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MARCH 2011 / 1
Lam Tian Xing
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10 ART WIRE
MORNING, DAY, EVENING 10 The Narrator, Protagonist & The Other 10 Konstantin Bessmertny: Clandestinum 11 Melting Memories 11 MAT/RAMLEE — A solo exhibition by Khairuddin Hori 12 Thaweesak Srithongdee: LOOP 12 A Solo Exhibition by Angki Purbandono: TOP POP 13 Pretty Grotesque 13 Notes in Idolatry 14 Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth 14 Beyond Perspective 15 Paresh Maity’s Journeys 15
TEFAF — Family Gatherings
Bey Logan — Tale Bonding
20 IN THE FRAME
Duggie Fields: Look Between the Lines.
ART STAGE: The Search for the Contemporary
The Fontanian — Industrial Action
62 DIRECTORY & LISTINGS
Singapore Art Galleries Other Listings Tourist Spots Malaysia Art Galleries Hong Kong Art Galleries London Art Galleries
Sally Harrison — Reconnecting the Dots
42 ART LANDS
Shaanxi > Hong Kong
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Issue #17 (March 2011) ISSN 2010-4375 / MICA (P) 252/09/2010 www.thepocketartsguide.com
On the Cover Duggie Fields, Madonna and Heart, digital canvas, 175cm x 130cm (British Heart Foundation Appeal 2010/11)
Editor-in-Chief Art Director
Remo Notarianni / email@example.com Amalina MN / firstname.lastname@example.org
Gladys Teo, Grace Ko
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Dear Readers, Welcome to the March 2011 issue of The Pocket Arts Guide (TPAG), a publication that explores the breadth of the art world. It is exactly that which makes TPAG special to me. This A5 guide offers coverage that is in-depth, while remaining concise and easy-to-read. The intentions are clear from its name, and our writers are faced with the challenge of summing up an art world that that seems to be infinitely breaking new ground. It is with this in mind that The Pocket Arts Guide connects artists, collectors, gallery owners and lovers of the arts everywhere at every level. It is difficult to keep track of something that is growing with the power of creativity, something that is by definition boundless. And there are countless ways to look at a work of art. Perhaps this issue of TPAG, which is thematically linked by artists whose work is defined by a crossover of styles and ideas, epitomises this. This issue covers new ground. We have legendary British artist Duggie Fields, who has defied categorisation by pushing boundaries, and we have new columns such as Story, which analyses the link between narrative and image. We hope that TPAG, which has extended its presence beyond Singaporean shores, succeeds at opening eyes, changing perspectives and contemplating new ideas. We hope it delivers the insights into and information about the arts that you are looking for.
Remo Notarianni Editor-in-Chief
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Singapore’s Kartestudio presents an exhibition of Betty Susiarjo’s work in Morning, Day, Evening. Three video installation pieces, respectively entitled Morning, Day and Evening are screened simultaneously while being displayed individually in the gallery. Each video reflects the literal translation of its title through footage of contemplative fractions of time, taken by the artist at specific times of the day. Presented in stages, these instances are dismissed easily and the installation piece resembles the passing of life itself. The space offers feelings of intimacy and familiarity rather than that of a large space with an institutional-feel which may be cold and distant. Susiarjo’s work is in an unconventional exhibition space located inside a shopping mall with structural features such as quaint arcs, high ceilings and elongated layouts reminiscent of architectural ruins. The exhibition runs until March 13.
MORNING, DAY, EVENING
23.02.11 – 13.03.11 KARTESTUDIO www.kartestudio.com
Singapore’s Indigo Blue brings together Indian artists Farhad Hussain, Nayanaa Kanodia, Murali Cheeroth and Vivek Vilasini in the exhibition The Narrator, Protagonist & the Other. Hussain is famous for his portrayal of the changing cultural mores of middle class India. In Cheeroth’s images we see a surrealist spectacle that moves between the ‘real’ and the imagined ‘real’. Kanodia, in her signature tongue-in-cheek style introduces archetypal figures such as the typical ‘Indian middle class extended family’. Kanodia incorporates iconic works by both European and Indian masters in her paintings. Vilasini uses traditional theatrical forms to articulate various expressions of cultural identity which are prevalent in society today. Through satire, irony and pastiche, Vilasini constructs a mélange of images that depict parallel histories.
The Narrator, Protagonist & The Other
25.02.11- 24.03.11 Indigo Blur Art www.indigoblueart.com
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Hong Kong’s Amelia Johnson Contemporary announces ‘Konstantin Bessmertny: Clandestinum’, a hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing exhibition of new painting and three-dimensional work. A technical impresario who underwent rigorous formal training, Russian artist Konstantin Bessmertny addresses the absurdities of contemporary living and our understanding of history through lush paintings, with allusions to high and low culture. Bessmertny presents two very distinct series of works which explore man’s tastes, foibles and fantasies conducted, as usual, with lashings of parody. ‘In Rooms’ features humorous anecdotal dramas which unfold inside settings based on rooms in European chateaus and palaces, providing the backdrop against which his characters act out their roles. The sources of inspiration include Russian icons, cartoons, ex votos, old master portraits, still lifes, trompe-l’oeil and allegorical painting.
Konstantin Bessmertny: Clandestinum
25.02.11-26.03.11 Amelia Johnson Contemporary www.ajc-art.com
In the 1980s, Indonesian artist Jumaldi Alfi burst upon the art scene with Jogja surrealism that quickly developed into a complex style marked by a stirring emotional depth. Alfi admires the artistic verve and technical virtuosity of postwar German artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger and Georg Baselitz whose meditations on German militarism haunt him as deeply as West Sumatra’s tumultuous past.
26.02.11 - 26.03.11 Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) www.stpi.com.sg
‘Melting Memories’ is an exhibition at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute exhibiting Alfi’s diverse experimentations. These include the creation of illusionistic but highly realistic ‘paintings’ of blackboards, and frenzied collages of crudely drawn figure. He also depicts the mythological Greek king Sisyphus, whose eternal struggle of moving a boulder uphill repeatedly tells a story he can relate to. ‘Melting Memories’ runs until March 26.
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Singaporean artist Khairuddin Hori’s primary concern is the position and influence of artists in social development. In the exhibition MAT/RAMLEE, he takes inspiration from the films of esteemed Malay film makers such as P Ramlee and Mat Sentol, Khairuddin adds his own contemporary interpretations, with characteristic idiosyncrasies, to narrate the films. This is achieved with the deliberate pixilation of re-constructed scenes from P Ramlee’s films and images from various Mat Sentol films. Khairuddin addresses issues such as the censorship that these filmmakers encountered and the ‘blindness’ to crucial social commentaries in films that ensued. The exhibition features works from both his ‘Semerah Padi Revisited’ and his ‘Reconstructing Sentol’ series. MAT/RAMLEE runs until March 28 at Singapore’s Chan Hampe Galleries @ Raffles Hotel.
MAT/RAMLEE — A solo exhibition by Khairuddin Hori
28.02.11 - 28.03.11 Chan Hampe Galleries @ Raffles Hotel www.chanhampegalleries.com
Singapore’s Yavuz Fine Art presents an exhibition of Thai artist Thaweesak Srithongdee (Lolay). LOOP analyses the evident routine in our lives - in music, fashion trends and history. It urges us to question the possibility of recurring patterns and recurring lives. Often, we come across a person who reminds us of someone else we know of, someone whose mannerisms and lifestyle may even mimic that of a person in history. Lolay presents a parade of influential and historical icons. These include Che Guevara, James Dean, Marie Antoinette, Miyamoto Musashi, Andy Warhol, Marylyn, Monroe, Genghis Khan, Tarzan, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, June Miller and Anais Nin. All of these figures are essentially naked, and dressed only in suits of skin that reaffirm their humanity, thus freeing them from stereotypical associations.
Thaweesak Srithongdee: LOOP
05.03.11 – 17.04.11 Yavuz Fine Art www.yavuzfineart.com
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SBin Art Plus presents its first photography exhibition – TOP POP, a digital image showcase of “Singapore Idealism” as interpreted by one of Indonesia’s most significant visual artists – Yogyakarta-based Angki Purbandono. Using a technique known as scannography, Purbandono explores a country that is held up as a model of modernisation, and finds out whether it is as sterile and boring as its critics claim. TOP POP is based on observations made during a 15day residency in Singapore this year.
A Solo Exhibition by Angki Purbandono: TOP POP
11.03.11- 10.04.11 S.Bin Art Plus www.sbinartplus.com
Orchard Road which describes the fast-paced movement of Singaporeans depicted through a metal dishwasher scrub; and Phenomenal Mustafa – dolls are enclosed within plastic bags to depict the popular culture of shopping malls and the plastic age we live in. The exhibition runs until April 10.
