MAY 2012

ISSUE 31

TPAG / www.thepocketartsguide.com

12 SIGNIFICANT PIECES OF 2012

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

CONTENTS

12

20

24

28

32

36

44

Complimentary copies of TPAG are available at several places in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Singapore: Copies are distributed at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Asian Civilisation Museum, Alliance Francaise, NUS Cultural Centre, Singapore Tourism Board’s Ticket Cube along Orchard Road, leading art galleries (Sunjin @ Holland Village, The Luxe Museum @ Handy Road, Chan Hampe @ Raffles Hotel, Art Trove @ Waterloo Street, Bruno Gallery @ Tanglin Place, Viridian Art House @ River Valley and more). It is also distributed at IndoChine Group of Restaurants, Café Papa Palheta and Café Strangers’ Reunion. Browsing copies are also available at Lalique Boutique @ Mandarin Gallery, Boutique Baccarat @ Takashimaya, the American Club, British Club, Singapore Cricket Club, Suites of Gallery Hotel, Presidential Suite of Goodwood Park Hotel, Residence at Martin No.38, Hilltops, The Marq on Paetrson Hill, Affluent Banking Centres of Maybank, Aberdeen Asset Management and more. Hong Kong: TPAG is widely distributed in Hong Kong and has a presence in most galleries and art venues. It is distributed at the Bookshop (Hong Kong Arts Centre) and browsing copies are available at cafes such as Uncle Russ Coffee. Complimentary and browsing copies are also available at popular art venues such as the Fringe Club. TPAG has a presence at major art events in the territory. For the environmentally-conscious, the PDF format of TPAG can be downloaded from www.thepocketartsguide.com every month or simply flip through the magazine on the website using the online reader.

08 EDITOR’S
LETTER

10ART WIRE

14IN THE FRAME
Wall of Fame

22 ART LANDS
Shifting Sands

Recycle.
Pass The Pocket Arts Guide forward.

THE POCKET ARTS GUIDE PTE LTD (TPAG)
43 Jalan Merah Saga, #03-62, Work Loft @ Chip Bee, Singapore 278115. Printed in Singapore by KWF Printing. Copyright of all editorial content in Singapore and abroad is held by the publishers, THE POCKET ARTS GUIDE MAGAZINE. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publishers. TPAG, ISSN 2010-9739, is published 10 times a year by THE POCKET ARTS GUIDE MAGAZINE. Every effort has been made to contact the copyrights holder. If we have been unsuccessful in some instances, please contact us and we will credit accordingly. Even greater effort has been taken to ensure that all information provided in TPAG is correct. However, we strongly advise to confirm or verify information with the relevant galleries/venues. TPAG cannot be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, alterations or errors that may occur as a result of any last minute changes or production technical glitches. The views expressed in TPAG are not necessarily those of the publisher. The advertisements in this publication should also not be interpreted as endorsed by or recommendations by TPAG The products and services offered in the advertisements are provided under the terms and conditions as determined by the Advertisers. TPAG also cannot be held accountable or liable for any of the claims made or information presented in the advertisements. 06 07

26 FRONTIERS
The Found Generation

30PERSPECTIVES
Connecting the Dots: Art and Politics

34 FEATURE
Floated: Three Malaysian Artists in Bali

38SPACE
Village on the Edge

46 STATES
OF THE ART
Raze the Red Lantern

54 MAP
Art galleries in Singapore

58DIRECTORY
LISTING

64 ART

CLASSIFIEDS

EDITOR’S LETTER
ISSN 2010-4375 / MICA (P) 130/03/2011

Dear Readers, May is a landmark issue for TPAG— a publication that has grown as the art scenes in Singapore and Hong Kong blossom. With our coverage of local exhibitions as well as major art events, we continue with our aim of making the small exhibition as important as the biennale, and the local artist as significant as the global sensation. With Art HK taking place in Hong Kong this month, arguably one of the greatest affirmations of the new significance of art in Asia, this issue looks at the whole phenomenon from different perspectives. We also ask, “What difference does it really make to Asia and what opportunities does it create for local artists?” And with such questions in mind, we aim to appeal to collectors, curators, artists, and passionate art lovers across the spectrum. The “pocket” in our name is not so much about size. We attempt to summarise a range of topics as we emphasize Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as regional and global news. TPAG has remained very much at the level of local artists who might feel like Davids in a market of Goliaths but, as we attempt to stand on the shoulders of giants, we are also hoping we can help raise a platform. In this issue, TPAG has embraced a new look that aesthetically enhances and improves its aim of being a contemporary art publication of substance. With its depth of cross-cultural coverage, the publication has become a window onto contemporary styles in established and emerging markets of the world. You’ve seen how far we’ve grown and we look forward to another year of fascinating and vibrant coverage.

Editor-in-Chief Remo Notarianni remo@thepocketartsguide.com Art Director Herman Ho herman@thepocketartsguide.com Contributors Gladys Teo, Natascha Nanji, Roy Voragen, Rudabah Abbass Advertising & Media Partnership 3-Three Consulting Pte Ltd 23 Genting Road #03-01 Chevalier House Singapore 349481 O: +65 67484339 F: +65 68583880 Advertising: Duane Thia +65 9699 9220 Chua Wee Ming +65 9617 1030 sales@thepocketartsguide.com Distribution & Circulation: Callie Gay +65 9477 5928 mktg@thepocketartsguide.com Press Releases: pr@thepocketartsguide.com Hong Kong Contact: Sally Lee +852 9095 6316 sallylee@thepocketartsguide.com On The Cover: Tied 12-12 — Steen Ipsen

Remo Notarianni
Editor-in-Chief

SUNJIN GALLERIES (S) PTE LTD 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 Work Loft @ Chip Bee Singapore 278115 Tel: +65 6738 2317 | www.sunjingalleries.com.sg | www.sunjingalleries.blogspot.com

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

ART WIRE

Incarnate: First solo exhibition by Jana Benitez 11.05.12 — 30.06.12 Galerie Steph www.galeriesteph.com Singapore Galerie Steph is proud to present ‘Incarnate’, the first Singapore exhibition of New York-based Filipino artist Jana Benitez. Deeply engaged with expressing emotions and abstract concepts, Benitez's paintings remind us of how abstract art can be so powerfully beautiful and provocative. Benitez states that “there are so many different ways to portray a certain emotion, mood, look and feeling.”

Buddha Meets Ganesha: An Aesthetic Congregation of Two Global Icons 03.05.12— 16.05.12 The Gallery of Gnani Arts www.gnaniarts.com Singapore In this first-of-its-kind exhibition, which was conceptualised two years ago, seven participating artists offer creative yet sensitive treatment of the many perspectives in which the mighty concepts of the two global cultural icons combine aesthetically and on a philosophical, art historical or a purely visual basis.

Tze Peng in Bali 25.04.12 — 23.05.12 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts www.nafa.edu.sg Singapore This exhibition features a selection of over 60 works in ink by renowned second generation stalwart, Lim Tze Peng. The works in this exhibition unravel a visual, sumptuous tapestry bound up in the fabled beauty of Bali. Its enchanted landscape and the spirited core of its being are seamlessly bound up in the inspirations drawn by artists from Nanyang.

Simply Black and White by Artists Qi Hong & Wang Shao Xuan 22.05.12—26.05.12 Societe Generale Gallery www.alliancefrancaise.org.sg Singapore This exhibition focuses on black and white paintings by two Chinese artists Qi Hong and Wang Shao Xuan. The idea behind the exhibition came from the idea of expressing black tones against the light coloured paper, to achieve the simplicity of beauty by using minimal colour tones, and reducing reality to a two-coloured world.

A solo exhibition of works on Paper and Canvas by Marie-Annick Beneton 19.04.12 – 19.05.12 BW Furniture 33 Niven Road www.source53.com Singapore In this exhibition, French artist Marie- Annick Beneton combines her interest in the sciences with her passion for painting and drawing to create remarkable figurative paintings and drawings.

3 Solos 28.04.12 – 09.05.12 ION Art Gallery Level 4 ION Orchard www.ionorchard.com Singapore Utterly Art and Marisa Kunz of Blue Horizon will be organizing 3 SOLOS at the large and well-situated ION Art Gallery. Utterly Art will feature Singaporean Andre Tan’s ‘Luxuries For The Orient’ and Filipino Randy Solon’s ‘Bless The Beasts And The Children’, while Blue Horizon features Swiss pop artist Vinc’s ‘Paintings’.

10 11

ART WIRE

Sun Liang Solo Exhibition 15.05.12- 15.07.12 Linda Gallery MOCA@Loewen 27A Loewen Road Singapore Sun Liang has always been serious and dedicated to his own creations; his experimental works are gaining attention in China. Since the beginning of 1980, his journey towards creativity has matured through the period of mysticism and symbolism, manifestation, fantasy and abstract styles.

