Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2016
In support of the local arts scenes and its global influences, the very first Singapore Contemporary Art Show was announced and held at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre from 21st -24th January 2016. Like everything else, art in Singapore has taken a great turn over the past couple of years with introductions of new fairs and exhibitions with each passing year.
This pioneer event played host to galleries across Asia and their affordable to mid-tier artworks ranging from $3,000-$100,000; with a healthy amount of visitors rolling in over the days, some healthy competition for Art Stage Singapore was to be expected. Following the construction of the Esplanade for theatre, culture festivals like Chingay to the rise of variant museums; art in Singapore has done a growing-up albeit slowly.
One such guest artist, Wang Min aspires to place a duality to the meaning of evolution in art as with the human race by crafting imaginary pieces of the future changes of mankind. Taking on a seemingly genderless approach to evolution, her characters adopt alien-like features crossed with that of the deer upon humane portraits. In turn, creating a sense of distance and familiarity to encompass the essence of change on a spiritual and cosmic level.
In her latest work, she features a pair of news anchors –both of whom shared similar features that were only visually differentiated based on the clothes they don. Grey, bald and alien features only separated by conformist gender attachments relating a black suit and tie as unanimously masculine next to the implied effeminate combination of a pink blazer over the simple inner shirt. Perhaps the artist was trying at a bid to inspire patrons to see evolution as an endeavor by natural selection void of gender ideals –to appreciate and understand that change should not be inhibited by conformist mindsets of rigidity in gender identifications, as it should be.
Another inspiring artist, Zhang Haiying had strong words against the violence of China’s public authorities and the harsh living conditions of her fellow countryman. The paintings from the “ON SITE ANTI-VICE CAMPAIGN” series spoke volumes as she captured the shame, humiliation and helplessness of the sidelined “mistresses” –actually prostitutes in the face of national authorities. Translating the strikingly sharp photographic images to the soft brushstrokes of vague figures of his subject, he managed to amplify the objectification of these women who have become portraits of their desirability and degradation all at once.
Unequivocally loud in her opinion of the societal obsession with beauty standards in the pursuit of the perfect image is visual artist, Kim Min-Kyung. Unmistakably influenced by South Korea’s dominant aesthetic surgery industry, the repetition of one face dressed with a bevy of three-dimensional funky hairstyles emphasizes on the outrageous. It is Kim’s witty and almost comical poke at what has been considered subversive by many but has seen a growing number attempt at completely changing themselves via the exterior.
Amidst veteran counterparts, up-and-coming artist Wu Wei gives form to paper, drawing inspiration from spiritual animals originating from his oriental roots in China. Cut finely, intricate layers form a larger artwork in clever illusionary textures simulating the skinned furs of the majestic tiger or leopards to name a few. Popularly positioned as a glass table adornment, the pieces sold well amongst buyers boasting high-ceiling abodes and blank spaces –mayhaps a little colouration and texture or a clear excuse to replace that carcass of a rug.
On a whole, the Singapore Contemporary Art show was an interesting detour from the other seasoned art shows across this “little red dot of Asia”. Organized by the same folks behind the much-acclaimed Asia Contemporary Art show held bi-annually over Spring & Summer in Hong Kong since 2012, this event is a sure haven for patrons and buyers of some very intriguing pieces of art around the region.
If you’ve missed prancing around for art at the Singapore Contemporary Art Show this year and are interested to browse the featured artists or galleries, be sure to check out more by visiting the Asia Contemporary Art Buyer -the official representative art website hosting the very artists and galleries whom participated in the event and more.