Singapore’s Vue Privée (VP) is proud to present Mojoko’s first solo exhibition entitled ‘Pretty Grotesque’, which will be held at its centrally located VP space. VP is a new art concept space and is brand focused on limited edition works of art, merchandise, events and a lifestyle inspired by photography. It is a culmination of Olivier Henry’s (VP founder and renowned photographer) passions, fusing his love for, and knowledge of photography with art.
10.03.11 – 18.04.11 Vue Privée www.vueprivee.com
In this circus of peculiarities, Mojoko explores the boundaries of the beautiful and the grotesque. Mojoko’s intense graphic style is a reaction to the bombardment of images in today’s global mass media. An upbringing in Hong Kong has influenced his work, as he was surrounded by ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ advertising.
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As part of Chan Hampe Galleries’ commitment to the development of creative talent in Singapore, ‘Notes in Idolatry’ presents four emerging artists – Khairullah Rahim, Izziyana Suhaimi, Abdul Kader, and Leo Liu – who recontextualise popular culture to explore personal identity. The exhibition pays homage to personal idols whether it be childhood action heroes, toys, food, or ex-lovers. “It is an exploration of singular obsession which is reminiscent of the relationship between artist and muse,” said Amanda Poh, curator and gallery manager at Chan Hampe Galleries @ Tanjong Pagar. ‘Notes in Idolatry’ includes paintings by Rahim and Liu, a wall relief sculpture by Kader, and hand-embroidered works on paper by Suhaimi. ‘Notes in Idolatry’ runs until March 14.
Notes in Idolatry
14.03.11- 01.04.11 Chan Hampe Galleries @ Tanjong Pagar www.chanhampegalleries.com
As the third in its ‘Beyond Canvas’ series, Singapore’s Galerie Sogan & Art is pleased to present its first woodcut printmaking exhibition – ‘Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth’ from March 15 to April 12. Two Indonesian Graphic Art Triennale award-winning printmakers, Irwanto Lentho and A. C. Andre Tanama will feature 12 monoprints and the exhibition will also include ‘Cukilan’ and three-dimensional woodcut objects.
Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth
15.03.11- 12.04.11 Galerie Sogan & Art www.soganart.com
Ever since Andy Warhol perfected the stencil-printing method that gave birth to his celebrity portraits, photographic and traditional processes have found a place in modern art. However, the ubiquity of digital printing is pushing printmaking techniques to the fringes. The artists have used ‘the circus’ as an analogy because, like printmaking, the form of entertainment has been marginalised by technology.
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Award-winning artist Adam Magyar shows his fascination with urban life in this first solo exhibition in Hong Kong at the Karin Weber Gallery. His photographs are best illustrated by his ‘Urban Flow’ and ‘Squares’ series, in which he intentionally distorts perspective to freeze time and motion in an abstract transformation of reality. ‘Stainless’ contains photos taken by the artist in New York’s subway depicting passengers on a moving train. These works are made possible through a highly sophisticated camera and computer program invented by the artist himself. “It is an ever-present human desire to go further and leave some trace behind in the fraction of the time we are given,” says Magyar. “My drive is not different. I aim to grasp the devices at hand, push towards new frontiers by converting already existing technologies for photography in the hope of coming up with something new, a new device, a new language, a new frontier.”
22.03.11-11.04.11 Karin Weber Gallery www.karinwebergallery.com
Singapore’s Galerie Belvedere is staging an exhibition of Indian artist Paresh Maity. Maity has participated in over 45 solo and group exhibitions in cities such as London, Germany and Paris. His mega installation art was featured at Art Stage Singapore, January 2011.Paresh Maity belongs to the Bengal School of Indian art and comes from a family of prominent painters, including Sakti Burman. His art is in many collections including the British Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. The exhibition ‘Paresh Maity’s Journeys’ reveal the diversity of his talent. The longest painting in India was painted by Maity in 2010 stretches over 800 feet and is prominently featured in the New Delhi International Airport. The exhibition runs until March 31.
Paresh Maity’s Journeys
till 31.03.11 Galerie Belvedere www.galerie-belvedere.com
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Text: TEFAF Timeless masterpieces will be on show at TEFAF Maastricht when the world’s most influential art and antiques fair opens its doors at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in Maastricht in the southern Netherlands from 18 to 27 March, 2011.
mong the highlights of the 24th edition of The European Fine Art Fair will be the imposing and important Henry Moore sculpture ‘Mother and Child Block Seat’, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s superb depiction of his son Claude, and an extremely rare Greek idol made about 7,000 years ago. They will be among more than 30,000 works of art at TEFAF Maastricht, all rigorously vetted by teams of international experts to maintain the Fair’s reputation for exhibiting only the best pieces. ‘Mother and Child Block Seat’ by Henry Moore will be brought to TEFAF by Landau Fine Art of Mon-
treal, one of the world’s leading specialists in modern art. The 244cm high bronze sculpture will be exhibited in one of the Fair’s squares. Cast in an edition of nine in 1983, three years before Moore’s death, it portrays the child as an elemental, virtually abstract, form as if to represent it in an early stage of development. The effect of “the big form protecting the small form”, as Moore described it, is compelling. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s fine painting of his son Claude will go on public show for the first time at TEFAF Maastricht. Hammer Galleries of New York
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Image credit: Mother and child block seat by Henry Moore (1898-1986)
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will exhibit ‘La Leçon (Bielle, l’institutrice et Claude Renoir lisant)’, which portrays Renoir’s third son reading with his school teacher.
Two amber altarpieces with ivory carvings made for private worship in late 17th century Germany will be exhibited at TEFAF Maastricht by Kunstkammer Georg Laue from Munich. These pieces are important because of the extraordinary quality of their workmanship and because of their rarity. It is particularly unusual to find a pair such as this. These beautiful works of art were a speciality of craftsmen in Danzig and were often given as diplomatic presents to foreign rulers by the Prussian court. The combined price of this pair will be €500,000. The Spanish dealer Deborah Elvira will exhibit ‘Ecce Homo’, one of only a handful of sculptures by El Greco and the only such work by him known to be signed. It is made of polychrome wood and dates from the last quarter of the 16th century. Véronique Bamps of Monaco will offer a unique necklace in yellow gold made by René Boivin of Paris in 1945 for Princess Irène of Greece. This superb piece is decorated with pompons set with brilliant cut diamonds. TEFAF Design is a separate section of the Fair for specialists in modern design and applied arts. Among its highlights in 2011 will be a unique set that was made for the president of the Danish Shipowners Association and will be exhibited by Galerie Eric Philippe of Paris. It consists of a dining table, 12 chairs and a sideboard designed by Christen Emanuel Kjaer Monberg and Axel Salto in Denmark in 1923. TEFAF 2011 will have some 260 exhibitors from 16 countries in nine sections. In addition to exhibitors from established centres of the art and antiques market in Europe and North America, the 2011 Fair will include dealers from Korea, Uruguay and Argentina.
La leçon (Bielle, l’institutrice et Claude Renoir lisant) (c1906) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, oil on canvas, 65.3 x 58.1cm
The picture, painted c1906, which has been in private collections for decades, will be part of a Renoir exhibition mounted by Hammer Galleries. In TEFAF Paper, a section introduced in 2010 for works on paper, new exhibitor Stephen Ongpin Fine Art from London will show a Renoir watercolour. ‘Study of a Bather’ is a preparatory work for his painting ‘Bathers in the Forest’, which hangs in the Barnes Foundation in the United States. The price will be £125,000. Rupert Wace Ancient Art of London will be bringing a rare and important Greek idol dating from the Late Neolithic period c5300 – 4500BC to TEFAF Maastricht. The small yet monumental 11.7cm high white marble figure of a woman is one of less than a dozen known pieces dating from this early era, most of which are in museums. It is 2,000 years older than the majority of surviving Cycladic works of art. Although it is recorded as having been in private collections since the 1950s, it has only recently been rediscovered. The female idol, representing fertility, would almost certainly have been placed in a tomb to accompany the deceased person on their journey to the afterlife. Some 7,000 years after it was carved, it is in extremely good condition and will be offered for sale at TEFAF for a price in excess of €1 million.
Art, more than an Asset TEFAF shares its view of art as more than an asset with its principal sponsor, AXA Art. Their partnership provides art collectors with unique expertise covering the full range of risk prevention, conservation, recovery and restoration, to enable them to maintain their collections in the best possible condition. www.axa-art.com
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IN THE FRAME
Thinker digital image, 2010, free-size
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Text: Remo Notarianni
he iconic figures of British artist Duggie Fields seem at home in seas of colour and abstract settings. From here, they help articulate an underlying message. “In terms of the subject matter of the imagery,” said Fields, “I still think the abstract, constructivist nature is as important for me as the more obvious figurative centres. The only message ever intended is that experience is essentially visual, not verbal. There are, however, always verbal associations that can be made and icons inhabit our imagination.” Since the 1960s, Fields’ work has been so diverse it seems that the central figures, often gleefully awash in reds, blues, greens and greys mixed with brown and orange, provide the focus.