Yayoi Kusama – Hong Kong Blooms in My Mind 19.05.12 – 31.05.12 Sotheby’s 5/F, One Pacific Place Hong Kong Sotheby’s will unveil its newlyconstructed state-of-the art gallery space in Hong Kong on 19 May, 2012, with opening exhibitions running through the end of May - an exciting month filled with international cultural events in Hong Kong. Comprising the entire 5th floor of One Pacific Place – over 15,000 square feet – this facility will allow Sotheby’s to significantly expand its business in Asia.

Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art 10.02.12- 20.05.12 Asia Centre www.asiasociety.org Hong Kong This exhibition showcases Buddhist works from the world-renowned Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art along with contemporary works by leading Asian and Asian American artists that draw inspiration from one of the world’s great religions.

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

IN THE FRAME

Wall Of Fame
Writer: Remo Notarianni

The “contemporary” can be difficult to see when it is actually happening. In 2012, galleries are filled with exciting new selections that are refusing to enter the pigeonholes of art history. TPAG asked 12 gallery owners to single out an art piece that they think is making a difference in 2012.

14 15

IN THE FRAME

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Endless Walk — David Gerstein
Bruno Gallery (Singapore)
Israeli artist David Gerstein is a painter and a sculptor who seeks to expand the limits of two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional sculptures. The artist creates colourful, layered images of still-life compositions, urban landscapes and human activities which always retain local and autobiographical elements. Gerstein creates a post-modernist polyphony of colours and lines with impressions that represent an era of new mediums and styles. His piece Endless Walk seems to symbolically present the infinite in a parade of the everyday. “Gerstein’s works portray people in everyday tasks – art is not separate from reality and people are beginning to narrow the divide in the choices they make. The works are bold and vivid. People are savvier at complementing furniture and interiors with bold statements of art. Gerstein’s pieces have edition numbers on the front, worked into the art, and to make it more unique, personalized commission works are possible.” — Esha Batish, Art Consultant
Photo: ReDot Fine Art Gallery Photo: Bruno Gallery

Wanka:Spider — Harry Tjutjuna
ReDot Fine Art Gallery (Singapore)
Harry Tjutjuna exemplifies the changing world of modern Australian Aboriginal art. From the more traditional dot and iconographic work of the last 20 to 30 years to the contemporary style that is starting to engulf areas of “the outback”, Tjutjuna’s work, epitomized by Wanka:Spider, could herald a new era of Aboriginal art to collectors. “I think it is an important transitional period for this art movement and if the placement of these old traditional artists into a modern contemporary setting is done well, we could see an explosion of interest from collectors around the world in this ancient art form, especially as the artists involved are rarely trained artists. For the most part, they are using raw untainted natural ability to produce their work. From a collectors’ perspective, in my opinion this genre is going to gain in popularity as contemporary galleries start to understand the culture, values and history behind the works.” — Giorgio Pilla, Director

Endless Walk — David Gerstein 95 x 160 cm, hand painted cutout steel

Wanka:Spider — Harry Tjutjuna 147cm x 120cm, acrylic on Belgian linen

Waterfall — Hiroshi Senju
Sundaram Tagore Galleries (Hong Kong)
Widely recognized as one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Hiroshi Senju is internationally renowned for his sublimely beautiful paintings of waterfalls—imagery he has been exploring for more than 15 years. Born in Tokyo in 1958, he was the first Asian artist to receive the merit prize at the Venice Biennale and his work is featured prominently in public spaces across the Asian region.
Photo: Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Neo Monster — Vibha Galotra
Indigo Blue Art (Singapore)
There has been a trend towards installation art in India. An increasing number of Indian artists are experimenting with different mediums, which are in sync with their artistic practices and concerns. Collectors of installation art are usually institutional, and buyers are committed collectors, newcomers and connoisseurs who are not just looking for quick profits. Vibha Galotra’s Neo Monster is a powerful metaphor on changing environments. “With the travelling public project Neo Monster, I am working around changing aesthetics /environments, politics and social structures. For me, this work is a social sculpture, through which I tell the story of the changing environment. Unable to comprehend the loss of basic values, we blindly adapt to an alienating environment. In this project, the machine form has been used as a metaphor on my thoughts about the constant changing environment, and the loss of natural resources, as proliferating production feeds the hunger of a growing consumer society.” — Vibha Galotra, Artist

Waterfall — Hiroshi Senju 299 x 212.1 cm, fluorescent pigment on rice paper mounted on board,

“With his waterfalls, Hiroshi Senju has proven that the thousand-year-old Nihonga style of painting, which emphasizes traditional Japanese painting methodology, can express contemporary modernity. Standing before his falls, one experiences the sound of roaring water, the sensation of cool mist and the smell of moist air. Senju is one of the very few contemporary painters still making use of Nihonga, and thus covers a niche in the global art market.” — Sundaram Tagore, Founder
Neo Monster — Vibha Galotra 304.8 x 274.32 x 1158.24 cm, Inflatable fabric balloon and air blower and video

Photo: Indigo Blue Art

16 17

IN THE FRAME

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Essence of Performing No.6 — Wu Qiong
Sunjin Galleries (Singapore)
In the oils of mainland Chinese artist Wu Qiong, buoyant figures seem to float against pastel skies. Wu is the visual spokesperson of a generation that has experienced relatively little hardship, but in his work, the post-80s generation of China seems to be reflecting as it comes of age. Born in the 1980s, Wu’s first solo show was in Singapore in 2007. He has since participated in several shows both internationally and locally. Among them were Art Miami, Art Cologne and Bridge Art Fair, Shanghai Contemporary 2010, and the Beijing International Art Fair 2008. “In earlier works such as Made in China 2 (2008) Wu depicts a generation that has grown up in better times. The cartoon styles of international influences from Korea and Japan are best demonstrated by later works like Lola and Lulu (2011). Wu epitomises the new wave of Chinese artists and there are few that are visually recording its dramatic changes.” — Jennifer Soen, Founder

Death in the Sanctuary 2 — Christian Thornton
Puerta Roja Gallery (Hong Kong)
American born Christian Thornton has worked with glass for over 30 years. His career began in the United States but in 2001, Christian relocated to Oaxaca, Mexico where he designed and built Studio Xaquixe— a unique environmental and socially responsible artistic space. Years of labour yielded not only groundbreaking glass art techniques but also the “Enviroglassart” concept (the combination of the necessary components that constitute an environmentally sustainable art glass centre).
Photo: Puerta Roja Gallery

Essence of Performing No.6 — Wu Qiong 180 x 130cm, acrylic on canvas

Death in the Sanctuary 2 — Christian Thornton Hand blown glass with embedded photographic elements

“Art in itself has a message but the process of creating the art becomes as relevant as the work itself. Some artists are taking on roles as catalysts. Training his team and developing young new artists (instead of mere assistants) is a goal that has paid off for Thornton in the impact that his studio has had on the local communities he has worked with.” — Adriana Alvarez-Nichol, Director

Photo: Sunjin Galleries

The Fiddler — Roger “Rishab” Tibon
Forest Rain Gallery (Singapore)
A self-taught, interdisciplinary artist, Roger “Rishab” Tibon was born in the Philippines in 1960. He is primarily a painter but also does installation and performance art, writes poetry, practises Filipino martial arts and occasionally dabbles in filmmaking. In his art pieces, we see a creative dynamism that reflects the lyrical energy of contemporary Asian art. “The Fiddler, like most of the artist’s works, is a visual poem. This piece shows a young girl caressing her violin and letting herself get carried away with her imagination and feelings. From the montage and strategic placements of supporting visual elements like floral patterns - an abstract butterfly emerging from a shell, a wooden rocking horse with a rose head and clock gears on her dancing hair, one can almost hear and feel that she’s playing a pleasant lullaby.” — Raymond Tan, Director
Guan Gong Vs Iron Man, — R Sumantri 90 x 130cm, acrylic & oil on canvas

Guan Gong vs. Iron Man — R Sumantri
Art Xchange Gallery (Singapore)
Indonesian artist R Sumantri’s work has impacted the landscape for decades. He was selected among the Top Fifty Finalists for the “Indonesian President Megawati – Best Portrait Contest. Sumantri skillfully uses elements of tradition by using oil painting on canvas, which is considered high art and then he incorporates the elements of comic art, considered as a low art trope. His work demonstrates how pop culture has become ingrained in the contemporary visual zeitgeist in the modern era. This is almost symbolically represented by Guan Gong vs IronMan. “This artwork is reflective of a changing mentality in the art world as it presents a contemporary juxtaposition between high and low art. This piece depicts two iconic characters, one from the East, Guan Gong, and one of the West, Iron Man. The former is a deity that represents traditional loyalty and righteousness while the latter, embodies the “quintessential capitalist” who experiences a transformation (physical and psychological) to become a superhero.” — Viviana Mejia, Curator
Photo: Art Xchange Gallery

