New draws at art fairs

This wood sculpture by Dorothy Manolo Valdes (Spain) was on display at Art Stage Singapore which was at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre during the month of January 2016.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Art collectors can look forward to new and revamped offerings at three art fairs opening in the new year.

Art Stage Singapore, Art Apart Fair and Singapore Contemporary will take place next month during Singapore Art Week, an annual round-up of visual arts offerings that will run from Jan 11 to 22.

The 12-day event, featuring close to 100 activities including exhibitions, workshops and talks, is a joint initiative by the National Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Economic Development Board.

At both Art Apart Fair and Art Stage Singapore, works of art owned by private collectors, which are usually kept away from public view, will go on show.

This is the second time Art Stage Singapore is holding its Collectors' Stage showcase.

It was introduced in 2011 as a parallel event of the inaugural fair and held at the Singapore Art Museum and Art Space@Helutrans in Tanjong Pagar.

The upcoming Collectors' Stage is a partnership with Singapore- based online art gallery The Artling.

It will be shown at the fair, which runs from Jan 12 to 15 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and feature works owned by six Singaporebased collectors including Mr Hady Ang, Mr Michael Tay and Mr and Mrs Michelangelo Samson.

The works in this section are not for sale.

Art Stage Singapore founder and president Lorenzo Rudolf says the reintroduction of Collectors' Stage follows a well-received version of it at Art Stage Jakarta in August and is a response to the socio-economic flux around the world.

National Museum adds stunning forest-themed installations

  • Nature, history and art lovers, here's an event that is perfect for you.
  • Two new permanent exhibitions launching at the National Museum of Singapore on Saturday (Dec 10) will feature an impressive digital installation of a virtual rainforest, as well as photographs of Singapore's iconic city trees.
  • After a two-year closure, the rotunda will now be home to to the Story of the Forest installation by internationally renowned art collective teamLab.
  • It will also house Singapore, Very Old Tree, which is a special exhibition featuring photos by local photographer Robert Zhao.
  • Measuring 170m by 15m, Story of the Forest will greet visitors to the rotunda with a larger-than-life interactive digital installation that mimics the sight and sounds of Southeast Asia's dense tropical rainforests.
  • It is based on drawings from the prized William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.
  • "Due to the massive size and scale of the Glass Rotunda, this is by far the most challenging digital artwork installation created by teamLab to date," founder of teamLab, Toshiyuki Inoko said.
  • "Our team was immensely inspired by the intricate drawings from the William Farquhar Collection while conceptualising this ground-breaking installation, and we are excited to present it to visitors from Singapore and around the world here at the National Museum," Inoko added.
  • In Singapore, Very Old Tree, photos of significant trees in Singapore and around the vicinity of the National Museum will showcased along with the intimate stories behind them.
  • For instance, did you know that there used to be a massive banyan tree located behind the Substation, along the walls of Timbre?
  • Artist Robert Zhao said: "Trees are breathing markers of history and are monuments that embody a special meaning in the nation's collective and individual experiences."
  • "We hope that this exhibit will spark conversations and stories about home and belonging."
  • And to add icing to the cake, visitors to the National Museum on Dec 10 and 11 will enjoy free admission to the Glass Rotunda and permanent galleries.

He says: "In these dramatically changing times, we can no longer sell art based only on the price. We have to focus even more on content and show art in context."

The curated exhibition pays tribute to collectors, he says, who are "the most important pillars of the art scene" in "most, if not all, South-east Asian countries".

The upcoming fair will feature 126 galleries from 27 countries, down from this year's 143 galleries from 32 countries.

At Art Apart Fair, works owned by Singapore-based collectors will also go on show, albeit for the first time.

The collectors are Dr Stanley Quek, Ms Lynette Wong and Mr Ernesto Bedmar, and some of the pieces will be for sale.

Fair director Rosalind Lim says the intention is to share "good art pieces" from private collections with the public.

The fair will also offer works by close to 100 artists from Europe and Asia and in mediums ranging from paintings to installations and videos.

The Singapore Contemporary fair, on the other hand, is returning with two new highlights - a special exhibition of works by artists from Latin American countries such as Argentina, Cuba and Mexico, and a curated show of photography works.

Show director Douwe Cramer says the photography segment is attuned to the medium's growing popularity among audiences in the region and aims to "give art buyers here the confidence to start acquiring their first photography works".

The fair runs from Jan 19 to 22 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

As for its spotlight on Latin American art, he says it "fits with our goal of bringing to Singapore a wide range of art from around the world".

The fair will have more than 87 exhibitors from 20 countries, an increase from the 65 exhibitors from 15 countries at its launch this year.

He says: "Unless you are prepared to travel for 30 hours or more, this is your best chance to see and experience some of the best art from Central and South America."


WHERE: Levels 2, 3 and 20 Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road

WHEN: Jan 7 to 11, 11.30am to 9pm daily

ADMISSION: $10 from or at the venue


WHERE: Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue

WHEN: Jan 12 to 15; noon to 8pm (Thursday to Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday)

ADMISSION: $32 for a one-day pass, $64 for a four-day pass, from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to


WHERE: Level 4 Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Raffles Boulevard

WHEN: Jan 19 to 22; 3.30 to 9pm (Thursday, by invitation only), noon to 9pm (Friday), 11am to 7pm (Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday)

ADMISSION: $25 for a one-day pass, $48 for a three-day pass (includes one complimentary ticket if purchased online before fair opens), from Sistic

This article was first published on Dec 27, 2016.
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