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Your Guide to Singapore Art Week 2024!

ByAena Nabong
Your Guide to Singapore Art Week 2024!

Image courtesy Singapore Art Week

Singapore Art Week (SAW) returns with its 12th edition from 19 to 28 January 2024! This edition will present an array of over 150 art events featuring new works and transnational collaborations across the island and online. The ten-day celebration of the visual arts will showcase two dynamic art fairs, S.E.A. Focus and ART SG; the Southeast Asian premier of THE 5th VH AWARD Exhibition; a diverse range of practices that will present new ways of living and sharing; as well as a vibrant Light to Night in the Civic District.

SAW is a nexus for creative collaborations and audiences can look forward to an exciting line-up of art experiences at our museums, galleries, independent art spaces and public spaces, and enjoy enriching discussions, talks, walks and tours. 

Scroll down to check out some of the upcoming highlights! 

Mizuma Gallery: Doxa & Episteme – In Search of the Real Deal

Image courtesy Miti Ruangkritya and Bangkok CityCity Gallery.

Referring to classic rhetoric, the opposing concepts of Doxa and Episteme (illusion and truth) are loosely adopted for this exhibition Doxa & Episteme – In Search of the Real Deal as a syllogism for pervasive and often digitally construed cultural representation. Through today’s social practices and mass media communication we are, in fact, lulled into certain shared values that ultimately define our beliefs, national identity, and sense of belonging. In a time of overload of visual information, is it possible to discern illusion from truth? Cantering on the digital and conceptual manipulation of visual cultural, Doxa & Episteme: (illusion & truth) investigates notions of propaganda and control, while questioning the significance of increasingly prevalent digital adaptation. Spanning video, photography and AI-generated mixed-media installation, the featured works examine the implications of mutation, digital and otherwise, in reinterpreting national archetypes, and explore the use of archives in analysing our current societies.

When: 13 January – 8 February 2024
Where: Mizuma Gallery, 22 Lock Road #01-34, Gillman Barracks

Yavuz Gallery: Metabolism by Julia Trybala

Julia Trybala, The Dance of Life, after Edvard Munch, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery.

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Australian-artist Julia Trybala's first solo exhibition in Asia. Julia Trybala centres her work on the complexity of human relationships, drawing inspiration from personal experiences, conversations with friends and family, and art historical references. With the practice of painting uniquely poised to interpret the body, Trybala uses this medium to capture both nurturing and grotesque characteristics of touch. Working with an application of texture and colour that can be hot and grubby or sometimes saccharine sweet, Trybala renders her figures within a lens of intimacy and tenderness.

When: 13 January – 18 February 2024
Where: Yavuz Gallery, 9 Lock Road, #02-23, Gillman Barracks

FOST Gallery: My Heart Will Go On And On And On by Yeo Tze Yang

Image courtesy of the artist and FOST Gallery.

Recognised for his paintings of everyday life, Yeo Tze Yang continues to challenge perceptions of the mundane, taking objects he encounters on the street as his subject matter. In My Heart Will Go On And On And On, These seemingly random debris he paints are on the ground, flattened or both; disintegrating, neglected or about to be discarded—a crumpled piece of junk mail, a loan-shark’s name card, an eggplant that has been driven over and the shadow of the artist’s own silhouette in a dirty drain—bits of urban life depicted in painterly strokes and unflinching realism. These still-lifes are then presented via various experimental formats. Here, art-making becomes a language of love and perhaps an obsession for the unloved. This exhibition is an ode to the absurdity, tragedy and pathos of the banal.

When: 13 January – 3 March 2024
Where: FOST Gallery, 1 Lock Road, #01-02, Gillman Barracks

Richard Koh Fine Art: Reincarceration by Htein Lin

Image courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art.

Reincarceration returns to the nucleus of Htein Lin’s vision: the pernicious operations of state-sponsored power, and the myriad ways in which individuals survive its depredations. In 2022, the Myanmar artist found himself back in prison, this time as collateral damage in the military government’s targeting of his wife, Vicky Bowman, a former British ambassador to the country working to promote responsible business. Both were sentenced to a year for alleged immigration offences. Released after three months, Htein Lin’s most recent incarceration follows his early experiences as a political prisoner in the late 1990s, when he spent more than six years behind bars. The present show, comprised of works spanning the decades between the two periods, is a reflection of the broader struggle for liberty and human rights in Myanmar, the travails of a lone individual speaking to the collective tribulations of his people in wake of the military coup in 2021.