The Fiddler — Roger “Rishab” Tibon 91.44 x 60.96 cm, acrylic on canvas

Photo: Forest Rain Gallery

18 19

IN THE FRAME

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Arrival — Lim Tze Peng
Cape of Good Hope Gallery (Singapore)
Singaporean artist Lim Tze Peng was born in 1921. His works depict a wide range of Singaporean subjects and scenes such as the rustic Malay Kampongs, bustling Chinatown and the busy Singapore River. From 1990s onward, Lim went everywhere in Singapore to capture vanishing landscapes, streetscapes, and old buildings. Collectors have acquired all of these exquisite and rare masterpieces and works will leave an enduring mark on the nation’s psyche. His work Arrival is an important example of what art continues to need in 2012. “Although his beloved subjects have now vanished, Lim did not stop painting. Instead, he became even more diligent and started to race with times to produce more brilliant works. He went to Paris, Bali, Brunei, Malaysia, Cambodia, Taiwan and China to paint. These thematic masterpieces are the cultural legacy that Lim created for art lovers. The Singapore Art Museum, NUS Art Museum, Nanyang Technological University Art Museum, China Museums and private museums have collected many of Lim’s works over the years.” — Terence Teo, Director
Photo: Cape of Good Hope Gallery Photo: Art Seasons Gallery

Cactus — Ying Yefu
Art Seasons Gallery (Singapore)
Chinese artist Ying Yefu was born in 1980. He started painting in his early childhood, and in his work it is possible to see an obsession with the past that keeps it relevant to the contemporary. His paintings have been exhibited in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taiwan, and the United Sates. He creates thoughtful independent ink paintings, silk screen prints, and design-based artworks from a very personal and unique angle. “Materials, which are native to China, exquisite techniques and a compositional sense that Ying utilizes-not to mention the lotus pad—place us immediately and firmly in the Chinese tradition. Ying’s work hints at a sustained exploration of Chinese cultural memory. The Chinese name of his exhibition, could be literally interpreted into the two words “dark” and “the truth of the life”. Ying also uses artistic techniques and gloomy ink and color on paper to convey his thoughts and understandings of life and death.” — Terry Lee, Director

Cactus — Ying Yefu 50 x 75.5cm, ink and colour on paper

Arrival — Lim Tze Peng 130 x 204 cm, ink on paper

Tied 12 -12 — Steen Ipsen
Nilssen et Chiglien, NEC (Hong Kong)
Photo: Galerie NEC Hong Kong

No Matter Black or White — Sujak Rahman
7Adam Gallery (Singapore)
Singaporean artist Sujak Rahman is the foremost batik artist in the region. He is known for his juxtaposition of old and new in a unique style of painting using batik as a base. It was Singapore’s pioneering artist, Chen Wen Hsi, who encouraged Sujak to focus on batik painting when he was in his twenties. Now in his sixties, Sujak, who is a member of TUJU Art Group, continues to paint. “Through these works, Sujak seeks to convey the imperfections of being human. He is a veteran artist that needs no introduction. His artistry lies in his ability to present batik in a modern form, with fresh and interesting perspectives. I hope that through this exhibition, more people will revisit and learn to appreciate the unique art of batik making, particularly, Sujak’s creative and modern interpretations.” — Shirley Tan, Director

Danish artist Steen Ipsen was born in 1966. He graduated from The Danish Design School (1987) and Designskolen Kolding(1990). He is part of a contemporary renaissance in ceramic art that is embracing new technologies. The poetry of Ipsen’s Tied 12-12 emphasizes the lyrical power and dynamism of the art form. “The pale blue makes the sculpture seem very soft and gentle. It seems almost weightless and moving towards a gaseous state. As usual with Ipsen, the title remains very open to enable our own interpretations: clouds, constellation, balloons, DNA, atoms, molecules, among other things; everything is possible. This openness is amplified by a play with light and consecutively with the environment. The sculpture interacts with and reflects everything that surrounds it. Thus, this indefinite, misty aesthetic brings us closer to thoughts of both chaos and order, completeness and incompleteness, as well as strength and fragility.” — Remy Jarry, Director (Galerie NEC Hong Kong)

No Matter Black or White — Sujhak Rahman 60cm x 53cm, batik

Photo: 7Adam Gallery

Tied 12-12 — Steen Ipsen ceramics and pvc

20 21

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

ART LANDS DUBAI

Shifting Sands
Text: Rudabah Abbass

W

Dubai has long been associated with a fast-paced lifestyle for the oil-rich and prosperous, but the Middle Eastern hub is transforming into a city of culture.

ith some of the world’s largest shopping malls and glamorous seven star hotels, Dubai has often been dubbed the Las Vegas of the Middle East - without the gambling of course! The city attracts tourists longing for a beach holiday and lures opportunists with the promise of a tax free income. However following the financial crash of 2008, the city has undergone a transformation and re-emerged with a new philosophy. It appears to have cleaned up its mess and this is evident from a dwindled population and the disappearance of the once dreaded endless traffic jams. But out of this has emerged a burgeoning art scene that could spark off a renaissance. Four years ago a collective of galleries opened their doors in the Gate village at the heart of Dubai’s financial district – the DIFC. The area is home to investment banks and Michelin starred restaurants. The galleries’ strategic alignment amongst the target clientele of wealthy bankers with a disposable tax free income to spend has meant that the art market has grown exponentially in just a few years.

also been quick to join the ranks recognising the potential of the market. Cuadro was one of the first galleries to open its doors in the area. Its Executive Director of Curatorial Affairs Bashar al Shroogi has witnessed the cultural shift in the perception of art evolve over the last few years. He told me: “A lot has changed in the city. Initially people would just nod and acknowledge an art piece and walk on. A few years later the same audience started to express whether or not they liked the works. Today those very people tell me that they like the works because of X, Y and Z. The more the people see the more they learn about the artwork, the more they are able to form opinions.” He tells me: “Today a lot of people are realising that the art on their walls is a reflection of them. It’s about sophistication.” Tradition has dictated buyers being motivated by the aesthetic appeal of a work, but al Shroogi has observed a cultural shift with a new understanding of art and its meaning. He tells me: “The advent of contemporary conceptual Middle Eastern artists is a part of that, globally”. Isabelle Van den Eynde is another gallerist who was inspired to give the local talent exposure:“I wanted to

“Today a lot of people are realising that the art on their walls is a reflection of them. It’s about sophistication.”
create a platform for emerging and established artists. There were so many young, talented artists who needed opportunities and support that weren’t otherwise being offered.” She established Gallery Isabelle Van den Eynde to “initiate the emergence of contemporary Middle Eastern art. It is our intention to continue to sustain this market and drive it forward in the right direction.” Van den Eynde launched her gallery in 2006, a time when there was no art scene or clientele to speak of. The risk paid off and within six years her gallery has become one of the most high profile in the city.

Photo: Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

Today these galleries are joined by high profile auction houses like Christie’s and the UAE Pavilion (which debuted at the Venice Biennial in 2009). Established international names such as Opera gallery have

I put it there, you name it — Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, installation

22 23

ART LANDS DUBAI

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Bashar al Shroogi, Executive Director of Curatorial Affairs at Cuadro

Photo: Cuadro Fine Art Gallery

Four years ago, collectors in Asia were turning to rising centres like Hong Kong, but now Dubai has become a well-established art hub in the Middle East and a force to be reckoned with.

Which begs the question: who are these buyers? She tells me:“The typical profile of our client varies from generation to generation. They are interested in both contemporary and earlier art movements. However the younger collectors tend to be more interested in contemporary art.” But some artists transcend these boundaries: “We represent older generations of artists such as Farshid Maleki and Ahmad Amin Nazar because we believe in their vast influence on younger generations“. Art Dubai is another contributor to the transformation of Dubai’s appetite for art. Now in its sixth year it is the premier international contemporary art fair for the MENASA (Middle East/North Africa/South Asia) countries. Its director Antonia Carver with her acclaimed curatorial background has been credited with shaping the landscape of art in the region. It has gone from strength to strength and this year’s festival was the biggest yet. It welcomed 22,500 visitors and hosted over 70 galleries from 32 countries - which included 75 international museums groups. Delegates from global galleries and museums attended the exposition adding further kudos to the profile of the city’s art market on the international stage.

al Shroogi tells me: “The calibre of galleries that come to Art Dubai don’t require local ex-patriot collectors to buy in London anymore. People are not only buying to collect but they are also becoming patrons of artists.” Four years ago, collectors in Asia were turning to rising centres like Hong Kong, but now Dubai has become a well-established art hub in the Middle East and a force to be reckoned with. Van den Eyde adds: “Our clients are both Europeans as well as Arabs. We also have Middle Eastern clients based abroad, and Europeans based in their home countries.” Contemporary Middle Eastern art has been validated with a new relevance due to the ‘Arab Spring’ taking centre stage in global politics. In this new realm of expression artists have embraced their formidable talents demonstrating freedom, democracy and independence through their works. Neighbouring cities such as Abu Dhabi and Doha are concentrating on cultivating arts education by establishing museums with the ‘wow’ factor, but it is Dubai where the actual money is exchanging hands and magnetising buyers.

