Art Stage Singapore, Southeast Asia's flagship art fair, opens its fifth edition from Jan. 22 to 25 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Faithful to its artistic concept, Art Stage Singapore is a place to discover, experience, understand and meet Southeast Asia. Among the many highlights of the fair is the Southeast Asia Platform with an exhibition titled "Eagles Fly, Sheep Flock — Biographical Imprints: Artistic Practices in Southeast Asia." The fifth edition also introduces Video Stage, which will become a staple feature. Other highlights include the special exhibitions for Russia, Malaysia, Korea and Modern Art.
Art Stage Singapore is today more than just a market platform for collectors. It is a temporary museum housing the best contemporary art from the region and the world over for everyone to see and experience. As a market platform, artworks at Art Stage Singapore range from the expensive to the affordable, but always with a clear distinction that the works have been selected based on the best quality.
The Platform and special exhibitions characterise the defining trait of Art Stage Singapore — its strong emphasis on quality innovative content and art education. This is in line with the fair's commitment to growing and developing a robust eco-system for Southeast Asian contemporary art with Singapore as its centre.
"Art Stage Singapore has an important role to play in helping to build the eco-system to support contemporary art from the region. This is why we have to always innovate the fair each year to present fresh and exciting content that excites people and makes them curious about contemporary art. We feel that as the flagship fair of the region, Art Stage Singapore has the responsibility to provide the necessary information, the tools and the means by which everyone can access and have better understanding of art. As Asia's most innovative fair, we are also the most vibrant meeting point. Nowhere else will you find such a comprehensive overview of the artistic creativity of the entire region and nowhere else will you meet all of its protagonists — the gallerists, the collectors, the curators and, above all, the artists," says Lorenzo Rudolf, founder and fair director.
A strong showing of new and returning galleries underscores the fair's position as the premier art fair of Southeast Asia and reinforces Singapore as the international capital for contemporary Southeast Asian art. The fair features 158 galleries as general booths, 18 galleries at the Southeast Asia Platform and 33 galleries and institutions at the Special Exhibitions. Participating galleries come from 29 countries. Seventy-five per cent of the exhibitors are Asia-Pacific-based. Overall, exhibitors at the fair hail from Austria, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Vietnam.
Among the highlight galleries include top international galleries such as ARNDT (Berlin/Singapore), Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), Galerie Gebr. Lehman (Dresden/Berlin), Finale Art File (Manila), Gallery Hyundai (Seoul), Gallery Krinzinger (Vienna), Nadi Gallery (Jakarta), Paul Kasmin (New York), Pearl Lam Galleries (Hong Kong/Singapore), Galerie Perrotin (Hong Kong/Paris), Singapore Tyler Print Institute (Singapore), Tina Keng Gallery/TKG+ (Beijing/Taiwan), Sundaram Tagore Gallery (New York/Singapore), Wei Ling Gallery (Kuala Lumpur) and White Cube Gallery (London), among others.
Artists in attendance include celebrated collaborative duo Gilbert and George whose works will be exhibited by ARNDT. Other artists who will be present are Hiroshi Senju, FX Harsono, Pablo Baen Santos, Manit Sriwanichpoom and Lev Evzovich of AES+F.
Southeast Asia Platform
The Southeast Asia Platform returns with a curated sales exhibition of artworks by 32 emerging artists from the region. The Platform exhibition titled "Eagles Fly, Sheep Flock — Biographical Imprints: Artistic Practices in Southeast Asia" is curated by emerging Singaporean curator, Khim Ong, who has taken an academic approach in her selection of artworks and artists for the show. Taking up an area of 1,000 square metres, the Southeast Asia Platform is presented as a museum-like exhibition. It is where the spotlight shines on young and emerging talents and where the public can discover the future stars of Southeast Asia's contemporary art scenes.
"Eagles Fly, Sheep Flock: Biographical Imprints — Artistic Practices in Southeast Asia" aims to present diverse artistic practices in the region through a selection of works ranging from painting, installation, print and photography, to video and performance. In taking artists' practices as the points of departure, these attempts at reflecting artistic influences and experimentations in the region will bring together a wide range of works, enabling new relations to emerge. Observed as biographical sketches, each of these works will provide an intimate engagement with the artists and their practices, while collectively serve as an entry point for understanding art from the region.
New to Art Stage Singapore 2015 will be five Special Exhibitions featuring curated exhibitions in a museum-like layout.
Video Stage makes its debut, providing an overview of the history of video art to the present day, allowing for a greater understanding of the medium that is quickly gaining interest among collectors in Asia today. It comprises three parts featuring 73 videos projected on 15 screens. The main selection focusing on Australia is curated by Paul Greenaway (Australia) with additional selections by Chi-Wen Huang (Taiwan) and by Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore). Video Stage will be a regular feature from this year onwards.