When: 13 – 27 January 2024
Where: Richard Koh Fine Art, 47 Malan Road, #01-26, Gillman Barracks

Ota Fine Arts: Self and Beyond

Image courtesy Ota Fine Arts Singapore/Tokyo/Shanghai.

Self and Beyond is a group exhibition featuring three female artists; Ay Tjoe Christine, Rina Banerjee and Maria Farrar. Their works explore themes of the self, expanding on reflections on personal emotions, self-presentation and self-identity in the urban society. Ay Tjoe’s works explore the dualities between one’s inner emotions and how they portray themselves to others in the external world. On the other hand, Farrar depicts scenes from her everyday life or from fragments of her memories, bringing forth personal themes in her paintings while exploring the presentation and behaviors of women of today. Lastly, Banerjee approaches her work with a thoughtful sensitivity, using multiple materials to explore material manifestations of anthropology, ethnography, mythologies and the Indian diaspora.

When: 13 January – 2 March 2024
Where: Ota Fine Arts, 7 Lock Road, #02-13 Gillman Barracks

The Institutum: Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics

Image courtesy of The Institutum.

Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics explores the dynamic connections and affinities shared between the African and Asian diasporas through the lens of contemporary art. 

This multi-venue showcase features leading artists across the continents, including Zanele Muholi, Sonia Boyce, The Otolith Group, Do Ho Sun, Martin Wong, and many more. Through these works, the exhibition unveils material synergies and cultural affinities that cultures together. The exhibition also presents culinary and cultural partnerships with sites such as the Michelin-starred Nouri and the leading Chinese gallery, ShanghART. 

When: 17 – 30 January 2024
Where: Gillman Barracks, 6 Lock Road, #02-09 / 7 Lock Road, #01-12 / 9 Lock Road, #03-21 - #03-22.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery: Vespertine Clouds (Yūgumo) by Miya Ando

Image courtesy Miya Ando and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

In Vespertine Clouds (Yūgumo), each of Miya Ando’s canvases presents an entirely singular and unrepeatable instance. A keen observer of natural phenomena, Ando envisions that one should exalt the temporality of each instant and feel graciously rewarded. Every moment is uniquely experienced and unlike any other and, to the artist, “beauty is sublime due to its ephemerality.” Working from photographs of particular cloud formations chronicling precise moments in time, Ando uses watercolor-like techniques to layer translucent washes of ink and pigment mixed with urethane on metal canvases. Leaving some areas bare, she allows the reflective metal to shine amid passages of muted color creating a sense of depth and movement. In many works she also embeds micronized pure silver, a fine dust-like material, which adds further sheen.

When: 13 January – 24 February 2024
Where: Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock Road 01-05, Gillman Barracks

Yeo Workshop: TABLET: New Paintings by Filippo Sciascia

Filippo Sciascia, Tablet 5, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Yeo Workshop.

In an upcoming solo exhibition and a display of artistic mastery, Bali-based Filippo Sciascia showcases his latest collection of photo-realistic and painstakingly crafted paintings, featuring a return to his iconic "cracked" painting series. Delving into his enduring fascination with light as an anthropological catalyst, Sciascia's work portrays various scenes illustrating light's pivotal role in the development of mankind's technological progress. Aptly titled 'TABLET,' the exhibition spans both ancient and modern eras, symbolising the evolution of communication and technology. Tablet describes ancient clay stones with cuneiform inscriptions, and also the medium of today’s digital mobile technology, and with that, Sciascia weaves a visual narrative of humanity's adaptive journey through time. 

When: 14 January – 11 February 2024
Where: Yeo Workshop, 47 Malan Road, #01-25, Gillman Barracks

ART SG 2024

Image courtesy of ART SG.

Presented by Founding and Lead Partner UBS, ART SG is Singapore and Southeast Asia's leading international art fair. ART SG's launch in January 2023 was the most significant launch in Asia-Pacific in a decade and was hailed by many as the beginning of new chapter for the art scene in Singapore. The second edition of ART SG will spotlight exceptional contemporary art from around the world and will play a critical role in connecting Southeast Asia to the global art world.

This year, ART SG will feature a stellar line up of galleries from countries worldwide alongside dynamic large-scale installations, curated talks and film programs. ART SG as part of Singapore Art Week, has firmly placed Singapore as a key destination on the global art stage.

When: 19 – 21 January 2024
Where: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Ave

S.E.A Focus

Image courtesy of S.E.A Focus.