Cuadro Fine Art Gallery

Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

Photo: Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

24 25

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

FRONTIERS

The Found Generation
Few artists in Hong Kong have made an impact on the global arena, but all of this is set to change as commercial galleries pave the way for a new generation.

Yolanda Yeung — Seduced 2011, 60 x 120 cm, mixed media on canvas

T

he concerns of emerging artists in Hong Kong are, by and large, not dissimilar to those faced by artists in many other cities across the world – a lack of space, extortionate rents, and high living costs mean few artists can fully dedicate themselves to developing a practice, once they flee the lofty nest of an educational institution. What has distinguished the Hong Kong experience, until recently, has been the way in which artists have been received by the community of contemporary commercial art galleries – of which there are plenty in Hong Kong. Whereas in many other countries, galleries actively seek out fresh new talent, the absence

of a developed art market in Hong Kong for new, local art, has long been the case. Jürgen Abgeras, Director at Hong Kong gallery Fabrik, says it took the gallery a long time to even think about representing Hong Kong artists. But a handful of galleries in Hong Kong are actively choosing to promote and champion them, as Abgeras went on to say, “You can’t ignore the signs of the times. The local artists needed to have a platform where they could be properly exposed.” The recent efforts of Fabrik and galleries such as Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Ora Ora, and Osage, to name but a few, are beginning to

pay off for emerging artists such as the locally-based Yolanda Yeung, who studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “There are opportunities to exhibit if one stays closely networked within the art field,” she says. “However there are very few financial returns. Over the years I’ve had the chance to exhibit and gain exposure by entering competitions. My paintings are also selling, which is encouraging, but it is unstable and could never cover my daily expenses.” According to Cailin Broere, Gallery Manager at Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong artists are slowly beginning to get the

Text: Natascha Nanji

26 27

Photo:Yolanda Yeung

FRONTIERS

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Sim Sky No.37 — Sim Chan 2012, 54.4 x 48.4 cm, 1604 cm2, oil on canvas with handmade wooden frame

Sim Sky No.39 — Sim Chan 2012, 107.6 x 91.6 cm, 6018.5 cm2, oil on canvas with handmade wooden frame

Tang Kwok Hin — Grapple-vity 2012, 30 x 30 cm, transparent photopaper sticker and MDF

Tang Kwok Hin — Hide and Seek in 524 Real Estate 2012, 68.3 x 79cm, transparent photopaper sticker, paper and wood

recognition and attention they deserve: “It is still very early days. The market is growing largely due to the efforts of a handful of organisations and galleries that recognise the achievements of local artists and their value within the international arts community” Amidst the tides of change, the question begs to be asked, why has it taken so long for galleries to pay attention to local artists? Galleries, collectors and museums have for some time keenly displayed and purchased traditional, pre-modern examples of Chinese art and international contemporary art. The answer could lie with the uniqueness of Hong Kong’s colonial history, which created circumstances

that charged artists to actively create a local cultural identity. During the early 1980s, artists primarily from the mainland, employed techniques of Chinese ink brush painting (with a nod to the Abstract Expressionists). By the late 1980s a new generation of artists, born in Hong Kong, sought to distance themselves from Chinese forms of expression; China was closed off and fears as to the outcome of Hong Kong’s future after the impending Handover were rife after the brutal suppression of the Beijing Democracy movement of 1989. The impact of this on the types of artwork being created was twofold; a deliberate rejection of a Chinese national frame of reference made it “hard to discover cross generational

stylistic continuities in Hong Kong art,” writes Professor David Clarke in his book, Hong Kong Art, Culture and Decolonization. This stylistic disruption meant that classifying works along set art historical trajectories was likely to be a source of friction for the gallery and museum community.

Whereas in many other countries, galleries actively seek out fresh new talent, the absence of a developed art market in Hong Kong for new, local art, has long been the case.

Secondly, the impact is again described aptly by Professor Clarke. “In a city as fully part of globalised flows of capital and people as any other, the development of a local orientation has been actively sought in response to particular circumstances.” This focus on the local could seemingly jar with galleries whose collectors and audiences were globally minded. Furthermore, the concerns of young local artists may not have necessarily appealed to the global audiences of Hong Kong’s commercial art world. Nor would their use of local materials to create ephemeral installations have sat comfortably as commodities. Fast-forward to a post-Handover epoch with new cultural frames of

reference and artistic preoccupations. As diverse as the explored mediums seem to be, they are, says Broere, “still focussed largely on painting, drawing and ink,” and artists are mainly addressing local themes according to galleries. But from a critical perspective they have a stronger universal resonance with the familiar story of, among others, a global metropolis, whose citizens experience pollution, cramped conditions and political tensions. It is, however, the new opportunities provided, namely by commercial galleries, that may determine whether or not Hong Kong’s artists reach the global arena.

Photo: Tang Kwok Hin

Photo: Sim Chan

28 29

PERSPECTIVES

Connecting the dots:

Art and Politics
Text: Remo Notarianni

A Symphony of Lights — Bernard Charnwut Chan, 41.9 x 29.2 cm, ink and correction fluid on illustration board

PERSPECTIVES

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

“Artists in Hong Kong should retain their characteristics and its mix of East and West provides a lot more freedom to express things. We should take advantage of that”
ndy Warhol once said “good business is the best art” but in Hong Kong, a city known for its entrepreneurs, the business of art has struggled to find a voice beyond drawn out debates about heritage, cultural centres and art education. As a territory once called a “cultural wasteland” morphs into a major venue for art fairs, with international galleries vying for a hopeful slice, debates rage on about the local art scene. Politician and businessman Bernard Charnwut Chan, one of the few government figures in Hong Kong with an art background, believes that the landscape is yet to provide space for local artists, even as the number of galleries has soared in recent years. “In the last 10 years, there has been a lot of interest in fine art here mainly coming out of mainland China because of supply and demand,” observes Chan. “It has excited a lot of people, but it has remained at a purely commercial level. Does it actually help the local art scene? Yes and no. Definitely there is more interest, but policy-wise, we haven’t really done much to focus on this area.”

A

In a city that he admits offers few career options for art beyond an unprofitable part-time pursuit, Chan entered the world of politics and business. He became a member of the Executive Council between 2004 and 2009 and the Legislative Council from 1998 to 2008. He is president of the Asia Financial Group and its main subsidiary Asia Insurance. Chan, who holds a BA in Studio Arts, appears to embody Hong Kong’s corporate success, but his fine art background sets him apart and he has a perspective that straddles the opinions of both the city’s power brokers and its struggling artists. He points out that, in contrast to Singapore’s “top down” policy, in which artists might be given conditional support (but which might also dictate what they create) the best help that Hong Kong’s government can give is promotional; and its rising art status benefits the convention centres, property developers and art dealers. “'This town is often so laissez-faire that the government doesn’t want to get involved,” admits Chan. “There are major hindrances such as rental

space and a lack of display areas. We can however create more demand for local artists. It is not part of our culture to tell people what to do but the government could actually take the lead by buying some local art. The way I look at it, you can’t persuade people to buy art, but those in power could display it on government buildings and help create more demand for local artists.” Chan’s cultural sensitivities express themselves in ambitious projects that have put him at the chair of the Antiques Advisory Board, Advisory Committee on Revitalizing Historical Buildings and the Hong Kong Council for Sustainable Development. But regardless of government action, Chan looks beyond the surface into factors that permeate perception, attitudes and societal values. “Traditionally, art is never an area that parents want their kids to go into,” admits Chan. “Fundamentally, we don’t really have a career for artists, and traditionally parents in Hong Kong have not seen this as a career goal. The other problem is that for years people have only wanted to train bankers at universities here.

So, how can we expect students to even consider going into a career like art?” Beyond demands for a parentpleasing career— which art fails to materially provide in Hong Kong— lies the need for transcendent work, which rests ultimately with the quality of artists. If nurtured, such artists could enhance Hong Kong’s global status by giving it greater “soft power” in the world. “Traditionally, Chinese art has emphasized following the master, but

artists in Hong Kong should retain their characteristics and its mix of East and West provides a lot more freedom to express things. We should take advantage of that,” says Chan whose own artistic development echoes the creative flowering of contemporary Asian artists. Chan can generationally measure his work against that of his mother— an artist who follows a more traditional approach based on ink painting. He cites the French pointillist Georges Seurat as an influence, and his paintings are trademarked by a use

of white correction fluid (such as Tipp-Ex) against a dark background that achieves light and dark through its intrinsic opacity. And with his artist’s eyes and political influence, Chan could shed light on how to make the city into a creative hub as well as a financially vibrant entrepot. “I am sure we can find ways to create a market for local artists,” says Chan, “and once we know what works out there, and create regular demand then there is a chance to make a career path.”