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IN THE FRAME
JUST A CHANCE ENCOUNTER (AND GOODNESS KNOWS WHAT COMPLICATIONS MAY FOLLOW) acrylic on canvas 1980, 88” x 80”
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This colourful language has made the work flamboyantly eloquent and it has entered the sphere of Pop Art with subjects such as Michael Jackson, and Lady Diana Spencer. In the 1970s, Fields was asked by American film director Stanley Kubrick to paint a poster for A Clockwork Orange. But while the subjects seem most obvious to the eye, his canvases are layered with countless influences. “Somewhere in the conceptual, hard-edged images that followed I started, reluctantly, seeing figurative allusions,” said Fields. “Realising they were there regardless, I began following them more deliberately, with a crossover canvas that started as a minimalist constructivist abstract, into which I eventually placed a small figure of Donald Duck, transforming it completely, while being shouted at in the process by my head of the studio. From that, I realised I was onto something.” Fields’ persistence in making crossovers led him to explore techniques beyond the palette. In the 1990s, he started experimenting with computers and, in a medium that has developed its own aesthetics, he found an unexpected resemblance to the fine art techniques he had used for decades. “When I first discovered a direction on computer, I realised that it was almost the same technique I was already using... just with another tool,” said Fields. “It was my eye, my hand, and a mouse that replaced either a pencil or a paintbrush. For decades my work had evolved in such a way that I constructed it starting on a canvas. I produced exact studies, first on tracing paper over graph paper, using a ruler and a set square. I traced and re-traced until I reached a final study before starting a coloured version that eventually transferred it to canvas. On screen, I discovered exactly the same process of layers over a grid and tools enabling me to draw straight lines.” Fields has crossed mediums with the same technique. By drawing over a grid, initially on graph paper with tracing paper on top and us-
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IN THE FRAME
PARTY PIECE, acrylic on canvas 1986, 60” x 75”
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IN THE FRAME
ing architects’ tools, he arrives at some of the Fields recalls how a friend spotted artwork in a restaurant in Japan that was evidently a copy core elements of his style. of his work; some of the pieces emulated his “My work has this built-in recognition of its own style on subjects he had not done. Fields huessential flatness,” said Fields. “The flatness of morously turned this around by doing a copy the image gets constantly related in the draw- of one based on an image of Marilyn Monroe ing stage to the flatness of the canvas picture- in The Seven Year Itch, thus doing “the original plane. Now in layers on a computer screen, I after the copy”. In the 1980s, he was invited by use straight edges on the figures, and make lots the Shiseido Corporation in Japan to exhibit his of small parallel lines and lines at right angles. I paintings and work on advertising campaigns. echo the framework of the picture whilst delineating the form of ‘whatever’. I frequently make “The universal appeal of Pop seems to lie in the small distortions to keep the parallels so that simplicity of the reproduction of the imagery,” although there is an illusion of form, it is always said Fields. “Childhood cartoons likewise seem underneath the structure and subtly echoes the also universal in appeal. Asian art in particular has a history of flatness, itself an essence of Pop. picture-plane it is sitting on.” Possibly my work seems to resonate particularly This ‘flatness’ may have come from the comic- in Japan through the conceptual and construcinspired imagery that initially influenced Fields. tivist nature of the line I use. It has echoes in At the heart of it is an aesthetic that culturally eastern calligraphy and techniques of a drawing resonates, with the hard-edged elegance of form that relate also to cartoons rather than to Pop Art, and one that lends itself to reproduc- the more western tradition of painterliness.” tion through industrial processes. While there have been attempts to categorise This reproduction has taken on a life of its own. Fields’ work throughout his decades-long ca-
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reer, he stresses labels that include ‘Pop Art’ and ‘Post-Pop Art’ have rarely stuck, as definitions seem to disappear into an explosive mix that blurs the line between the familiar and the groundbreaking. In one tongue-in-cheek manifesto, Fields described his work as “Maximalist”, but his mirage-like figures are most at home in their undefined settings. “My work has most remained an evolution outside the mainstream art scene, partly just through the nature of cultural timing,” said Fields. “As a result of not being perceived as part of a group, form one perspective, I’ve had a certain freedom; from another, no choice but to go my own way regardless. But something in the work seems to root it in the present. I try not to analyse this too much, so as not to become limited by my own applied concepts, which are always there regardless.”
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Text: Remo Notarianni
hen the lure of mainland Chinese labour sealed the fate of Hong Kong’s manufacturing sector, empty factory buildings lingered like industrial ghosts in a city where high rents can kill businesses. In the past ten years, a group of artist’s studios have revitalised factory buildings in Fo Tan, a former industrial hub of Hong Kong’s New Territories. The Fotanian, which has grown into a creative community, houses more than 260 artists in 80 studios, connected by a labyrinth of stairwells and service lifts that once delivered heavy goods. The prospect of affordable studios has made complexes, stained with grime and soot, into creative incubators. Since 2001, the Fotanian has had annual open days that shine a spotlight on its artistic development. With its tenth anniversary in January 2011, the Fotanian found sponsorship for its open day. But while becoming the local equivalent of an artist’s village, some see it as a beacon of hope in an art world in the midst of a debate about survival.
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Eddy Chan Kwan Lap 1. New Appearance of Glacier No. 4 冰川新顏(四) 50x 100 cm (2010) 2. Winter in Mind Snow in Thought No. 4 思冬想雪(四) 69 x 69 cm (2010)
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Simone Boon 1. Behind my red brolly, print on archival canvas 100 cm sq (variable) 2. Thin line, ultrachrome pigment print on archival photopaper 65 x 90 cm (2010)
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“Year after year, with growing support from participating artists, visitors, artists and arts organisations, the scale of the Fotanian reaches its peak,” said the organiser. “However, it is more important to create opportunities for artistic individuals and groups to voice their thoughts and needs without reserve.”
Wah Luen Industrial Building. They queued up outside semi-derelict godowns, and peered curiously into the private studios of artists with an archaeological wonder.
The diversity was oasis-like in the desolate setting. The spectrum of artists on offer included experimental image makers Alternatif Fashion At this year’s open day, crowds of culture vul- Workshop and abstract artist Christopher Ku as tures made surreal organised tours into the well as installation artists such as x1artclub. heart of the Fotanian, most of which is in the
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Some visitors perhaps followed the adverts and were curious about the phenomenon; others were mistakenly armed with cheque books. That ambiguity sums up the creative conundrum that the Fotanian has become, and attracting attention to vital artistic signs also highlights the issues that many creators in the city face. “The Fotanian is an initiative of artists,” explained Dutch photographer and ceramicist Simone Boon, who shares a studio in the Fotanian with fellow artist Marsha Roddy. “I really admire the very first people who made the steps ten years ago to enter a space in this kind of industrial environment, without knowing it would grow into a vibrant art scene. As pioneers, they found affordable room for art. This is a luxury in Hong Kong and a dream.”
friends who have been developing their work in the community for a certain period of time. I found that there is a condensing power of art atmosphere in Fotan. It is in this circumstance of mutual influence that new creative ideas may be aroused.” This year’s open day received sponsorship from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, as well as property developer Sino Group. The Fotanian is not an organisation but a community of people whose very survival could depend on the spirit of independence that it was founded on.
“I think sponsors who think they can piggy-back on the artists at the Fotanian will find that they are actually busy people who will not be lead in a direction that they do not wish to be,” said John Batten, organiser of Hong Kong’s ArtWalk, Boon, who describes the nature of the artistic an annual charity event that involves local gallerneighbourhood as “organic”, also finds an aes- ies. “And artists will continue to be independent thetic value in its cavernous setting. “The Fo- and creative despite what the market dictates.” tanian open days give an insight into the concentration of art, which I think is great for the visitors, artists and art lovers,” said Boon. “Art is a window and it is something more than entertainment. The ‘event like’ aspect of so many people gathering at the same place, standing in queues for the lifts on a same day, is very attractive, it has a spark of excitement like “this is the place to be, and here is where it happens”. This fairground quality of the Fotanian Open Day highlights its underlying situation. It has the feel a hinterland, and thus a refuge from the astronomical rents that make galleries flounder; but this is a reminder that its very success may encourage developers to put rents up. Its isolation has made it into a creativity lab, even if this might be accidental. “The purpose of the establishment of my studio is to develop new methods of expression in modern Chinese ink painting,” said Chinese ink painter Eddy Chan Kwan Lap, who finds the environment conducive to creative discovery, as he applies methods of rendering such as sprinking, dotting, printing, spraying, rubbing, contracting and splashing.“I had some artist
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RECONNECTING THE DOTS
Text: Grace Ko
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he vivid brushwork of Australian Aboriginal Harrison describes a world that was regimented artist Sally Harrison seems like a celebration and where people had to “earn their keep” in of the natural world, but there hasn’t always line with the government policy of the time. been such colour in her life. “This meant that all of the children from toddlers Behind her oil and acrylic paintings is the story to the eldest were put to work helping with the of Aborigine children, who from 1910 to 1971 washing, cleaning, collecting firewood, and for were forcibly removed from their families and the girls, helping to take care of the babies. communities to be culturally assimilated into Australia’s ‘white society’. Harrison was part of “I was taught to change a baby’s nappy and what became known as “the Stolen Genera- feed it when I was three and a half years old. tion”. She was one of many children with an I must admit that fear of punishment played an Aborigine background who were told that their important part in our lives, but if we did the right parents had died. thing and behaved as we were expected, then life was relatively happy considering the draco”My early days at the United Aborigines Mission nian standards of the day.” Home at Bomaderry (South of Sydney) were relatively happy because I had other children to Harrison’s relatively rosy account may have care for me and play with,” said Harrison, who come from ignorance, coupled with childhood was taken away from her family to a Mission innocence, of the reality of her situation at the Home that revealed the dark reality of this “assi- time but her memories have taken on an unmiliation” as Aborigine children became trained usual form of nostalgia. to serve white Australians. “Most of the missionaries were kind, but they would mete out harsh “As a small child with no concept of normal fampunishments if any of the strict rules of behavior ily life, I did not know any different,” she said. were broken.” “We were a family and were lucky to have Sister
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Kennedy as our Matron, and other fine young missionaries who instilled the best of our family values in us. My problems really started after I was adopted, but the less said about that, the better.”