Special Exhibition on Russia, "The Liminal Space Trilogy (Part 2 + 3)" introduces edgy, contemporary video art from Russia's emerging contemporary scene to engage the Asian audience in an open dialogue and to initiate an exchange of ideas between the art markets of Russia and Asia. It is curated by Olga Sviblova and presents the work of Russian art collective AES+F. The Trilogy contains three video projects by AES+F: Last Riot (2007), The Feast of Trimalchio (2009) and Allegoria Sacra (2011). It is an attempt to analyse the globalisation of reality in the 21st century from the point of view of traditional reference points that for many centuries define the structure of the universe: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory.
"André Masson — Metamorphosis" is an exhibition featuring 54 works by the French cubist and surrealist, André Masson. The exhibition is the first Masson retrospective of this scale that is taking place in Asia. One of the leading figures of 20th century art, Masson continues to stand out and fascinate with his production. The artist's oeuvre is above classification due to his incessant shifts in style and thought. The exhibition features his paintings and works on paper from as early as 1923 up to his last paintings round up the retrospective. This Special Exhibition is presented in cooperation with Die Galerie, Frankfurt and MF — Toninelli Art Moderne, Monaco. "André Masson — Metamorphosis" is the first step towards developing a strong Modern sector at Art Stage Singapore, which will include Asian Modern.
"Being Human — Figuratism of Sixteen Malaysian Painters" showcases the works of 16 Malaysian artists who hope to reaffirm and redefine the position of figurative painting within the context of the Malaysian art scene. Sixteen members of TheFKlub, all figurative artists representative of the senior, mid-career and young generations, created works within a specific dimension and a particular theme. Each work is at least two by two meter in size. The participating artists include Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Kow Leong Kiang, Chong Siew Ying, Phuan Thai Meng, Shia Yih Yiing, Chin Kong Yee, Chan Kok Hooi, Marvin Chan, Gan Chin Lee, Cheong Tak Wai, Chong Ai Lei, Arif Fauzan, Fadilah Karim, Hisyamuddin Abdullah. The exhibition is organised by TheFKlub, a group of visual artists linked by a common interest in figurative art or more precisely, in using the human figure as the main subject matter in their artistic practice.
"Looking Out/Looking In" is an exhibition of works presenting four emerging Korean artists — Che Onejoon, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Chae Won Kim and Jina Park — representing the multifarious aspects of contemporary Korean art in terms of both medium and subject. These artists who have been showing actively both inside and outside Korea make their debut in Singapore on the occasion of the Art Stage Singapore 2015. The exhibition is curated by Hongchul Byun and in cooperation with the Art Council Korea.
Public artworks are exhibited throughout the fair grounds. Collaborative duo Gilbert and George will be at the fair and have created a new large-scale work to be exhibited as part of the entrance of the VIP lounge and presented by ARNDT. Other works include The Conference by Zhang Mo, a monumental powerful work inspired by the Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper; Hiroshi Senju's Day Falls/Night Falls X; and a series of works by Peter Zimmerman.
Other installations such as Contours of a Rich Manoeuvre by Suzann Victor, is suspended from the ceiling of the fairground's main aisle. The public artworks also include Mystic Abode by Paresh Maity; Fernando Botero's monumental sculpture, Standing Woman; Tetris 17th Century by Joana Vasconcelos; Imago Mundi by Titarubi; Zulkifle Mahmod's No Substance and Mike HJ Chang's commissioned Clean (Car Wash) as the fair's entrance artwork.
More than ever, Art Stage Singapore's Education Programmes play a central role in the fair. For the first time, Art Stage Singapore partners with ARTnews to present the ARTnews Talk Series, a selection of talks with Southeast Asia-focused topics that explore the dichotomy of artistic transition and practices through social and cultural influences in Southeast Asia.
Highlights of this series include Private vs. Public Museums on Jan. 22 (with speakers Budi Tek, collector and founder of Yuz Museum in Shanghai; Prof. Ute Meta Bauer, founding director, CCA; and Olga Sviblova, director, Multimedia Art Museum Moscow); "Collectors' Talk: Michael Ringier" in conversation with ARTnews also on Jan. 22; and "Why Cities Need Museums: Jorge Perez in Conversation with Lorenzo Rudolf" on Jan. 24.
With the Art Stage Talk Series, Art Stage Singapore has partnered with established institutions and professionals to offer a wider range of topics that provides insights into the latest developments, discourses and movements within the art scene and market. In addition, there is also the Southeast Asia Platform Artists Talks, a series of talks by artists exhibiting at the Southeast Asia Platform providing insights into their artistic practices. The Education Programmes will also include the Southeast Asia Platform Tours, which centre on works presented at the Southeast Asia Platform, and also draws upon other selected works shown within the fair. These one-hour tours are led by aspiring young curators who were participants of the Curating Lab programme in Singapore. The General Art Tours explore a selection of artworks exhibited by Galleries, Project Booths and Special Exhibitions.
Winning works from Art Stage Singapore's first Student Art Competition are also on exhibit. The competition saw entries from visual arts and visual culture students across Singapore based on the theme "We are Asia. We are Singapore. We are Home."
For more information, log on to www.artstagesingapore.com