Politician, businessman and artist Bernard Charnwut Chan Key to Imagination — Bernard Charnwut Chan 22” x 16”, ink and correction fluid on illustration board

Equinox — Bernard Charnwut Chan 23” x 16.5”, ink and correction fluid on illustration board

Mum, Dad & Son — Bernard Charnwut Chan 18” x 24”, ink and correction fluid on illustration board

All photos: Bernard Chanwut Chan

32 33

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

FEATURE
Pandangan Sisi, 110 x 190 cm, charcoal and acrylic on paper

Anjing, acrylic on canvas

Floated:
Three Malaysian artists in Bali
Text: Roy Voragen

Seorang Melayu (i.e. A Malay) 110 x 188 cm, charcoal on canvas

I

ndonesia and Malaysia might be neighbours, but artistic exchange seems to be historically overshadowed by political and diplomatic quarrels about territorial claims, or grassroots protests against assumed appropriation of heritage. It is, therefore, fortunate that Bali’s Kendra Gallery presents ‘Floated, Malaysian Contemporary Artists Exhibition’, which showcases works by Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Chong Siew Ying and Jalaini Abu Hassan. The turnout at the opening night was proof of interest in the accomplishments of the contemporary art scene in Malaysia. Within Southeast Asia, the need for collaborations appears to be healthy at the moment. Gallery owner Willie, who has branches in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Yogyakarta and Manila supports such efforts. Last year, the owner of the gallery collaborated with Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in Bandung to organize the exhibition ‘Tanah Ayer: Malaysian Stories from the Land’ (‘tanah’ means land and ‘ayer’ water), where I saw work by Chong Siew Ying and Jalaini Abu Hassan. ‘Floated’ is an exciting exhibit of three versatile and very different artists. And while the artworks of these three senior artists might be very different, it doesn’t mean that the works don’t connect within the exhibition curated by Jakarta-based curator Rifky Effendy; this process can be compared to what Catherine Elwes describes elsewhere: “A kind of internal dialogue is set up between the works, a dialogue that creates resonances or even dissonances that would not occur under different conditions.”

Tak Bernama, 110 x 190 cm, charcoal and acrylic on paper

Seorang Jawa (i.e. A Javanese) 114 x 140 cm, charcoal and acrylic on paper

Bayu Utomo Radjikin (b.1969) studied art at the University of Technology Mara, Shah Alam,
Selangor. He also co-founded the artists’ collective Matahati (i.e. eye of the heart), which promotes interregional exchange through residencies in Kuala Lumpur, Yogyakarta and Manila. And their space, House of Matahati, supports young artists. At Kendra Gallery, he shows a series of charcoal drawings. Charcoal is a technique that might sound fairly easy, but it requires skill to attain the depth and contrasts of his work. The work ‘Seorang Jawa’ (i.e. A Javanese, charcoal on acrylic paper, 114x140cm) is an excellent example. It is a self-portrait along with traditional Javanese headwear in evocative grey tones. Bayu Utomo Radjikin’s parents are Javanese, a descent which doesn’t play a role in their daily lives. And through this work he can open-up a space to complicate matters of identity.

34 35

FEATURE

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Steak(triptych), 91.4 x 274.3 cm, mixed media on canvas Run baby run..., 138 x 260 cm, charcoal and acrylic on canvas

Me, underwater, 138 x 200 cm, charcoal and acrylic on canvas

Misty Flower, 89 x 130 cm, charcoal and acrylic on canvas European Steaks, 152.4 x 152.4 cm, mixed media on canvas Petai Obama, 152.4 x 182.8 cm, mixed media on canvas Sunday Afternoon, 83 x 83 cm, charcoal and acrylic on canvas

Mantera Empat Keping Tenggiri, 137.2 x 137.2 cm, mixed media on canvas

Chong Siew Ying (b.1969) enjoyed her art education in Malaysia and France (at the L’Ecole
Des Beaux-Arts and L’Atelier 63) and until 1998 she resided in France. Now she divides her time between Malaysia and France. The in-between position of her itinerant life must have affected her notions of space and time. She explains: “I intend to reduce space and time to the level of nothingness – so that a place could be anywhere, located in any time, a space for the imagination.” This results in works that seem to be reveries. An example of her lyrical poetry is ‘Run baby run…’ (charcoal and acrylic medium on paper mounted on canvas, 138 x 260cm). We can see a blindfolded female figure running on – what seems – a beach destined to face fate as in an updated Greek tragedy. It’s a delight to see excellent contemporary artworks from Malaysian artists on show at Kendra Gallery. And hopefully there’s much more to come in the future.

Jalaini Abu Hassan (b.1963, known as Jai) studied art at the University of Technology Mara
(where he’s now a lecturer while undertaking PhD research), the Slade School of Fine Art at University College of London and the Pratt Institute in New York. His mixed media assemblages play provocatively on social and political themes. In his recent work, he is disturbed how the state tries to monopolize the nation’s history and, as a consequence, turns it into a one-dimensional narrative. Jai sets out to destabilize the distortion brought about through this form of propaganda in his artworks. ‘European Steaks’ (mixed media on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4cm) is not only a mixed media work, but also, like the other works, refers to different symbolic frameworks. In this particular work, he uses fish, raw meat and, what appears to be, a Greek statue of a beheaded, winged woman as symbolic references.

Kendra Gallery: Jalan Drupadi No.88B, Seminyak, Bali / www.kendragallery.com. The exhibition runs until May 14, 2012. The writer can be contacted at fatumbrutum.blogspot.com.

36 37

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

SPACE

Village On The Edge
The story of the artists’ village at Wessex Enclave is a familiar one of the tensions between gentrification and preservation. Its outcome reveals the conflicts that underscore Singapore’s art scene.
Photos: Lee Gilbert

Text: Gladys Teo

Lee Gilbert — Crash! (J.G. Ballard), acrylic on canvas

Lee Gilbert — Watchful

Lee Gilbert — False Dawn (LeMans), acrylic on canvas

I

n 2008, Singaporean developer JTC Corp established Wessex Village Square at Portsdown as a space for the arts. “The development here is a cost-recovery project, not meant to reap huge profits but serves more of JTC Corp’s social mission,” said Mr Phillip Su who was then assistant CEO. “We don’t know what the end state of this community will be… What we are trying not to do is to let it become like SoHo in Manhattan or Santa Fe in New Mexico where wealthy residents eventually displaced the artists.” Yet four years down the road, artists have been told by JTC staff that “the Art Village idea has been dissolved”, rent would no longer be subsidized but follow market rates that are more than double. The designated “work lofts for creative minds” have since been pitched as colonial-style residences in charming black-andwhite houses built in the 1940s, with vast green open spaces exuding tranquility and peace. Housing priority is given to applicants working in the ‘science’ and ‘media’ industries

within the 200ha One -North Innovation and Research development. Commodifying the space and repackaging it into something that can be sold to young professionals and ‘yuppies’ is not an unusual move by an organisation like JTC Corp. An uncannily similar story has surfaced at the Work Lofts@Chip Bee Gardens, which were initially erected and subsidized as spaces for the arts amidst the bohemian Holland Village enclave. Today, subsidies have lapsed, galleries and artist studios have given way to more affluent yuppies who have clawed their way into these “cool and hip” neighbourhoods. The opening of train stations at both Holland Village and Wessex only exacerbates the commercialisation of the enclaves which used to be inaccessible and under the radar. Lost enclave With half the artist tenants being priced out of Wessex, my initial instinct was to critique the move and defend the artistic communities that

have been displaced, but I have since accepted that it is futile to ask the state to stop turning its endeavours into commodities. In a land scarce city-state, the balance between commodity and preservation is inadvertently tilted towards economics. Even if the decision to preserve the artist enclave had been accepted, I fear the story would have been different. Genuine processes of artistic creation without material interruptions (which was the original idea of the state-subsidised artist studios) may be replaced by notions of commericialisation in an eagerness to keep the enclave intact. What we might find are artists being forced to produce and sell more to prove to JTC Corp that they are worthy tenants. They would be fighting to preserve a space that lost the integrity of its original purpose. And I question what difference this makes when the intention has been lost in the fight for survival against gentrification.
38 39

Lee Gilbert — Quickstep 30 x 40", acrylic on canvas

SPACE

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

Dick Lim (Chye) — Raffles Place 1930, acrylic on canvas 137 x 183 cm

Dick Lim (Chye) — Tongkangs, acrylic mon canvas 183 x 76 cm

Dick Lim (Chye) — Garden of Eden, Kampong Style, acrylic on canvas 183 x 137 cm x 2 pieces

Despite the increase in rents, some artists have stayed on for the sheer love of the environment.