The loss that Sally Harrison felt when she was forcibly removed from her family has been addressed in artwork that reconnects her with ‘the land’. To the Australian Aborgines, artwork is about more than just paintings. According to Aborigine tradition, artists are engaged in But like many of the Stolen Generation, the pain a sacred dialogue with ‘the Land’. This crebecame immeasurable when reality did sink in. ates a bond between man, nature and the Harrison states that painting, which started as a Aborigine‘Dreamtime’- a spiritual dimension way to reconnect with her Aborigine roots, has where they believe ancient spirits created the been an integral part of the healing process. She Earth. has held two successful exhibitions at The Bomaderry Mission Home, where she was brought As one of the Stolen Generation, Australian artup. She has opened people’s eyes to a side of ist Sally Harrison wasn’t nurtured with the same mission life that many are not aware of. In doing skills that Aborigine tribes used to educate their so she has reflected on the only real family she children. But it was through a quirk of fate that ever had. she became reconnected. “Life has taught me that it is very unhealthy to dwell on the enormous negative impact of abuse, trauma and loss,” she said. “You have to find a way to stop the past from dominating your life and move on, so that you have some hope for the future. Painting is the tool I use to help myself move on.” “In 1992, I took 12 months leave without pay from the Public Services in Brisbane and travelled to Carnarvon. In Western Australia with the intention of working as a deck hand on the scallop trawlers,” Harrison said. “Unfortunately, I suffered from extreme sea sickness and was forced to re-evaluate what I was going to do for the next 12 months.
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“At that time, I had not come to terms with myself as an Aborigine, and knew nothing at all about Aboriginal culture, simply because I was forced to deny it in my childhood and early adulthood. I decided it was time I addressed this issue, so I enrolled in an Aborginal skills course, where I was introduced to dot painting for the first time.” It was not easy for Harrison to learn at first, but dot painting was somehow able to fill some gaps. “It was a long and frustrating process learning to adjust to this new art form and to stop my ‘white’ mind from making judgements and interfering with the painting and spoiling it. “After a long apprenticeship of 18 years, I finally feel comfortable with myself and my art and truly do feel that the land speaks to me on an unconscious level and that I can convey that feeling through my paintings.” Within a few years of painting, her dot paintings became discovered by the Creative Native Art Gallery in the Western Australian city of Perth, and they were sold within a few weeks. Her popularity may be the result of a nation reflecting on its past. But Harrison’s work is a unique mix of Aborigine tribal art with a wide ouvre of styles.
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Harrison feels as though she belongs to neither culture, perhaps because she was deprived of the opportunity to mix with either group as a child. She has had several mental disorders diagnosed including post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. This indicates the pain that her reconnection has unearthed. But her story also is also proof of the sublime nature of painting as an art form. “Painting is like magic – it happily disconnects you from the past, the present and your consciousness with all its thoughts, beliefs, ideas and attitudes. You are reduced to being a non-judgemental, silent observer with no ego; nothing more than an eye that sees and is aware of everything you need to do to create a successful painting. “It’s a wonderful state of mind because there is nothing there to bother you or give you grief. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with you. In any case, I cease to have any disabilities-they simply do not exist in this state of being. Painting not only gives me pleasure and satisfaction, but gives pleasure and happiness to others.”
10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong / 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok / 1301PE, Los Angeles / acb Gallery, Budapest / Acquavella Galleries, New York / Arario Gallery, Seoul / Beijing / Cheonan / New York / ARATANIURANO, Tokyo / Ark Galerie, Jakarta / ARNDT, Berlin / Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong / Vancouver / aye gallery, Beijing / aye • eastation gallery, Beijing / Beijing Art Now Gallery, Beijing / Beijing Commune, Beijing / Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens / Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, St Moritz / Zurich / BISCHOFF/WEISS, London / bitforms gallery, New York / Blum & Poe, Los Angeles / Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing / Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York / Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong / London / Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York / Buchmann Galerie, Berlin / Lugano / CAIS Gallery, Hong Kong / Seoul / Galleria Massimo De Carlo, London / Milan / Leo Castelli Gallery, New York / The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong / Charest-Weinberg Gallery, Miami / Cheim & Read, New York / Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei / James Cohan Gallery, New York / Shanghai / Sadie Coles HQ, London / Contemporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong / CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS, Berlin / Galleria Continua, Beijing / Paris / San Gimignano / Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai / Corkin Gallery, Toronto / Pilar Corrias, London / Alan Cristea Gallery, London / Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris / DNA, Berlin / The Drawing Room, Manila / Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin / Leipzig / Eslite Gallery, Taipei / Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong / F2 Gallery, Beijing / Los Angeles / Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki / Stephen Friedman Gallery, London / Gagosian Gallery, Athens / Hong Kong / London / Los Angeles / New York / Paris / Rome / Galerist, Istanbul / Gana Art, Busan / New York / Seoul / Gandhara-art, Hong Kong / Karachi / Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Inc, New York / gdm, Paris / Gering & López Gallery, New York / Gladstone Gallery, Brussels / New York / Galerie Gmurzynska, St Moritz / Zurich / Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris / Goodman Gallery, Cape Town / Johannesburg / Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris / Galerie Grand Siècle, Taipei / GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney / Green Cardamom, London / Greenberg van Doren Gallery, New York / greengrassi, London / Grotto Fine Art, Hong Kong / Hakgojae, Seoul / Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong / Hauser & Wirth, London / New York / Zurich / Hopkins Custot Gallery, London / Paris / Michael Hoppen Gallery, London / HORRACH MOYA, Palma de Mallorca / Gallery HYUNDAI, Seoul / I/O (Input/Output), Hong Kong / IBID PROJECTS, London / Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh / Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin / Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong / Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York / gbk | Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney / Sean Kelly Gallery, New York / Kerlin Gallery, Dublin / Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo / Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna / Kukje Gallery, Seoul / Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong Kong / L & M Arts, Los Angeles / New York / Yvon Lambert, New York / Paris / Langgeng Gallery, Magelang / Simon Lee Gallery, London / LEHMANN MAUPIN, New York / Galerie Lelong, New York / Paris / Lisson Gallery, London / Lombard-Freid Projects, New York / Long March Space, Beijing / Lumen Travo, Amsterdam / Kate MacGarry, London / McCaffrey Fine Art, New York / Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing / Lucerne / Kamel Mennour, Paris / Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna / Yossi Milo Gallery, New York / Victoria Miro Gallery, London / Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo / The Modern Institute, Glasgow / Mummery + Schnelle, London / Nadi Gallery, Jakarta / NANZUKA UNDERGROUND, Tokyo / Nature Morte, Berlin / New Delhi / neugerriemschneider, Berlin / Anna Ning Fine Art, Hong Kong / Noire Contemporary Art, Turin / ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul / Osage Gallery, Hong Kong / Beijing / Singapore / Shanghai / Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Other Criteria, London / Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney / Pace Beijing, Beijing / Pace Prints, New York / The Paragon Press, London / Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing / Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami / Paris / PKM Gallery, Beijing / Seoul / Plum Blossoms Gallery, Hong Kong / Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, Barcelona / Project 88, Mumbai / Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City / ALMINE RECH GALLERY, Brussels / Paris / ROKEBY, London / Röntgenwerke AG, Tokyo / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris / Salzburg / Galerie Stefan Röpke, Cologne / Rossi & Rossi, London / SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo / Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong / Schuebbe Projects, Dusseldorf / Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne / Sydney / ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai / ShugoArts, Tokyo / Gallery Side 2, Tokyo / Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York / silverlens gallery, Manila / Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore / Skarstedt Gallery, New York / Slewe Gallery, Amsterdam / Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami / Soka Art Centre, Beijing / Tainan / Taipei / Sperone Westwater, New York / Sprüth Magers Berlin London, Berlin / London / Starkwhite, Auckland / Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok / Beijing / Hong Kong / Timothy Taylor Gallery, London / Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne / Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York / Vilma Gold Gallery, London / Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing / Guangzhou / White Cube, London / Max Wigram Gallery, London / Wilkinson Gallery, London / x-ist, Istanbul / YAMAMOTO GENDAI, Tokyo / ZieherSmith, New York / David Zwirner, New York
