Singapore Art Week, Art SG return in 2024 with spotlights on pioneer and mid-career S’pore artists

Last Updated on October 26, 2023 11:11 am

SINGAPORE – Step into the studios of pioneering artists, discover new work by Singapore’s celebrated mid-career artists, and take home DNA-encoded vials of ink from a gachapon machine.

From Jan 19 to 28, art lovers can do all these and more when Singapore Art Week (SAW) returns with more than 130 events across the island.

Art SG – the tentpole art fair of SAW which attracted 43,000 visitors in its inaugural edition in 2023 – will return for its second edition at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre from Jan 19 to 21.

There will be 115 galleries from 33 countries and territories, including 38 first-time exhibitors and returning blue-chip galleries like Gagosian and Thaddaeus Ropac.

Dubbed South-east Asia’s largest art fair when it opened, Art SG’s second edition is about 30 per cent down in exhibitor count from 164 in its inaugural edition and faces competition from new and established Asian art fairs courting the same collectors and galleries.

In response to The Straits Times’ queries on 2024’s exhibitor count, fair director Shuyin Yang says: “Whilst there may be one or two late additions, as it stands, the fair is comparable in scale with other major international art fairs in Asia.”

Outside of Art SG, the fair will also highlight collector-driven initiatives in shows such as Rough by the Pierre Lorinet Collection, which features works by artists including Chinese artist Ai Weiwei; and Chronic Compulsions at The Private Museum, a collaboration between 15 Singaporean art collectors and three guest curators.

The fair’s cultural partner Art Outreach will also present a re-staging of iconic Singaporean artist Tang Da Wu’s Our Children – a piece that references a Teochew parable from Chinese opera – from Jan 12 to Feb 4 at Gillman Barracks.

Those who want a more intimate glimpse into the practice of Singapore’s pioneering artists will have exclusive access to the studios of at least two Cultural Medallion recipients: Teo Eng Seng and Tan Swie Hian.

Teo, who is in the midst of preparing for his solo show at the National Gallery Singapore in 2024, is celebrated for his use of the paperdyesculp medium, a dyed and sculpted papier-mache technique he invented. In June, he told The Straits Times that he was working on new three-dimensional work in the medium.

Poet and calligrapher Tan, internationally acclaimed for his Chinese ink works, holds the record for priciest Singaporean artist at auction with a $4.4 million sale in 2014.

Singaporean mid-career artists will also get to share the limelight as multidisciplinary artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s first mid-career survey exhibition Time & The Tiger, slated to open on Nov 24, will run at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM).

SAM will also showcase a new collaboration between the museum’s curators and two Singaporean artists – Port Dickson-based Simryn Gill and Singapore-based Charles Lim Yi Yong – in The Sea Is A Field, as they chronicle the mode of travelling by sea between their two homes.

Those in search of more playful fare can look forward to a collaboration between Indonesia-born Singaporean contemporary artist Boedi Widjaja and geneticist Eric Yap in an exhibition exploring connections between art and science.

Gachapon machines at the show will dispense vials of ink encoded with DNA and words of oral and written tradition from South-east Asian languages.

SAW is organised by the National Arts Council and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. More information on events will be revealed in the lead-up to its 12th edition.

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