I reckon it is more useful to stop focusing on the commodification and instead use this opportunity to question how we can construct meaningful anecdotes out of the Wessex story. Despite the increase in rents, some artists have stayed on for the sheer love of the environment. Painter Lee Gilbert needs no reassurance on how the surroundings are important for the quality of creation. “Yes it is now much more expensive to rent and I would love my own studio instead of sharing with four others. But there’s hardly any other place with a quiet, natural, undisturbed environment to work in, and let’s be honest, the studio spaces at Goodman are classrooms!” exclaims Gilbert when quizzed about the revelance of Wessex as an enclave versus newly-promoted, heavilysubsidised enclaves like the Goodman Arts Centre. Creation in crisis Finding ways to mitigate the monetary costs would be the primary concern of those who stayed on. International artists like Frances Alleblas and Milica

Bravacic have adapted these spaces as both living quarters and working studios, reducing the need to rent an apartment separately from studio space. Many of the others have shared studios, including Gilbert himself (Barossa Studio), Kelly Reedy, Max Kong where tenants would combine resources and maximise space in mutually benefical ways. One artist revealed how she converted her toilet area to make a pottery kiln and used her studio’s toilet instead. Suzanna Ang of d’Art Studio discussed how organising group shows with her neighbours have been useful in pooling press, media costs and contacts, as well as creating awareness of studios in the premises. As she understands, interaction between artists is currently confined within the blocks due to proximity. Perhaps one positive thing that can emerge from the ‘evils’ of gentrification is the encouragement of more interaction between artists of different blocks, now that there are fewer artists, and those who stayed have a lot more at stake than before.
40 41

Photos: Dick Lim (Chye)

ART TOURS

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

HONG KONG

01

04
Hong Kong Museum of Art 10 Salisbury Road Tsim Sha Tsui, KLN

10
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei KLN, Hong Kong

+ 852 2721 0116 www.hk.art.museum

+852 2353 1311 www.hku.edu.hk/jccac

Project Porcelain Screen — Simone Boon

05
Hong Kong Cultural Centre 10 Salisbury Road Tsim Sha Tsui, KLN

11

Simone Boon’s Studio Unit17, 9/F, Block B, Wah Luen Industrial Centre 15-21 Wong Chuk Yeung Street Fotan, NT

+ 852 2734 2009
www.icsd.gov/hk/CE/CulturalService/HKCC

+852 6012 0363 info@simoneboon.com www.simoneboon.com

06
Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Basic Elements 2 — Christian Thornton

02
+852 2582 0200 www.hkac.org.hk

Puerta Roja Shop A, G/F Wai Yue Building 15-17 New Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong +852 9729 1773 info@puerta-roja.com www.puerta-roja.com

07
Fringe Club 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong +852 2521 7251 www.hkfringeclub.com

12

Majestic — Lesley Thiel

Belgravia Gallery Hong Kong 19th Floor, Silver Fortune Plaza 1 Wellington Street, Central

08
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware 10 Cotton Tree Drive Central, Hong Kong
Breath — Annie Hsiao Wen Wang

Private guided tour of artist’s studios in Fotan
Visit one of Hong Kong’s largest art communities— an industrial area just out of town where over 200 studios are located (access with VIP cards only). The tour, a VIP event of ART HK, is organised by Sarah Greene (Blue Lotus Art Consultancy) and the guests will be welcomed in Simone Boon’s Studio B917 from where the studio visits will start. (Wah Luen Industrial Building Block B, Floor 9, Unit 17, Wong Chuk Yeung Road, Fotan).

+852 9222 7315 cailin@belgraviagallery.com www.belgraviagallery.com Viewings by appointment only

03
Hong Kong Heritage Museum 1 Man Lam Road, Shatin, NT +852 2180 8188 www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk

+852 2869 0690 www.icsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum

The Bride — Simone Boon

Gaffer Ltd 6-8 17th floor Hing Wai Centre 7 Tin Wan Praya Road Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Meeting point: The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive (Waterside), Wan Chai. Bus departure: 10:00 am and will be back at 1 pm. Reservations to be made through the Hong Kong Art Fair, RSVP: rsvp@hongkongartfair.com www.bluelotus-consultancy.com / www.simoneboon.com Please join us and email to remo@thepocketartsguide.com for more information.

09
Swire Island East 18 Westlands Road Island East, Hong Kong +852 2521 1770 jules@gaffer.com.hk www.gaffer.com.hk

+852 2844 5095 www.swireproperties.com

42 43

Yinogo Art in association with RE Emerging Art presents

IN THE FRAME 16 — 20 May 2012
Vladimir Kush A cosmopolitan showcase of artists who are refreshing perspectives as Hong Kong’s art scene blossoms. The exhibition includes, among others, Manuel Muller, Vladimir Kush, Jamie Paul and Valery Kosorukov. Manuel Muller Valery Kosorukov

In the world of Russian artist Vladimir Kush, egg yolks become sunsets, butterfly wings become sails, and we see entwined lovers in the closing mouth of a purse. These are more than visual poems. They shed light on metaphorical bonds between culture, language and human experience, which Kush describes as “metaphorical realism.”

Swiss artist Manuel Muller carves visually poetic sculptures in wood and glass. His themes span the primitive, the modern, life, death, sex ,and rebirth. Shaped by personal reflections, and the classic collections that influenced him, his unique oeuvre crosses cultures. Muller is the son of the famous sculptor Robert Muller, and the godson of Chinese artist Zao Wuo –ki.

Russian artist Valery Kosorukov has gained global recognition since the mid -1970s. The artist uses methods of impressionism, filling his work with a refined play of light and colors. Kosorukov’s work can be found in many public collections: Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Museum of the Bolshoi Theatre, Ministry of Culture (Russia), Artists’ Union of Russia.

Venue:
Zetter, LG/F Hoseinee House 69 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong (next to Wyndham Street Post Office)

STATES OF THE ART
SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG IN TRANSITION

Architects are changing perceptions and redefining experiences in Singapore’s backstreets.

Text: Gladys Teo

Studio KALEIDO

STATES OF THE ART
SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG IN TRANSITION

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

ROW 1 — Left to right Frenzied Deer Heart — XOTL, digital Death Over Submission — Ben Qwek, digital Studio KALEIDO ROW 2 — Left to right Obsession Possession — Xiao Yan, watercolour on paper A Hundred Years For The Fruition Of Education — Mitchy Witchy, ink on paper Studio KALEIDO ROW 3 — Left to right Beast Of War — Zxerokool, digital To Reap What You Have Sown — Kittozutto, digital

A

very interesting project has emerged from the backstreets of Geylang— a district in Singapore that is usually associated with prostitutes, transit hotels, and foreign worker dormitories. Initiated as a boutique development project, eight conservation shophouses along the street of Lorong 24A are being redeveloped by seven local architects, integrating contemporary design aesthetics and functionality into a traditional shophouse form. Karen Tan, founder and development manager of the Lorong 24A Shophouse Series project, explains: "We wanted to shake up some stereotypes. Firstly to broaden public awareness and impressions of Geylang, not only as a seedy red light district, but also as an urban fabric that is rich in both cultural and architectural heritage. There are old conservation buildings housing historical clan associations, Buddhist and Taoist associations and dying trades including traditional Chinese medicine shops and markets. Geylang

is an untouched and “unsanitised” pocket of Singapore. "Secondly, we wanted to break away from traditional notions of the typical living space, and to do something different from the cookie-cutter projects offered by mainstream developers. The project attempts to introduce design as a key factor in defining quality, both in terms of the feel of the space and also the use, for instance integrating air wells, natural light and ventilation, greenery, gallerylike space into homes. The units have tried to push the envelope in terms of architecture. Admittedly it's not for everyone, but presents an alternative." Shedding new light Breaking away from standard design duplication and refreshing notions of shophouse living were definitely achieved with these stunningly redeveloped units. Every unit has been uniquely designed with a different theme and feel. Unit 17 is reminiscent of the work of Super

Potato (famous Japanese design collective), utilising basic elements such as wood, dark metal, sharp lines, and mood lighting. Unit 11 had a more industrial feel to its interiors, with its walls plastered with bare concrete, and an extensive use of clear glass both partitioning the space and allowing natural light in. What was most incredible was how the architects maximised space in traditionally long and narrow shophouses. Making full use of the vertical space, they cleverly created levels in between the four storeys by layering in modular units with the help of spiral staircases. While shophouses usually house two to three adjacent bedrooms on each of the four storeys with two to three bedrooms per floor, climbing around these redeveloped units give the impression of at least 20 different rooms of varying sizes over six to eight floors, and the rooms connected in interesting, dynamic ways.