18Gallery, Shanghai / Aando Fine Art, Berlin / Art+ Shanghai, Shanghai / Beijing 9 Art Space, Beijing / Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong / Brennan & Griffin, New York / GALERÍA MARTA CERVERA, Madrid / Charim Ungar Berlin | CUC, Berlin / Vienna / Cole Contemporary, London / | EDS | GALERIA, Mexico City / Gallery em, Seoul / Exhibit 320, New Delhi / FQ Projects, Shanghai / Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London / island JAPAN, Tokyo / Tristian Koenig, Melbourne / Kudlek van der Grinten Galerie, Cologne / GALERIE CHRISTIAN LETHERT, Cologne / Ignacio Liprandi Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires / Josh Lilley Gallery, London / Magician Space, Beijing / Man&Eve, London / Mendes Wood, San Paulo / Meulensteen, New York / Francesca Minini, Milan / Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin / NON, Istanbul / Ooi Botos Gallery, Hong Kong / Martha Otero Gallery, Los Angeles / PLATFORM3, Bandung / RICA The Gallery, San Juan / Rotwand, Zurich / Scaramouche, New York / Seven Art Limited, New Delhi / Sultana, Paris / Take Ninagawa, Tokyo / Gallery Terra Tokyo, Tokyo / TORRI, Paris / Traffic, Dubai / Galleri Maria Veie, Oslo / Skogn / WEINGRÜLL, Karlsruhe / WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing / WILDE GALLERY, Berlin / Zidoun Gallery, Luxembourg / Paris
GALLERY 55, Shanghai / Annandale Galleries, Sydney / Apparao Galleries, Bangalore / Chennai / New Delhi / ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka / ARTMIA, Beijing / CDA Projects, Istanbul / Gallery Cellar, Tokyo / Chambers Fine Art, Beijing / New York / Chan Hampe Galleries, Singapore / Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo / China Art Projects, Beijing / C-Space, Beijing / Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney / Cologne / Edwin's Gallery, Jakarta / Gallery Espace, New Delhi / The Guild, Mumbai / New York / Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery, Osaka / Kodama Gallery, Kyoto / Tokyo / Lin & Lin Gallery, Beijing / Taipei / MEM, Tokyo / Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney / ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Beijing / Berlin / Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney / Other Gallery, Beijing / Shanghai / Wenzhou / Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing / Paris / Platform China, Beijing / Primo Marella Gallery, Beijing / Milan / Rampa, Istanbul / Red Gate Gallery, Beijing / Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv / Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai / Galerie Sho Projects, Tokyo / Sin Sin Fine Art, Hong Kong / Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney / Sutton Gallery, Melbourne / TKG+, Beijing / Taipei / Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Tokyo / Umahseni, Jakarta / Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai / vivi yip art room, Jakarta / Y++ Wada Fine Arts, Beijing / Tokyo
Correct at time of going to press
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SHAANxI > HONG KONG
CUTTING THE WAY FORWARD
Text: Remo Notarianni
In a few words, mainland Chinese paper cutter Li Yun Xia measures the distance between Hong Kong and her native Shaanxi province. They also cross centuries as she remembers the home of an ancient art form. “I feel a connection with Shaanxi through the scissors,” said the Hong Kong-based Li. “For centuries, paper cutting was the main pastime for both married and single women in the province and it is linked to embroidery. Paper cutting skills came first, followed by embroidery and then looks. I was discovered while working at Henan University in 1990 and shortlisted out of 400 students because I was able to improvise the cutting. The others had to draw the images first.”
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SHAANxI > HONG KONG
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SHAANxI > HONG KONG
“These were touchstones of my homeland,” said Li.”I began to cut images of pomegranates and rural people working the land. But with that came symbols of rebirth and feminine forms.” Universality came out of this imagery that was an essential response to personal experience. The cut has become a mode of individual exShaanxi’s rural setting has shaped Li’s work. pression rather than one of an artistic tradition. Encoded in the imagery are the beliefs and Yet, rather than betraying tradition, she made the aesthetic values of the people of the Loess full use of the creative scope that the art form plateau. While being a traditional art form that has long provided. dates back to the sixth century AD, paper cutting transcends the artistic methods of painting Her composition ‘The Lady of the Sea’ depicts and drawing. And not being confined by such a female form rising out of an ocean. The long principles has given the artists an essential free- hair of the lady could easily represent turbulent waves. As it transforms into the image of the dom. lady’s exaggerated breast, a symbol of female According to Chen Jing, Vice President and power arises that is as coherent as any cultural President of Folk Arts Committee in New York: motif. ”The form is no longer shaped from observation from without but rather from introspection and This transformation is also evident in the use of black paper. According to Chinese artistic traperception from within.” dition, black is not a lucky colour. But tradition The cutting process lends itself to a represen- may not be an issue, especially with the folk art’s tational art form as the scissors manipulate essential versatility and Li’s work is an example shapes that make the images symbolic. Unlike of how the art can still evolve while respecting pencil and brush, that can manipulate shade, its origins. colour and depth, scissors have the emotive “I expressed longing for my homeland in my power to shape the paper itself. work,” said Li.” This transformed it in a way that “Whether happy or sad, the women of Shaanxi makes me artistically independent. But even if express themselves through paper cutting,” this best reflects my present situation, it is a desaid Li.”I have found this art form has a directly parture more than a complete cut from tradition. attuned to my emotions and the imagery is a I can never lose contact for as long as I continue to express myself through the scissors.” reflection of my moods and ideas. “ Li, who was taught paper cutting by her mother when she was six years old, was recruited by the China Folk Cultural Village of Shenzhen in the 1990s. Her works became political gifts for figures such as former US president Richard Nixon and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The emotional intensity of the line and the shape of the figure have a wave-like quality that reflects the artist’s inner world. This has told the story of Li’s personal journey. In 2000, she moved to Hong Kong, where she had to find a new direction artistically. She reconnected with Shaanxi through cutting her familiar folk art, and it took on a different form as she reflected on it from a different place. But her reinterpretation was a melancholy longing for home rather than a cultural affirmation.
Li Yun Xia will conduct a paper cutting workshop in Singapore in 2011. For more information, email email@example.com.
MARCH 2011 / 47
Text: Remo Notarianni
tale about a kung fu-savvy disciple and a drunken US veteran battling foes in Thailand is made for cinematic high kicks. But The Blood Bond, the debut novel of Hong Kong-based screenwriter and producer Bey Logan, is not the film tie-in of its screen version, Shadowguard, which opened in Hong Kong cinemas on January 27.
films such as The Terminator, reshaped the tale. Core elements of the story, about a religious leader called the Karmapata – who needs a lifesaving blood transfusion within 12 hours after being wounded by an assassin in Bangkok – have been preserved.
The story arc intensifies when possible blood donors are killed off by ruthless assassins who “Well, firstly, the novel is set in Thailand, where belong to an organisation called the Red Dawn. we originally intended to shoot the film,” said Deva, devout guardian of the Karmapata, sets Logan. “This was right after I worked there on off to northern Thailand to find the last man another movie called Shanghai. At that time, the whose blood can save her master, a drunken story had a lot more metaphysical and religious former US Special Forces operative called John elements in it, reflecting my interests; and the Tremayne. The bond that forms between the later script became more realistic and overtly two strengthens as they battle assailants on political, reflecting those of its director.” their way to the hospital in which lies the Karmapata. Logan, who released the film through his film company B&E Productions, said the book was “I had, for a long time, played with the idea written from the first draft of the script, left behind of pairing a mystical, martial Asian babe with when director Michael Biehn, who appeared in a gun-toting, John Waynian male lead,” said
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Logan. When I was working with actress Maggie Quigley, we were always looking at similar structures, or possible contrasting teams. The finished ‘Blood Bond Saga: Shadowguard’ film is more Michael’s vision, shot in China but set in a fictitious Asian country called Purna. I think the book gives you an insight into how the film might have looked had I directed it in Thailand.” so you couldn’t just remake them in English, shot-for-shot, or you’d be back where they started!”