S.E.A. Focus is a leading showcase and art market hub dedicated to Southeast Asian contemporary art. It aims to bring together a fine curation of established and emerging artistic talents to foster a deeper appreciation of contemporary art in the region. A meeting point for artistic vision and vigour, S.E.A. Focus provides a platform that propels diverse cultural exchanges and provokes dialogue about Southeast Asian art. Back for its sixth edition, S.E.A. Focus 2024 explores what gives form to being human while navigating a world with our human distinctiveness co-existing with another competing intelligence. 

Alongside the curated exhibition at Tanjong Pagar Distripark is an exciting line-up of experiences to engage art lovers from seasoned collectors to curious enthusiasts, including a curated film programme of artists’ video works, stimulating art conversations with industry thought leaders, and exclusive access to art spaces. S.E.A. Focus is an anchor event of the Singapore Art Week, led by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery and commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

When: 20 – 28 January 2024
Where: Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 39 Keppel Rd, #01-05.

Light to Night 2024: Reimagine

Image courtesy of National Gallery Singapore.

Light to Night Singapore's theme, 'Reimagine' invites festivalgoers to engage with art and space in new and innovative ways, sparking creativity and inspiring thoughtful experiences. The festival encourages artists to take visitors on a journey of unexpected and unconventional exploration, using inspiration from history, origin, and national collections to create truly immersive and interactive experiences that are accessible to all.

When: 19 January – 8 February 2024
Where: National Gallery Singapore

The Culture Story: Aesthetic Responses

Image courtesy of Waswo X and Private Collector.

Aesthetic Responses weaves together works from three very disparate collectors of contemporary South Asian art. While the works presented here are embedded in and richly informed by the cultural and social history of South Asia, they also speak to the ongoing socio-political events that are playing out on the global stage.

The works shown here do not prescribe a specific reaction, nor do they propose a solution: in accordance with the aesthetic theories of South Asia the exhibition recognises that each viewer’s relationship with the works is dynamic and constitutive. While each work is convincing and complete, its juxtaposition with works on either side, in front, above and below, serves to shift, emphasise or transform both meaning and concept. We welcome viewers to traverse the exhibition, allowing the works’ connotations, flavours and suggestive interpretations to transport them to imaginative spaces and experiences.

When: 13 January – 14 April 2024
Where: 2 Leng Kee Road, Thye Hong Centre, #03-06

Cuturi Gallery: Night Call by Casey Tan

Image courtesy of the artist and Cuturi Gallery.

Charting inspiration from feelings of contemplation and isolation, this series of paintings by Singaporean artist, Casey Tan takes on the different lived experiences of processing the world as a modern Singaporean. Channeling his personal fascination between familiar and imagined scenarios, Tan's new body of work spotlights day-to-day routines and the unknowing quiet commotion that occurs within our inner worlds.

Through painting as medium, there is an interplay of perspective and characters who set the tone for representing the stirring emotions we are bound to feel in this overwhelmingly interconnected world. Tan approaches alternative interpretations of normalcy by painting familiar moments such as having the characters in mid-conversation or having a meal. The many different characters represented in his paintings are set against dramatic and dreamy backgroups used as a bridge to invite viewers to find solace in the seemingly mundance.

When: 6 January – 18 February 2024
Where: Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street

Gajah Gallery: Customised Posture, (De)colonising Gestures

J. Jackson, A group of Rangoon Coolies, c. 1868. Image courtesy of Gajah Gallery.

Customised Posture, (De)colonising Gestures aims to establish an interconnectivity between photography practices in colonial Southeast Asia, and contemporary art practices from the region. It focuses on the way the camera customised postures and gestures of subjects in the colony, and how their body language adopted and adapted with the modern technology of representation in indoor and outdoor portraiture. The region’s shared political, economic and social conditions of colonial relations, arguably, produced common visual conventions in the photographic portraiture. The second part of the exhibition presents how these motifs emerge in the works of the participating artists, who work with various mediums: painting, sculpture, drawing, multimedia installation, and photography. This iconographical evolution not only transforms the vernacular of the colonial past to the artistic refinement of the present, but also, more crucially, is an act of decolonising gestures in Southeast Asian photographic representation.

When: 19 January – 18 February 2024
Where: Gajah Gallery, 39 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, #03-04

STPI: Meditations on Shadow Libraries by Heman Chong

Image courtesy of Heman Chong.

