartoonish revelations.
Last year, Art Stage counted 33,200 visitors. Now, it attracts audiences again with a broad layout of exhibiting galleries and projects, showing mainly contemporary paintings, drawings, installations, audio-visual media, sculptures, and fashion. Exhibitors participate from Southeast Asia, central Asia, Russia, the US, and Europe. Under the master pieces series, the works of established artists are displayed and for sale, such as by Anselm Kiefer, Alexander Calder, Fernando Botero, and Yayoi Kusama, just to name a few.
Interestingly, those established names seem to act as the exposition to the unfolding play of art pieces, on the floor of the Art Stage. Compared to the previous fair, the 2018 works are significantly more colourful, emotive, and plastic. Is Kiefer’s work ‘Dein und mein Alter und das Alter der Welt’ a mixed media work that negotiates the space between the canvas, its own layers of construction, and the perspective of its recipient, both Botero and Kusama, even though most different in their respective bodies of work, embrace voluptuous, sometimes comical shapes and attention-seeking hues. But the trends of 2018 aren’t just embracing and celebrating their own influences, and previous art market successes.
'The Timeless Present Moment' by Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Numthong Gallery
We find strong developments in tonality and use of bright, strong, and distinct colours, often in combination with mixed media arrangements. Paintings have become three-dimensional, with oil shaping and forming landscapes, sculptures, and narratives between the canvas and the viewer; traditional rice paper is transformed into collages, before ink and colour are applied; sculptures capture the essence of gesture drawings and character sketches, and arrangements of fabric, textiles, and objects have made their way into new forms of installations as wall-displayed art work extensions. Established and emerging artists alike are discussing movement, thought processes, and emotions in strenuous, meditative, and expressive ways.
Key themes that seem to emerge are the self as centre, solution, and orbit of identity, transition, and sociological progress. Bravery of exporting personal quests onto display, for an-other to meet with, creativity of design, and inventive discussions of the artists’ loss and preservation of self as well as artistic control influence the works and atmosphere at the fair; hopeful, dark, egocentric, aesthetic, witty, yet, mostly calm in their symbols and signatures.
Perhaps in a time, when live is shaped by screens, the linearity of contemporary art seeks three-dimensional outlets, more than ever, without having to re-define its frames.
'Who am I?' by Park Sung-Sik, 2017, Mook Ji & GAGA Collaboration
Art Stage is open on Sunday, 28 January, from 11AM - 6PM. More information can be found here.
Below, some author picks including canvas and fabric strings, wood carving, and organic tree material and acrylic paint. Notable exhibitors include Ode To Art, Mook Ji & GAGA Collaboration, Opera Gallery, Regina Gallery, White Space Art Asia, Rich Art, TAKSU, and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.
'White birches' by Kim Kawn Soo, 2017, Mook Ji & GAGA Collaboration
'Daylight' by Tsai Wei Cheng, 2018, Rich Art
'Up and Down' by Lee Jeung-Gul, Regina Gallery
'No 2 (Unceasing Thoughts No 2' by Jiang Miao, Ode To Art
'Line Space 2' by Lee Seoung, 2017, Mook Ji & GAGA Collaboration
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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