The screen-inspired origins of the book and the way it uses the written word to describe martial arts makes an interesting crossover. Logan’s lens follows a sequence of cinematic vignettes with stories and scenes that seem straight out That contrast could symbolise Logan’s unique of action cinema, giving it the unique quality in relationship with the Hong Kong film industry, parts of reading like a film script. It also conwhich he describes as one of “East and West”. veys the choreographic language of martial Hailing from the English town of Stamford, Lo- arts, helping us understand actions that seem gan’s cross-cultural odyssey began when he to trademark the characterisation and move the lived out a childhood dream to make Hong story forward. Kong action movies. After learning martial arts, founding movie action magazines and learning “Deva uses a basically defensive art, which is Chinese, Logan arrived in Hong Kong, eventu- based on Chen Tai Chi,” said Logan, “but we see ally landing a place in the film industry. her get more aggressive as the film progresses and the danger increases. Tremayne has some He wrote screenplays for films such as Ballistic basic military training, but, when we meet him, Kiss (1998) and provided audio commentaries he is basically a bar room brawler. (And we do for international releases of Hong Kong movies. have two brawls in two bars in the book and the He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2003 film). The idea was that the action came out of Jackie Chan film The Medallion. In 2005, Logan circumstance. There’s more stylised combat in was appointed by Hollywood mogul Harvey the book than there was in the original cut of the Weinstein to become Vice President of Asian film. We had to do some reshoots to redress Acquisitions and Co-Productions at his com- the balance.” pany. With an internship programme at B& E ProducLeaving the Weinstein Company in 2009 to form tions, Logan is attempting to lead the way for B&E Productions, Logan, who has also penned talent that wants to cross the same boundaries, numerous books on action movies, has an en- but he is also hoping to be part of a paradigm cyclopaedic knowledge of Asian cinema upon shift that broadens cultural and creative possiwhich he can draw to shape stories. With an in- bilities within the field. ternational production team, Shadowguard has the same cross-cultural ethos and it is a nod “I offer whatever help and advice I can,” said to the world of cinema that he has become a Logan, “as I think a more cosmopolitan generapart of. tion of film-makers will be to our advantage as an industry. I think that Asian action cinema is “The original script for The Blood Bond, which open to endless reinterpretation, and that there I wrote about 20 years ago, was very much in- are combinations of elements that still haven’t spired by the kind of martial arts action thrillers been explored. For example, we have yet to Hong Kong directors were making at the time,” have a really great Chinese science fiction film, said Logan. “Ironically, many of them borrowed or a kung fu film noir. There are always new stotheir plotlines wholesale from Hollywood films, ries to tell within the genre.”
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ART STAGE: THE SEARCH FOR THE CONTEMPORARY
13.01.11 - 16.01.11 / Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre Text: Gladys Teo
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ummy, where’s Picasso?” The question, from a boy in the middle of what has been called the world’s most expensive hotel, was echoed by a crowd of Singlish-speaking families in flip flops, curious about offerings in booths with powerpoint sockets that cost 100 bucks a day to rent. It was heartening to see a mixed bag of guests at an event in which you would only expect to find A-list art collectors with bulging wallets bearing Louboutins and Pradas. As one of around 30,000 visitors to Singapore’s Art Stage 2011, I was stoked by the expectation of heavy-hitters such as Takashi Murakami, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. What I found was a flagship effort to promote Singapore as an arts hub, while showcasing an architectural masterpiece across four halls in the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel. With more than 120 galleries participating from 19 different countries, the exhibition space had been transformed and threw down a gauntlet perhaps too big for the maps handed out at the orange front desk to help run. Art Stage was disorientating in its scale, but its ability to reach out to the average Singaporean was breathtaking. It also raised questions about the state of contemporary art, that has brought so-called ‘lo brow’ and pop art once called kitsch by critics into the fold. As dumbstruck as the child searching for Picasso, I found myself following my own trail of questions about the meaning of contemporary art. Once shunned by curators, graffiti artists now bear expensive price tags, making sprayed public walls as respectable as the Sistine Chapel. They are being commissioned for installations and station ceilings. And with the likes of Banksy adding mystique to the craft, they are yet to be fully understood. But great art often feels limited by categories. Homegrown Phunk Studio’s giant ‘Control Chaos’ was a centre piece at Art Stage; it was a hit with browsers, shutterhappy at a psychedelic backdrop of heaven, earth and hell, intertwined
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with oriental mythology and layers of urban living. And this labyrinth interweaved unpredictably. I spotted a Duchamp-esque toilet bowl in one of the booths, complete with half a boot-print. True to the spirit of Marcel Duchamp, I neglected to note the name of the artist who created the piece. Yayoi Kusama’s polka dotted prints seemed eclipsed by Ran Hwang’s ‘Two Love Trees’. She gathered a bunch of ordinary buttons, and using pins and thread, stitched them onto a large canvas, recontextualising them into simple and seductive cherry blossom trees.
The contemporary in its boldness may have brought the art world closer to the everyday. In an indiscriminate act of inter-cultural borrowing, the art work in Vivek Vilasini’s series ‘Between One Shore and Several Others’ uses digital manipulation to reinterpret ‘Western’ iconographies. The Indian artist meshed Indian sensibilities with the works of Italian Renaissance artists Michelangelo and Da Vinci, amongst others. Similarly, Bae Joon Sung, a Korean artist, cleverly used lenticular imagery to insert images of ladies from ancient Chinese dynasties into Victorian English homes. His harmonious juxtaposition of the orient and the occident found bold similarities. But my favourite work at Art Stage had to be Ronald Manullang’s ‘Final Judgement’ series, in which the Indonesian artist painted German wartime dictator Adolf Hitler in a female guise in six different portraits, each of them equally powerful and fascinating in concept and form. Manullang’s series at once evokes and provokes on issues such as politics, religion and history. In the images, he combined Catholic iconography with the politics of the holocaust with an eerie historical irony. In the final painting of the series, Manullang brushes up the image of a happy family that includes Hitler, holocaust victim Anne Frank and a baby (probably Jewish and tattooed,
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like the babies in the previous five paintings). What jumps out of you is that Anne Frank is holding an iPad. As I giggled, the image humorously drew attention to the fact that the vast majority of the gallery assistants were armed with iPads instead of traditional print catalogues. Snazzy touchscreen technology and high definition pictures co-existed with art, that while being called cutting edge, did not use technology. The contrast drew attention to something. Even Indian artist Raghava K.K. had his art works installed on a gadget in which the background colour of the digital compositions would change according to weather and location. The art world has definitely evolved with the advent of cuttingedge technology but will this redefine contemporary? At least a third of the installations involved some kind of technology, way more modern than photography and mixed-media prints. This was epitomised by intriguing installations such as ‘Crystal City’ by Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung who used a projector, LED lighting, a conveyor belt and plastic structures to create an urban environment of geometric transparency. Another Taiwanese artist Hung Tung Lu exhibited ‘There’ and ‘Here’. I am no technology whizz,, but it was apparent to me that Hung created the two pieces of his work using lightboxes, parallax barriers and stereograms. I had never experienced the 3-D spectacle, in which a female protagonist of the piece appears to be looking at you from every angle, wherever you walked. It was an image of the Mona Lisa, albeit much swankier. The female’s eyes would change shape, as if she was winking at you; her body would contort at a different angle if you moved slightly to your left; and her open genitalia was sprouting flower buds that would at times seem to quiver and shrink as you stood trying to absorb the art work. Perhaps a real definition of contemporary art is out of reach, but I certainly felt I was close.
Art Stage Singapore ran from January 13 to 16, 2011.