The works in this new exhibition Heman Chong: Meditations on Shadow Libraries regarding informal libraries reflect on the dissemination of knowledge through social channels and disclose ways of thinking about the limits of control. Envisioned as a labyrinth of ideas, the spaces of STPI will play host to: The Library of Unread Books / addresses of buildings in Singapore that has been demolished / images of leaves found in library books / highly cropped photographs of books from paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York / a plan for an imaginary film festival that only screens road movies / a participatory performance where you can memorise a short story written by Heman Chong / paintings of book covers, unwritten things and landscapes resembling sets of big data.

When: 17 January – 10 March 2024
Where: STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, 41 Robertson Quay

SAM: New Presentations Spotlight Leading Southeast Asian Artists

Nguyễn Trinh Thi, 47 Days, Sound-less, 2024. Image courtesy of the artist and Singapore Art Museum.

As part of Singapore Art Week, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) unveils new works by leading Southeast Asian artists, welcoming visitors to art experiences that encourage contemplation on the interplay between humanity and our physical surroundings. From 12 January to April 2024, The Sea is a Field by artists Simryn Gill and Charles Lim Yi Yong, presents observations captured by Gill and Lim of a trip made along the Malacca Strait using a network of local ferries that connect small port towns across Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

When: From 12 January – 21 April 2024
Where: SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

Visitors can also look forward to 47 Days, Sound-less by Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Trinh Thi, an expanded cinema experience that offers new ways of looking and listening. By foregrounding our visual encounters with ecological forms as typically depicted in cinema, the artwork invites audiences to reflect on the entangled relationship between a place and its inhabitants. Recipient of the Moving Image Commission 2021, Nguyễn’s installation is commissioned by the Han Nefkens Foundation, Mori Art Museum, M+, Hong Kong and Singapore Art Museum.

When: From 12 January – 14 April 2024
Where: SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

Tiffany Loy: Open Studio

Image Courtesy of Tiffany Loy.

Tiffany Loy is a Singaporean artist, trained in industrial design in Singapore, and textile-weaving in Kyoto. Loy graduated from the Royal College of Art, and was a recipient of the DesignSingapore Scholarship. Since the start of her practice in 2014, Loy’s experimental works have been exhibited internationally, at venues such as Singapore Art Museum, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and La Triennale di Milano. Loy employs a weaver’s approach to sculpture, that explores fundamental relationships between elements of materiality such as colour, structure, and tension. The minuscule details in Loy’s work invite viewers to take a closer look and indulge in the act of observing.

When: 26 – 28 January 2024
Where: 1090 Lower Delta Road, #02-13

Art Porters Gallery: Sa Balota! by by Kristoffer Ardeña

Image courtesy Kris Ardena and Art Porters.

'Sa Balota!' (To the Ballots!) is a slogan taken directly from an election poster in the Philippines. In this exhibition Ardeña focuses on painting portraits of the politicians running in the recent 2022 national elections in the Philippines. During campaign season it is customary for those running for office to put up tarpaulin posters adorned with idealised portraits and catchy slogans to entice the voting public. These political posters are then painted over using elastomeric paint, an industrial paint designed for tropical countries and widely used in the Philippines to protect buildings from the harsh humid climate. In this particular exhibition Ardeña appropriates mostly orchids motifs taken from Instagram posts to cover up the portraits of politicians that were running for office, only revealing fragments of them peeping through the cracks.

When: 5 January – 25 February 2024
Where: Art Porters, 64 Spottiswoode Park Road.

Artifactt: Utsuwa To Design by Yuta Miyazaki

Collection highlighting Utsuwa to Design's unique style

Artifactt's upcoming exhibition features the remarkable works of Yuta Miyazaki, the innovative mind behind Utsuwa to Design. This exhibition promises an exclusive insight into Miyazaki's creative journey, showcasing a fusion of his pottery craftsmanship and design expertise.

During select dates of this exhibition, Yuta Miyazaki will grace the store in person, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to engage directly with the artist. This interaction aims to delve deeper into the narratives behind his exquisite pieces, providing a first-hand understanding of his inspirations and artistic process.

Additionally, witness an ikebana performance by Lilian Chow on Utsuwa to Design pieces, showcasing how beautiful vessels can transform into diverse uses with creativity. This presentation invites attendees to witness the process and creativity of ikebana on selected dates and times, adding another layer of depth to Miyazaki's artistry and the versatility of his designs.

When: 12 January – 21 January 2024
Where: Artifactt Singapore

Over the last decade, SAW has showcased Singapore's diverse visual arts community. The 2024 edition promises a variety of art experiences across the island, making art accessible to all. SAW 2024 will creatively transform spaces, inviting visitors to explore their personal connection to the environment through spontaneous interactions.

Click here to find out more about Singapore Art Week 2024! 

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