All photos by artists

48 49

STATES OF THE ART
SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG IN TRANSITION

Aligning in Unit 17, Lorong 24A Geylang

Photos: Tang Ling Nah

Aligning — Tang Ling Nah charcoal on paper

As the project has evolved, it has started to break down norms about living spaces. The owners and developers banded together to support the local arts and architecture scene, and used the units to host art events and other interesting creative collaborations to rent out to respective tenants. Going forward, tenants will be encouraged to open their homes periodically to architecture tours and art events. Urban reflections Tang Ling Nah was one of the local artists who exhibited during the first wave of art exhibitions at the Lorong 24A Shophouses. Ling Nah chose to present ‘Aligning’, a charcoal-on-

paper drawing of a transitory urban space which references the lowest level of the City Hall MRT, in a small space that is demarcated by a cagelike metal wall, a concrete wall and a wooden platform with skylight at Unit 17. Falling in love with the spiral staircases, floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves, and natural light that creates beautiful shadows in the daytime, Ling Nah relates to the architectural space greatly as she uses the technique of chiaroscuro, where the extreme sense of light and dark is crucial in her drawing compositions as well as other site-specific installations. "Visually, its composition works well with the architectural elements in

Unit 17, in particular the staircase and the straight lines. The title of my work 'Aligning' also made me think about how my work replates to the space as well as to the other exhibition, 'Urbanature' (a showcase of works of NUS Year 1 Architecture students) that is held concurrently in the same unit. Can they 'align', juxtapose in such a way that an interesting dialogue takes place? I myself feel that the old shophouse with its new interior is kind of 'aligning' on its own - how the past can go hand in hand with the new and contemporary."

STATES OF THE ART
SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG IN TRANSITION

Floral Flattery — Tiffany Tan watercolour on paper

Awaiting The Rabbit — Xin Jie coloured pencils on paper

Exhibition revolution ‘Art of Rebellion’ was another group exhibition presented at Unit 11, a contemporary exploration and timely reminder of Chinese culture with a play on the power of idiomatic suggestion, curated by studio KALEIDO. Reacting directly with the rich Chinese culture of Geylang, while intending to shake up interpretations of traditional Chinese idioms, the curators invited 20 local artists to interpret the idiomatic meaning of the four characters and another three poets to birth a roomful

of bilingual haiku scrolls. It was a visual and literary explosion. Local artist Zhao Renhui presented an existing sculptural work as part of the group exhibition. It is the flowerhorn, or Louhan, a hybrid which was a common fad five years ago but exists in the form of ecological pests in our reservoirs. Having also participated in Occupy Tiong Bahru a few months before, where residents of Tiong Bahru apartments opened their homes to

artists and audiences, Renhui finds similarities and differing challenges in these two instances despite the common theme of residential homes doubling up as gallery spaces. "Here, artists were asked to react to the theme of Chinese idioms, and less so on the geographical location of the event, unlike that in Tiong Bahru where we were asked to react to the neighbourhood itself. As exhibitions are starting to move out of museums and galleries, this enables more people to access art."

‘The Lady and the Dragon’, ‘The Art of Rebellion’, ‘Urbanature’ and ‘Aligning’ ran from 11 to 22 April. For more details on the 4 exhibitions and the Lorong 24A Shophouse Series please visit www.thelor24ashophouseseries.com/background.htm.

TANJONG PAGAR, CHINATOWN & RAFFLES PLACE
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 iPreciation, The Fullerton Hotel DreamSpace Art Studio Utterly Art Galerie Sogan & Art Yong Gallery Art Commune Gallery Chan Hampe Galleries @ Tanjong Pagar Indigo Blue Art Galerie Belvedere Galerie Steph Ikkan Art International ReDot Fine Art Gallery Valentine Willie Fine Art Richard Koh Fine Art Art Xchange Gallery Ken Crystals Viridian Art House

SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM AREA
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 The Substation Art Plural Gallery Art Trove Yavuz Fine Art The Private Museum M Gallery Forest Rain Gallery The Gallery of Gnani Arts Sculpture Square Art Galleries @ NAFA The Luxe Art Museum Yisulang Art Gallery Art Gallery 3 Art Seasons Gallery

ESPLANADE & MARINA BAY SANDS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Ode To Art Opera Gallery Art Science Museum The Asian Civilisations Museum The Arts House Gallery NaWei Ode To Art Chan Hampe Galleries Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery Art-2 Gallery S.Bin Art Plus Y2Arts Gajah Gallery Tembusu Art Gallery ArtXchange Gallery Artfolio

GALLERY SPOTTED
Art Trove Gallery
51 Waterloo Street #02-01/2/3 Singapore 187969 T: +65 6336 0915 F: +65 6336 9975 E: enquiry@art-trove.com www.art-trove.com Opening Hours Wed – Sun: 11am to 6.30pm Call for private viewing

54 55

ORCHARD ROAD
1 Pop and Contemporary Fine Art 2 Gallery Reis 3 Art Space @ Scotts 4 Opera Gallery 5 Heng Artland 6 Sin Hua Gallery 7 M.A.D Museum of Art & Design 8 Vue Privée

TANGLIN ROAD
1 The Gallery of Gnani Arts 2 Bruno Gallery 3 Boon’s Pottery 4 HaKaren Art Gallery 5 Lion City Art Gallery 6 Mulan Gallery 7 Yang Gallery

HOLLAND VILLAGE

1 2

Sunjin Galleries Taksu

DEMPSEY HILL

1 2

Linda Gallery Red Sea Gallery

56 57

ART DIRECTORIES

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

C
58/59 Singapore Galleries 60 Art Auctioneers Museum + Art Venues Conservation + Restoration Art Schools Art Services 60/61 Artist Studios 61 Hong Kong Galleries Europe and the US Art Fairs 64 TPAG Classifieds

F

K

R

SINGAPORE GALLERIES

0-9

Art Seasons Gallery
1 Selegie Road PoMo #02-21/24 Singapore 188306 +65 6741 6366 info@artseasonsgallery.com www.artseasonsgallery.com Mon – Sat: 11am to 7pm Sun: 1pm to 6pm
Closed on Public Holidays or by appointment only

Richard Koh Fine Art
71 Duxton Road Singapore 089530 +65 6221 1209 info@rkfineart.com www.rkfineart.com Tue – Fri: 11.30am to 7pm Sat: 12 noon to 6pm
Monday by appointment only Closed on Public Holidays

Yong Gallery Calligraphy and Woodcarving
260 South Bridge Road Singapore 058809 Tel /Fax: +65 6226 1718 Hp: +65 9786 6916
yong_gallery_singapore@yahoo.com http://yonggallerysart.blogspot.com

Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery
140 Hill Street #01-06 MICA Building Singapore 179369 +65 6733 3822 capeofgoodhope@pacific.net.sg www.capeofgoodhope.com.sg Daily: 11am to 7pm

Ken Crystals Forest Rain Gallery
261 Waterloo Street #02-43/44 Singapore 180261 +65 6336 0926 info@forestraingallery.com www.forestraingallery.com Tue – Fri: 11am to 7pm Sat – Sun: 11am to 5pm 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-72 The Central Singapore 059817 +65 6339 0008 kencrystals@yahoo.com.sg Mon – Sat: 11am to 7pm Sun: 1pm to 5pm

Daily: 10am to 7pm

S

7Adam
7 Adam Park Singapore 289926 +65 6463 0777 enquiries@7adam.com www.7adam.com Open Daily: 11am to 11pm

ARTXCHANGE Gallery
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-65 The Central Singapore 059817 +65 9027 3997 benny.oentoro@live.com www.artxchangegallery.com Mon – Sat: 11am to 9pm

L

Chan Hampe Galleries @ Raffles Hotel
338 North Bridge Road #01-04 Raffles Hotel Arcade Singapore 188719 +65 6338 1962 www.chanhampegalleries.com Daily: 11am to 7pm
Closed on Public Holidays

G
Sunjin Galleries
43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 Work Loft@Chip Bee Singapore 278115 +65 6738 2317 info@sunjingalleries.com.sg www.sunjingalleries.com.sg Tue – Fri: 11am to 7pm Sat: 11am to 6pm

A

B

The Gallery of Gnani Arts
1 Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Regent Singapore 249715 +65 6725 3112 arts@gnaniarts.com www.gnaniarts.com Tue – Sun: 11am to 7pm

Chan Hampe Galleries @ Tanjong Pagar
27 Kreta Ayer Road Singapore 088994 +65 6222 1667 www.chanhampegalleries.com Weekdays: 10am to 6pm Weekends: 11am to 4pm