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Montage III - Zu Garbriele Mistral”, mixed-technique on paper & cardboard, 107 x 83 cm, 1960s
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51, Waterloo Street, #02-01/02/03, Singapore 187969
Operation hours: Wed - Sun: 11am to 6:30pm, All other times by appointment Call for private viewing, Tel: +65 6336 0915, Fax: +65 6336 9975, firstname.lastname@example.org ww.art-trove.com MARCH 2011 / 57
SINGAPORE’S ART & HERITAGE DISTRICT
- Art Forum - The Tolman Collection
E U AV
CLE MEN CEA
- Pop and Contemporary Fine Art - Gallery Reis Artspace @ The Royal on Scotts
Third Floor Hermes
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EASTCOAST PARK EXPRESSWAY
AN DR DEMPSEY, HOLLAND, TANGLIN & WESSEX OA
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TANJONG PAGAR, CHINATOWN & RAFFLES
Art Trove Gallery 51 Waterloo Street #02-01/2/3 Singapore 187969
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T: +65 6336 0915 F: +65 6336 9975 E: email@example.com W: www.art-trove.com Opening Hours Wed- Sun: 11am to 6.30pm Call for private viewing
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AndrewShire Gallery 5 Swiss Cottage Estate Aratong Galleries 26 Mount Pleasant Drive Art Forum 82 Cairnhill Road Art Glass Solutions 30 Kuo Chuan Avenue Art Seasons 7 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #02-12 Art Tree Gallery 333A Orchard Road #04-11
Chan Hampe Galleries @ Tanjong Pagar 21 Tanjong Pagar Road #04-02 Singapore 088444 T: +65 6222 1667 www.chanhampegalleries.com
D 5 Westbourne Road #02-03 d’Art
D’Peak Art Space Kaki Bukit Road 1 #01-07 DaTang Fine Arts Singapore 177 River Valley Road #02-09A DLR Gallery 22 Marshall Road Dynasties Antique & Art Gallery 18 Boon Lay Way #01-136
Art Trove 51 Waterloo Street #02-01 to 03 Singapore 187969 T: +65 6336 0915 www.art-trove.com
Art-2 Gallery 140 Hill Street #01-03 artcommune 133 New Bridge Road #02-77 Artesan 793 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 Artfolio 328 North Bridge Road #02-25 ArtGoGo 402 Orchard Road #02-08 ARTINNO 391B Orchard Road #23-01 Arty Art Gallery 686A Woodlands Drive 73 #15-52 Aryaseni 10A Bukit Pasoh
Eagle’s Eye 39 Stamford Road #01-01 Echo Art Galerie 19 Tanglin Road #02-59 Evil Empire 48 Niven Road
fill your walls 21 Tanjong Pagar Road #04-02 Singapore 088444 T: +65 6222 1667 www.fill-your-walls.com Forest Rain Gallery 261 Waterloo Street #02-43/44 Singapore 180261 T: +65 6336 0926 www.forestraingallery.com
Bartha & Senarclens 75 Emerald Hill Road
Boon’s Pottery 91 Tanglin Road #01-02A Tanglin Place Singapore 247918 T: +65 6836 3978 www.boonspottery.com Bruno Gallery 91 Tanglin Road #01-03 Tanglin Place Singapore 247918 T: +65 6733 0283 www.brunoartgroup.com
FOST 65 Kim Yam Road
Galerie Belvedere 168 Robinson Road #36-01 Galerie Waterton 39 Keppel Road #02-01 GJ Asian Art 1 Cuscaden Road #01-03 The Gallery of Gnani Arts 1 Cuscaden Road #01-05 Gallery Reis 390 Orchard Road #03-01/02
Cape of Good Hope 140 Hill Street #01-06 CdeM ART & DESIGN Blk 5 Westbourne Road #01-02 Collectors Contemporary 5 Jalan Kilang Barat #01-03 COMBINART 27 Woodlands Industrial Park E1 #01-08
HaKaren 19 Tanglin Road #02-43 Heng Artland 290 Orchard Road #04-08
Chan Hampe Galleries @ Raffles Hotel 328 North Bridge Road #01-04 Raffles Hotel Arcade Singapore 188719 T: +65 6338 1962 www.chanhampegalleries.com
Impress Galleries 1 Kim Seng Promenade #02-07/08 Indigo Blue Art 33 Neil Road INSTINC 12 Eu Tong Sen Street iPRECIATION 1 Fullerton Square #01-08
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Ken Crystals 133 New Bridge Road #01-45 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 T: +65 6339 0008 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
KARTESTUDIO 181 Orchard Road #B2-23/29 Kwan Hua 19 Tanglin Road #02-09
Pop and Contemporary Fine Art 390 Orchard Road #03-12 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871 T: +65 6735 0959 www.popandcontemporaryart.com
ReDot 39 Keppel Road #02-06 Red Sea 9 Dempsey Road #01-10
Larasati www.larasati.com Linda Gallery 15 Dempsey Road #01-08
Li Fine Art 19 Tanglin Road #03-32 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 T: +65 6235 3306 www.lifineart.com
Light Editions Gallery 39 Keppel Road #02-02B Living Portraits 31 Tanjong Pagar Lukisan Art Gallery 110 Faber Drive
S.Bin Art Plus 140 Hill Street #01-10/11/12 Soobin Art International 10 Ubi Crescent #04-90/92/93/95
Galerie Sogan & Art 33B Mosque Street Singapore 059511 T: +65 6225 7686 www.soganart.com
M Gallery 51 Waterloo Street #03-03B/04 Metakaos 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #03-22
Mulan Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 T: +65 6738 0810 www.mulangallery.com.sg Muse The Art Gallery 268 Upper Bukit Timah Rd #03-09 @ The Old Fire Station Singapore 588210 T: +65-8388 0044 www.musetheartgallery.com
Sunjin Galleries 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 Work Loft @ Chip Bee Singapore 278115 T: +65 6738 2317 www.sunjingalleries.com.sg
Sun Craft 19 Tanglin Road #02-08
Tasa Gallery 89 Short Street Tembusu 140 Hill Street #01-05 The Gallery of Gnani Arts One Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Peach Tree 129 Tanglin Road The Tolman Collect 82 Cairnhill Road
Ode to Art 252 North Bridge Road #01-36E/F Opera Gallery 2 Orchard Turn #03-05
OVAS Art Gallery 9 Penang Road #02-21 Park Mall Singapore 238459 T: +65 6337 3932 www.ovas-home.com
Utterly Art LLP 229A South Bridge Road Singapore 058778 T: +65 9487 2006 +65 6226 2605 www.utterlyart.com.sg
Valentine Willie Fine Art 39 Keppel Road #02-04 VITRIA 17 Chee Hoon Avenue
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VUE PRIVÉE 20 Cairnhill Road Singapore Navy Museum 32 Admiralty Road West Singapore Philatelic Museum 23B Coleman Stree
Wetterling Teo Gallery 3 Kim Yam Road White Canvas Gallery 78 Guan Chuan Street VENUES / ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS Alliance Française de Singapour 1 Sarkies Road Art Retreat (Wu Guanzhong Gallery) 10 Ubi Crescent #01-45/47 ARTSingapore www.artsingapore.net ArtSpace at Royal Plaza Hotel 25 Scotts Road COMBINART 27 Woodlands Industrial Park E1 #01-08 Esplanade 1 Esplanade Drive Emily Hill 11 Upper Wilkie Road Give Art 65 Spottiswoode Park Road Gnani Arts Space 190 Middle Road #02-03/31 Jalan Bahar Clay Studios 97L Lorong Tawas JENDELA (Visual Arts Space) 1 Esplanade Drive Level 2 La Libreria 50 Kent Ridge Crescent Level 3 Little Red Shop www.littleredshop.org
Xuanhua Art Gallery 70 Bussorah Street
Yang Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-41 YAVUZ Fine Art 51 Waterloo Stree #03-01 Your MOTHER gallery 91A Hindoo Road
Yisulang Art Gallery 6 Handy Road #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 T: +65 63376810 www.yisulang.com
Mercedes-Benz Center 301 Alexandra Road Singapore 159968 T: +65 6866 1888 www.mercedes-benz.com.sg
2902 Gallery 11 Mount Sophia Block B #B2-09 ART AUCTIONEERS / DEALERS Black Earth Auction 367 Joo Chiat Road Borobudur www.borobudurauction.com Masterpiece www.masterpiece-auction.com Y2ARTS 140 Hill Street #01-02 33 Auction www.33auction.com MUSEUMS Asian Civilisations Museum www.acm.org.sg Changi Museum 1000 Upper Changi Road North
The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 T: +65 6338 2234 www.thelam.sg
MAD Museum of Art & Design 333A Orchard Road #03-01 MINT Museum of Toys 26 Seah Street National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Road Peranakan Museum 39 Armenian Street Post Museum 107/109 Rowell Road The Private Museum 51 Waterloo Street #02-06 Red Dot Design Museum 28 Maxwell Road RSAF Museum 400 Airport Road Singapore Art Museum 71 Bras Basah Road SAM at 8Q 8 Queen Street Singapore Coins and Notes Museum 2 Trengganu Street Level 3
Ngee Ann Cultural Centre 97 Tank Road Night & Day 139 A/C Selegie Road Osage 11B Mount Sophia #01-12 Post-Museum 107+109 Rowell Road Public Art Space (Pan Pacific) 7 Raffles Boulevard Sculpture Square 155 Middle Road Sinema 11B Mount Sophia #B1-12 Singapore Art Society 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore Contemporary Young Artists www.contemporaryart.sg The Art Gallery 1 Nanyang Walk The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane The Gallery (SMU) 90 Stamford Road The Picturehouse 2 Handy Road The Substation 45 Armenian Street Third Floor – Hermès 541 Orchard Road Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall 11 Empress Place Volvo Art Loft 249 Alexandra Road 72-13/TheatreWorks 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Ray’s Transport & Services Artwork Installation & Delivery Services All other Art related services +65 91522511 email@example.com
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FRAMERS Ace Framing Gallery 226 River Valley Road Frame Hub Gallery 46A Lorong Mambong
Peter’s Frames 19 Tanglin Road #02-02 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 T: +65 6737 9110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chieu Sheuy Fook Studio Studio 102 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985 +65 96690589 e: email@example.com DreamSpace Art Studio 艺术创作，专业绘画教育。 19 China Street #03-04/05 Far East Square Singapore 049561 +65 9168 7785 www.hill-ad.com.sg Foundation Oil Painting
CONSERVATION / RESTORATION
Benaka Art Conservation Private Ltd 64 Taman Warna Singapore 276386 T: +65 9105 4377 / +65 6100 2707 www.benakaartconservation.com
(conducted by Mr Wee Shoo Leong)
155 Waterloo Street #01-04 Stam ford Arts Centre Singapore 187962 +65 9726 2028 www.foundationoilpaintingclass.com
Geeleinan Art Gallery & Studio 1 Whitchurch Road #02-03 Jeremy Ramsey Fine Art 16 Bukit Pasoh Road Kelly Reedy - Studio Arts 27 Woking Road #01-01 Marisa Keller 28 Woking Road #03-05
Ketna Patel 35 Jalan Puteh Jerneh Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village Singapore 278057 +65 6479 3736 www.ketnapatel.com Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore 417774 +65 9671 2940 e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.yessy.com/koehsiayong
PIA Preserve In Aesthetics
63 Hillview Avenue #02-06B Lam Soon Industrial Building Singapore 669569 T: +65 6760 2602 / +65 9118 7478 email@example.com www.thepiastudio.com
art preservation . conservation . restoration
Sealey Brandt Photography Studio 1 Westbourne Road #01-02 Telok Kurau Studios 91 Telok Kurau Lorong J
Armenian Church 60 Hill Street Battle Box 51 Canning Rise Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road +65 6471 7361 Buddha Tooth Relic Temple 288 South Bridge Road Bukit Timah Saddle Club 51 Fairways Drive +65 6466 2782 CHIJMES 30 Victoria Street +6336 1818 Chinatown Heritage Centre 48 Pagoda Street +65 6221 9556 Chinese Garden 1 Chinese Garden +65 6261 3632 Crocodilarium 730 East Coast Parkway +65 447 3722 Escape Theme Park 1 Pasir Ris Close +65 6581 9112 Fort Canning Park 51 Canning Rise +65 6332 1302 Goethe-Institut Singapur 163 Penang Road #05-01 Johore Battery Cosford Road +65 6546 9897
ART SCHOOLS Bhaskar’s Art Academy 19/21 Kerbau Road LASALLE 1 McNally Street Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 38/80/151 Bencoolen St NTU (School of Art, Design & Media) 81 Nanyang Drive NUS Museum 50 Kent Ridge Crescent School of the Arts (SOTA) 1 Zubir Said Drive Sotheby’s Institute of Art 82 Telok Ayer Street The Republic Cultural Centre 9 Woodlands Avenue 9 The Singapore Tyler Print Institute 41 Robertson Quay ARTIST STUDIOS Barrosa Studio 4 Woking Road #01-02
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Jurong Bird Park 2 Jurong Hill +65 6265 0022 Kranji War Memorial 9 Woodlands Road Lim Bo Seng Memorial Esplanade Park Malay Heritage Centre 85 Sultan Gate +65 6391 0450 Malay Village 39 Geylang Serai +65 6748 4700 Mandai Orchid Garden 200 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 1036 Marina Barrage 8 Marina Gardens Drive +65 6514 5959 Marina Bay Sands 10 Bayfront Avenue +65 6688 8868 Masjid Sultan Kampong Glam Merlion Park Fullerton Mount Faber +65 6270 8855 National Archives of Singapore 1 Canning Rise +65 6332 7909 National Library Singapore 100 Victoria Street +65 6332 3255 National Parks Board 1800 471 7300 Night Safari 80 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 3411 Parliament House 1 Parliament Place +65 6336 8811 Raffles’ Landing Site North bank of the Singapore River Reflections at Bukit Chandra 31K Pepys Road +65 6375 2510 Resorts World Sentosa 39 Artillery Avenue +65 6577 8888 St. Andrew’s Cathedral 11 Saint Andrew’s Road Science Centre Singapore / Omni Theatre 15 Science Centre Road +65 6425 2500 Sentosa 1800 736 8672 SIA Hop-on +65 9457 2896 Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road +65 6471 7361 Singapore Cable Car +65 6270 8855 Singapore City Gallery 45 Maxwell Road +65 6321 8321 Singapore Discovery Centre 510 Upper Jurong Road +65 6792 6188 Singapore Expo 1 Expo Drive +65 6403 2160 Singapore Flyer 30 Raffles Avenue +65 6734 8829 Singapore Turf Club 1 Turf Club Avenue +65 6879 1000 Singapore Zoo 80 Mandai Lake Road +65 6269 3411 SKI360° 1206A East Coast Parkway +65 6442 7318 Snow City 21 Jurong Town Hall Road +65 6560 2306 Sri Mariamman Temple 244 South Bridge Road Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall 12 Tai Gin Road +65 6256 7377 Supreme Court 1 Supreme Court Lane +65 6336 0644 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve 301 Neo Tiew Crescent +65 6794 1401 Taxis - Comfort/YellowTop +65 6552 1111 - CityCab +65 6552 2222 - Premier +65 732 2516 - Smart +65 6485 7777 - Tibs +65 6555 8888 - Transcab +65 6555 3333 Thian Hock Keng Temple 158 Telok Ayer Street Touristline 1800 736 2000 Underwater World 80 Siloso Road +65 6275 0030 Universal Studios 8 Sentosa Gateway +65 6577 8888 War Memorial Park Bras Basah Road & Beach Road intersection
MALAYSIA ART GUIDE
+Wondermilk Art Gallery www.theclickproject.com 12 (Art Space Gallery) www.12as12.com A2 Gallery www.a2artgallery.com Annexe Gallery www.annexegallery.com Art Case Galleries www.artcase.com.my Art Expo Malaysia www.artexpomalaysia.com Art House Gallery www.arthousegallery.biz Art Loft www.artloftgallery.net Art Salon @ Seni www.theartgallerypg.com Artseni Gallery www.artseni.com CHAI (Instant Cafe House of Arts and Idea) www. instantcafetheatre.com City Art Gallery Edi.A Art Gallery www.ediarts.blogspot.com Galeri Chandan www.galerichandan.com GALERI PETRONAS www.galeripetronas.com.my Galeri Shah Alam www.galerisa.com galleriiizu @ Shangri-La Hotel www.galleriiizu.com House of Matahati (HOM) www.matahati.com.my Islamic Arts Museum www.iamm.org.my Lookiss www.lookissgallery.com Lost Generation Space www.lostgenerationspace.blogspot.com Malaysia National Art Gallery www.artgallery.gov.my MERAH: Mansion for Experimentation, Research, Arts and Horticulture www.facebook.com/pages/MERAH/148050170487 Metro Fine Art www.metro3gallery.com NN Gallery www.nngallery.com.my Pace Gallery www.pacegallery.net Pelita Hati www.pelitahati.com.my Pinkguy Gallery www.pinkguymalaysia.com Richard Koh Fine Art www.rkfineart.com Rimbun Dahan www.rimbundahan.org RougeArt www.rogueart.asia Shalini Ganendra Fine Art www.shaliniganendra.com The Gallery @ Star Hill www.starhillgallery.com Valentine Willie Fine Art www.vwfa.net Wei-Ling Gallery www.weiling-gallery.com Y 2 S Art Space www.y2sart.com.my ZINC www.zinc.com.my
HONGKONG ART GUIDE
Amelia Johnson Gallery www.ajc-art.com I/O Input Output www.inputoutput.tv Karin Webber Gallery www.karinwebbergallery.com MADHOUSE Contemporary www.madhouse.com.hk
EUROPE ART GUIDE
FLO PETERS GALLERY Chilehaus C Pumpen 8 20095 Hamburg, Germany +49 40 3037 4686 www.flopetersgallery.com
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM Photos
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LONDON ART GUIDE
Jealous Gallery 27 Park Road N8 8TE Crouch End London AICON GALLERY London 8 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BU The Air Gallery 32 Dover Street, London W1S 4NE Kings Place Gallery 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Serpentine Gallery Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA Walton Fine Arts 154 Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2JJ Chinese Contemporary The Studio House, 7/9 Edith Grove ,London, SW 10 0JZ Richard Green147 New Bond Street, London, W1S 2TS Lisson Gallery 52-54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA South London Gallery 65 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH The Brick Lane Gallery 196 BRICK LANE, E1 6SA London The Hart Gallery 113 Upper Street, Islington London N1 1QN Danielle Arnaud contemporary art 123 Kennington Road, London SE11 6SF Hai Gallery 46a Harrowby Street, Marble Arch, London W1H 5HT Halcyon Gallery 24 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QQ
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is a registered charity with IPC Status that may provide up to 250% tax-deductibles for donations received.
We do Community Art. Art to the Heart: Heartlanders into Artlanders. Art for everyone and anyone.
To learn more about our Public Murals or to donate please email: firstname.lastname@example.org 68 / TPAG
To learn more visit: www.socialcreatives.com
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eatives does Communi ty Art
MARCH 2011 / 69
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