Lion City Art Gallery
19 Tanglin Road #02-07 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6733 0289
lioncityartgallery.sg@gmail.com Facebook: Lion City Art Gallery

Y

Mon – Sat: 11am to 6.30pm
Closed on Sunday

Boon’s Pottery
91 Tanglin Road #01-02A Tanglin Place Singapore 247918 +65 6836 3978 www.boonspottery.com Daily: 11am to 6pm
Closed on Public Holidays

Closed on Wednesday and Public Holidays

Yisulang Art Gallery
6 Handy Road #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 6337 6810
mktg@yisulang.com http://yisulang.com

Art Gallery 3
231 Bain Street #02-89 Bras Basah Complex Singapore 180231 +65 6333 4283 pohbeechoo@hotmail.com Mon – Sat: 11am to 7pm Sun – Public Holidays: 12pm to 6pm

Tue – Sun: 11am to 7pm

58 59

ART DIRECTORIES

TPAG ISSUE 31

MAY 2012

ART AUCTIONEERS
Christie’s Hong Kong Limited 22/F Alexandra House 18 Chater Road, Central Hong Kong Sotheby’s Singapore Pte Ltd 1 Cuscaden Road Regent Hotel Singapore Singapore 249715 Larasati 30 Bideford Road #03-02 Thong Sia Building Singapore 229922

Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road Singapore 539053 Sculpture Square 155 Middle Road Singapore 188977 MICA Building 140 Hill Street Singapore 179369 Telok Kurau Studios 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Singapore 425985

ART SCHOOLS
Lasalle 1 McNally Street Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 38/80/151 Bencoolen St Art Schools School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) 1 Zubir Said Drive Singapore 227968 The Singapore Tyler Print Institute 41 Robertson Quay Damina Gallery 2 Le Lok Street 1414 Ocean Industrial Building Hong Kong +852 2549 7711 donna@daminagallery.com www.damina-gallery.com By appointment only Gagosian Gallery 7/F Pedder Building 12 Pedder Street Central, Hong Kong Para/Site Art Space G/F, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Jennifer Yao Lin Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road Block B #03-14 Singapore 439053 +65 9151 3227 cice_lin@yahoo.com By appointment only

Alan Cristea Gallery 31 & 34 Cork Street London W1S 3NU White Cube 48 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB L & M Arts 45 East 78 Street New York 10075

CONSERVATION + RESTORATION

Agility Fine Arts +65 65000250 finearts@agilitylogistics.com www.agilitylogistics.com - Recommended Art Handler & Freight Forwarder for ArtStage 2012 - Climate-controlled Fine Art Bonded Storage Facility - Museum-standard Specialized Art installation, packing & logistics

Leo Hee Tong Block 173, Bishan St 13, #05-105 Singapore 570173 +65 6258 8787 + 65 9794 6511 leoheetong@hotmail.com Studio 404 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985

Urich Lau Wai-Yuen Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road Block B #04-07 Singapore 439053 +65 9682 7214 urichlwy@gmail.com By appointment only

ART FAIRS
Young Art Taipei 11 – 13 May 2012 www.youngarttaipei.com Hong Kong International Art Fair (ART HK) 17 – 20 May 2012 www.hongkongartfair.com Spoon Art Fair HK12 18 – 20 May 2012 www.spoonartfair.com Art Fair JOG, Indonesia 14 – 28 July 2012 www.artfairjogja.com Melbourne Art Fair 1 – 5 August 2012 www.artfair.com.au/fair Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair (AHAF SEOUL) 24 – 26 August 2012 www.hotelartfair.kr The Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair (Shanghai, China) 7 – 9 September 2012 www.shcontemporary.info/en Fine Art Asia 2012 (Hong Kong) 4 – 7 Oct 2012 www.fineartasia.com Affordable Art Fair (Singapore) 17 – 20 November 2012 www.affordableartfair.sg India Art Fair (New Delhi) 1 – 3 February 2013 www.indiaartfair.in
60 61

MUSEUMS + ART VENUES

ART SERVICES
Helu-Trans (S) Pte Ltd
39 Keppel Road, #02-04/05 Tanjong Pagar Distripark Singapore 089065 +65 6225 5448 info@helutrans.com www.helutrans.com • Storage Solutions • Art Handling & Shipping • Artspace Rental • Project Management

Leslie Goh + 65 9681 1418 paint@lesliegoh.com.sg By appointment only

The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 6338 2234 enquiry@thelam.com.sg www.thelam.sg Tues - Sun: 11am to 7pm Singapore Art Museum 71 Bras Basah Road SAM at 8Q 8 Queen Street National Museum 93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897 Asian Civilisations Museum 1 Empress Place Singapore 179555 National University of Singapore Museum (NUS) University Cultural Centre 50 Kent Ridge Crescent National University of Singapore Singapore 119279

Renate Kant Studio
Renate Kant Studio
(new address!)

Conservation and restoration of paintings

8 Shrewsbury Road Singapore 307810 (near Novena MRT) +65 96803534 +65 62549549 renatevonroda@pacific.net.sg www.kantconservation.com.sg - Founded 1978 - Museums Trained Painting Conservation - Member of German Conservators Association (DRV) - 15 years experience in Asia

Florenz 10 Changi South Street 1 Singapore 486788 +65 65464133 enquiry@florenz.com.sg www.florenz.com.sg Mon – Thur: 8.30am to 5.45pm Fri: 8.30am to 5.30pm Sat: 8.30am to 12.30pm
Closed on Sundays

HONG KONG GALLERIES
Lim Leong Seng Studio 107 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985 +65 9738 2792 leongseng8@hotmail.com www.limleongseng.com.sg By appointment only Belgravia Gallery 12/F Silver Fortune Plaza 1 Wellington Street Central, Hong Kong Ben Brown Arts 301 Pedder Building 12 Pedder Street Central, Hong Kong Cat Street Gallery 222 Hollywood Road Sheung Wan Hong Kong Edouard Malingue Gallery First floor, 8 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

ART STUDIOS

Puerta Roja Private Latin Art Space Shop A, G/F Wai Yue Building 15 – 17 New Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong +852 2803 0332 info@puerta-roja.com www.puerta-roja.com By appointment only Sin Sin 53-54 Sai Street Central, Hong Kong Schoeni Art Gallery 21-31 Old Bailey Street Central, Hong Kong

Florenz was first established in 1986 and was recently re-launched with a showcase exhibition featuring artworks by the current in house team and also past collaborators. Florenz specialises in glass art of all disciplines and processes ranging from traditional stained glass, blown work, kiln forming, sandcarving and engraving. Artworks may be purchased or commissioned for commercial and private settings. Florenz is also an active participant in the Singapore art scene, participating in events such as Art Singapore, Affordable Arts and FLasia.

Chieu Sheuy Fook Studio Studio 102 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985 +65 9669 0589 chieusf@gmail.com

EUROPE AND THE US
Flo Peters Gallery Chilehaus C, Pumpen 8 20095 Hamburg Germany +49 40 3037 4686 info@flopetersgallery.com www.flopetersgallery.com Galerie Christian Lethert Antwerpener Strasse 4 D - 50672 Köln (Cologne) Germany

Liu Xuanqi Art Studio Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road Block B #04-08 Singapore 439053 +65 9168 7785 hillad2006@gmail.com Opens daily: 9am to 6pm

NEW NEW SIZE LOOK

Look out for more surprises in our June /July bumper issue!
www.thepocketartsguide.com

TPAG CLASSIFIEDS
ARTWORK / EXHIBITION SPACE / ART LESSONS / ART MATERIALS

FINE ARTS STORAGE SOLUTION
SINGAPORE Helutrans@Singapore Freeport Helutrans@Keppel Bonded Storage Ida Ng, CEO T: (+65) 6329 6818 E: idang@helutrans.com HONG KONG Allan Chan, CEO T: (+852) 2612 2711 E: allanchan@helutrans.com SHANGHAI Stella Wang, Country Manager T: (+86) 138 1789 5850 E: stellawang@helutrans.com BEIJING George Zhao, Country Manager T: (+86) 138 0110 1592 E: george.zhao@helutrans.com

THE IDEAL LOCATION
ART EXHIBITIONS | AUCTIONS | PRODUCT LAUNCHES | PHOTO SHOOTS CORPORATE DINING | SEMINARS | PRIVATE EVENTS | FASHION SHOWS SINGAPORE Xu Weilun Artspace Management T: (+65) 6329 6847 E: xuweilun@helutrans.com Visit us at http://www.helutrans.com | http://www.facebook.com/Artspace.Helutrans

Our ad space offers an affordable way for artists to showcase their work. It is also a marketplace for anything that can facilitate the art world. For more information, email: sales@thepocketartsguide.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful