Affordable Art Fair: A Peculiar Exhibition

Interesting, and otherwise unusual artworks can all be found in the 2016 Spring Edition of Affordable Art Fair.

Held once again at the F1 Pit Building from 21 to 24 April, this year’s Affordable Art Fair showcases an assortment of artworks from 41 local and international galleries representing 300 artists.

As with past year’s theme, the objective of the biannual exhibition was to make contemporary art accessible to the general public. Find artworks from paintings and sculptures to photography priced between S$100 to S$10,000. Also in line with this is the popular Charity Feature Wall ‘Let Art Speak’ which showcases artworks priced at S$500 – half of the monies raised goes to charity partner Woodbridge Hospital Charity Fund. Catering to both the young and old, there are plenty of art tours for the adults and hands-on workshops for the little ones.

Despite just returning from an overseas trip on Saturday and nursing a [really] bad cough, I decided to head down to review Affordable Art Fair on the last day nevertheless (hence, I was not in top form when visiting the exhibition).

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A visitor admiring an artwork by Bui Van Hoan.

I love this oil-on-canvas paintings (~S$7,000) by Vietnamese artist Bui Van Hoan (above). There does not seem to be anything going on in the painting above but if you look closer, you can see Bui’s subject (a fisherman) subtly placed in the background. According to Bui’s bio published by representing gallery ArtBlue Studio, Bui’s work is inspired by his serene and peaceful approach to life, often referred to in Vietnamese as ‘Thien’, roughly translated as a particular Vietnamese school of Zen Buddhism.

 

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PHOTO: AAF | Visitors getting introduced to Gary Pereira’s artwork

Why wouldn’t anyone want to glaze out into beautiful landscapes? English artist Gary Pereira makes this possible, transporting us to his hometown in Norwich England through his ‘window’ paintings. Pereira is inspired from the waves and dunes of his native Norfolk coast. Pereira is represented by UK-based gallery Quantum Contemporary Art and is priced around S$3,000.

 

PHOTO: Pagesdigital.com | ‘Asphyxiate’ | Photograph on Print | Ted O’Donnell & Nicki Lee

Australian artists Ted O’Donnell and Nicki Lee prove that two is indeed better than one through this utterly gorgeous photography series ‘Asphyxiate’. A collaborative piece between the two, Lee dons the flowers in colours and emotions while O’Donnell captures that in one single shot – no retakes as I was told by O’Donnell. Obsessed with the rhythmic movement of nature and passion, the two were first inspired by Robert Browning romantic-tragic poem,  ‘Porphyria’s Lover’. Interestingly, the two lovers first met at a organic fruit and vegetable store in Spring 2011. Comes in editions of 10 or 20, and priced at approximately S$2,500.

PHOTO: Barnabashuang.com | ‘Wilton’ | Acrylic on Canvas | Monica Dixon

I love this simple painting that exudes serenity by American artist Monica Dixon. Dixon is represented by Singapore based art gallery, Barnabas Huang.

In my opinion, the most important mindset an art buyer should bring to an exhibition is that of whether we like the painting, and whether we are comfortable with these paintings as decorative pieces in our homes. Every art connoisseur and expert agree that we should never buy art sorely for the potential investment value, or simply because we were intrigued by it at the whim of the moment.

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PHOTO: AAF | Featured artist, Max Zorn creates stunning lightbox artworks using nothing but packing tapes and a scalpel.

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PHOTO: AAF | A great place to see beautiful people.. I mean art.

That said, I do question AAF’s curatorial direction. While there are some interesting artworks exhibited, it is puzzling how some artworks actually make the cut to exhibit at the AAF to begin with. Some of the artworks go from peculiar to downright awful. I cannot imagine people putting [some of these] artworks in their homes. Similarly, I was not very impressed by the artworks presented at the Charity Feature Wall (S$500 artworks) – but it could also be because the nicer artworks have previously been snapped up by art buyers.

Maybe I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the exquisiteness of these artworks, but I do feel that the AAF curatorial team should step up a notch in the choosing of galleries and artworks to be represented here. After all, visitors may flock to AAF to find affordable artworks, they should not have the feeling that the artworks presented are in any way substandard to the likes of bigger art shows like Art Stage and Singapore Contemporary Art Show (see my review here).

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PHOTO: AAF | Fun art tours for the children

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PHOTO: AAF | Art buying starts early for this young one.

 

Amazingly, I was told by AAF insiders that some of these questionable artworks were bought up by art buyers very quickly. Well, whatever rocks your boat.

Overall, I do feel that AAF is a good place for new art enthusiasts to get acquainted with art and to understand the various art forms that they either like or dislike. Art collectors may also find one or two artworks that they fancy. Because of its ‘affordable’ branding, artworks found at the AAF are generally cheaper than those exhibited at other Singapore art fairs. But don’t write off a visit to AAF just yet, you might just unearth an exquisite piece of art there. RW

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Affordable Art Fair on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

FUTURE WORLD: ArtScience Museum’s Funnest Permanent Exhibition To Date

Imagine, play and explore in ArtScience Museum’s new permanent exhibition, Singapore’s largest permanent digital art gallery.

Funnest is a very troublesome superlative adjective to use, but I really can’t find a better word to describe my recent visit to the ArtScience Museum’s latest permanent exhibition. Enter FUTURE WORLD: Where Art Meets Science. The permanent exhibition which also happens to be Singapore’s largest permanent digital art gallery marks the ArtScience Museum’s fifth anniversary and runs from 12 March 2016 onwards.

True to the ArtScience Museum title, the exhibition is the culmination and interplay of art and science; despite both being commonly acknowledged as opposite ends of the spectrum. Collaborating with ultra-technologist group teamLab, the two establishments have created a massive digital playground (1,500 square metres or a quarter of the museum’s total gallery space) consisting of 15 major art installations for both adults and children to play and explore.

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The museum also sought to create an exhibition for visitors to reflect and contemplate their own position relative to the natural world, other people and the universe. I was given a guided tour by ArtScience Museum associate curator Jerry Gunn.

Unlike most exhibitions where any attempt to come into contact with the artworks warrants a boot out of the exhibition space, Future World invites the young and old to engage and even co-create art. Future World is organised into four themes: Nature, Town, Park and space.

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The adventure begins – in Nature – with a stroll through an interactive world of flora and fauna created entirely by digital technology. Once in the garden of sorts, flowers begin to form at the flooring where I stood. When I trample on the flowers, the petals begin to dislodge from the flower bud. I was also told by Gunn that any contact with the butterflies on the animated walls will ‘kill’ them. While many people simply come to the gallery to snap photos, the broader objective is for visitors to reflect on the intricate relationship we share with our surrounding environment.

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In Town, kids and adults are invited to collaborate and create their own artworks. In a fictitious town based on Singapore, we are invited to fill the landscape with cars, buildings and spaceships of our own design. The kid in me emerged and I got to work with colouring my own spaceship in ridiculous hues. Upon doing so, we can have our drawings animated on screen, and turned into paper craft patterns! How cool is that? Occasionally, a dragon pops out to destroy the city. Visitors can collaborate to defeat the dragon by touching on the spaceships.

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Moving away from the Town into Park, I was mesmerised by the Universe of Water Particles – a seven-metre tall waterfall created by digital programming. I was told by Gunn that this installation was made possible after months of programming and collaboration among physicists, programmers and artists.

The water particles are digitally programmed to produce an accurate water fall simulation that flows in accordance to the laws of physics, hence the uncannily real waterfall.

Finally, I ventured into the most-talked-about section of the exhibition – Space. In many ways, outer space has and will always be mankind’s final frontier (I quote Star Trek). Step into the heart of the universe in Crystal Universe and witness from within, the illusion of stars and galaxies in an elaborate light show. This installation is powered by 170,000 LED lights. Think Interstellar and imagine yourself in it. Thanks to teamLab’s interactive 4-D Vision technology, visitors can also ‘change the fabric of the universe’ using their smartphones.

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Standing before the artwork, I found myself drunk as I lapped up every detail in the Crystal Universe. It’s one of those moments where you feel so insignificant in the vastness of the universe, so tiny in the grander scheme of things. But I’ve never felt more alive, and filled with hope. A quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist came into my mind; “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Frankly, I can’t think of any reason to dissuade readers from visiting the Future World exhibition. Catered to both kids and adults alike, there’s something to interest all age groups. This could be the best S$16 you will be spending, but be sure to read the descriptions at each of the installations so that you can have a deeper understanding and appreciation for this remarkable exhibition.

One of my takeaways from this exhibition was also the intrinsic relationship between art and science. American playwright Wilson Mizner once wrote “Art is science made clear”. Science can be used to create art (as seen in Future World) and at the same time, there is a certain artistic aspiration in mankind’s pursuit of science. Hence, we see that both art and science have roles to play in their respective habitat – they are not mutually exclusive.

Many thanks to ArtScience Museum associate curator Jerry Gunn for taking time off to give me a private tour. I enjoyed it terribly and I’m sure everyone else would.

P.S. I got over my embarrassing post and did eventually meet Julia Vasko in person. She seem to have gotten prettier. I shall not embarrass myself further (Laughs).

Ticket Pricing:
Adult : S$16
Concessions and discounted prices available for Singaporeans, senior citizens, students and children. Visit ArtScience Museum’s official website here for more details.

 

2016 Prudential Eye Awards Review

 

PHOTO: Courtesy of ArtScience Museum | Artificial Theater-The Leader (2011-2014) | Photo Rag | Photography (Finalist) | Zhang Wei

The 3rd edition of the annual awards is centered around the issues of industralisation and globalisation.

Held at the ArtScience Museum, the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards which runs from 16 January to 27 March 2016 is part of the Global Prudential Eye Programme and a key highlight of Singapore Art Week. The awards enable the work of emerging Asian artists to reach audiences and receive international exposure.

15 Asian artists were shortlisted to present their art in the categories; Digital/Video, Installation, Painting, Photography and Sculpture. Awards were presented to winners of each category and overall best emerging artist on 19 January 2016.

Prudential Eye Awards should not be confused with last year’s Prudential Singapore Eye exhibition. While both are under the Prudential Eye Programme, the latter was [probably] a one-off major exhibition focused on Singapore’s art scene and her local artists.

My Review

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Prudential Eye Awards | Metal Graves 1 (2009) | Photographic print on archival fine art paper | Photography (Winning Entry) | Shumon Ahmed

Before the infamous Bangladesh ship-breaking exposé by National Geographic, Shumon Ahmed is. The Dhaka-based artist explores the modern metropolis he calls home through the fusion of video, photography and text in this photography series. While the country surges ahead to keep up with the world’s economy, there are locals involved in backbreaking and dangerous underpaid jobs such as ship-breaking. These people are also compensated with the bare minimum, thus trapped in a vicious poverty cycle.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Prudential Eye Awards | Artifical Theater-Big Star, Marilyn Monroe (2014) | Photo Rag | Photography (Finalist) | Zhang Wei

Russian president Vladimir Putin posing for a photo? The late Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn captured on camera? Nope, there are probably several dozen individuals [facial features] represented here. No doubt one of the more striking exhibit, Artificial Theater is the work of Chinese artist Zhang Wei. Zhang assembled and collaged the parts of the real ordinary performers’ bodies using ‘more than 300 ordinary Chinese faces’ which he has collected in the past. Yet while every ‘performer’ plays his or her role in this virtual portrait, Zhang calls it ‘superficial, temporary, or even meaningless’.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Prudential Eye Awards | Warning House (2013-Ongoing) | Found Objects | Sculpture (Winning Entry) | Sareth Svay

How Cambodian artist Sareth Svay was introduced to art was rather interesting. Whilst taking refuge in a refugee camp, Svay met a French volunteer who was teaching the art subject. The rest is history as they say. Recounting his [country’s] past and subtly challenging political ideologies in his art, Svay constructs a structure made entirely of local found objects. Suffice to say, the ‘house’ in each exhibition is different depending on the found materials available.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Prudential Eye Awards | Untitled, Billboard Series, Number-4, Edition Number- 2_3 (2014) | Epson Enhanced Matt, Ultra Chrome | Painting (Winning entry) | Manish Nai

Mumbai is India’s most populated city and is also home to the most number of millionaires and billionaires in the Motherland. Billboards of all sorts of dimensions are literally everywhere as companies fight for a share of the consumer pie. But Indian artist Manish Nai is more interested in the billboards in their ‘downtime’, contemplating his country’s current state of socio-economic progress in that process.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Prudential Eye Awards | Letters from Panduranga (2015) | Video (Winning Entry) | Trinh Thi Nguyen

The essay film, made in the form of a letter exchange between two filmmakers, was inspired by the fact that the Vietnamese government is to build Vietnam’s first two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan, right at the spiritual heart of the Cham people, threatening the survival of this ancient matriarchal Hindu culture that stretches back almost two thousand years. The film also reflects on the legacy of war and on-going colonialisms; and landscape and portrait, documentary and fiction, art and ethnography, as methods of working and their limitations in accessing the other cultures, peoples, experiences, as well as history and the past. (Artist statement)

Honestly, I was expecting a little more from the exhibition. While these works are representative of the artists’ ideals and to that of their country, I found it difficult to connect with the artworks. Perhaps I was looking to be ‘wowed’ by the ‘edginess’ of the artworks, or to be primed emotionally to connect with the art and their underlying stories. Neither happened and I found it a tough sell to give this exhibition a two thumbs up.

Of course, the exhibits presented here are not really commercial in nature, but I left the exhibition whilst found wanting. Interestingly, those thoughts led me to a few questions of my own.

Should we attend an exhibition with the intent to connect, to sympathise – or even to pity – with the artist and their country of origins – assuming their art explores local themes and issues?

If so, what should be the outcome? A change in attitude towards the said? Or taking some form of action? Or more often than not, status quo?

Are those feelings and thoughts superfluous, hypocritical and/or exploitative?

Must contemporary art have ‘shock value’ in order to ascertain its worth as a contemporary work of art?

In any case, I thought that Prudential Eye Awards was definitely an eye-opener and worth a visit. Be sure to take your time to go through this rather cozy exhibition. Maybe you might find something that I missed. RW

PRUDENTIAL EYE AWARDS EXHIBITION

ArtScience Museum

Opens 16 January to 27 March 2016

The Prudential Eye Awards return to Singapore for a third edition. The annual Awards celebrate emerging contemporary artists from across Greater Asia and highlight the breadth, range and diversity of the works created by these artists. This year’s 15 featured artists include Singapore finalist Robert Zhao in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Photography. The Awards Ceremony will take place on 19 January, while the accompanying exhibition will run until 27 March.

Ticket Pricing: $12 / $8 (Local adults)

Web Link: Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Singapore Contemporary Art Show on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

Singapore Contemporary Art Show: Inaugural Edition Review

PHOTO: Courtesy of Fabrik Gallery | ‘The Paradox of Beauty’ | Oil on canvas | Myoung Jo Jeong

Singapore Contemporary Art Show made its debut in Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

No, there aren’t any cockroaches or rhino installations here. But there’s Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and a whole ensemble of some of Asia’s most talented artists represented here. New kid on the block, Singapore Contemporary Art Show is no greenhorn. Having run 7 successful shows in Hong Kong, their inaugural Singapore edition themed ‘A World of Art’ presents more than 3,000 artworks and art installations from 65 exhibitors and artists.

Showcasing quality contemporary artworks and installations of successful established artists, as well as works from some of today’s most promising emerging artists in the lacking mid-tier art market, visitors can expect to find works ranging from S$10,000 to S$100,000 and up. Tickets were priced at S$30 for single day and S$54 for a three-day pass.

Despite taking place alongside Singapore Art Week anchor Art Stage Singapore and a pre-show controversy, Singapore Contemporary Art Show attracted a respectable number of attendees – more than 16,000 visitors visited over four days (The Straits Times, 26 Jan 2016).

Reuelwrites got into the thick of the action and discovered that Singapore Contemporary Art Show is more than just ‘another art exhibition’.

Artworks

Artworks by Asian artists made up about 70% of the exhibits at the show, this arrangement probably owing to its parent show, the Asian Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong. Art enthusiasts who have walked the ground in other art exhibitions would have found some familiar faces (galleries) participating in this year’s show.

In spite of this, there is a rich diversity in the artworks curated and there’s something for everyone. More than once I found myself impressed and even captivated by some of the artworks presented at the show. Below are some of the works that caught my eye.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | The Paradox of Beauty | Oil on canvas | Myoung Jo Jeong

I am a big fan of hyperrealism paintings and why South Korean artist Myoung Jo Jeong wasn’t in my radar is beyond me. Even though it wasn’t the most expensive artwork (approximately S$38,000), Myoung Jo Jeong’s artwork (the first image in the blog) left me with the deepest impression.

I absolutely love Myoung’s idea of capturing the beauty of his subject from the ‘back’. While beauty in realism is often expressed through the subject’s facial features, I like that Myoung’s painting transcended popular conventions. I can imagine this being the show piece at the dining room in my house. Represented by Fabrik Gallery, Hong Kong.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | V.Host (2013) | Acrylic on canvas | Wang Min

Morbid, dystopia, and indifference. These are the words one could use to describe China artist Wang Min’s works. Step into Wang Min’s imagination of humankind’s not so distant future where cloning is a norm and we become homogeneous as a species.

For this rather depressing artwork, I was told by the gallery representative that the artist was quite the opposite. Definitely a striking piece although I can’t imagine seeing this anywhere in someone’s home. Represented by The Dragon Year Gallery, China.

Inner Wisdom

PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | Inner Wisdom | Acrylic on linen | Simon Wee

Traditional Chinese calligraphic art is very underrated. I love this artwork by our very own Singaporean artist, Simon Wee. It’s not just a mere stroke of the brush. Trained by master painter Chen Wen Hsi himself, Wee’s work exudes unrivalled strength and energy.

I remember accepting a consignment of Wee’s ink on rice paper paintings and having such a hard time convincing people to purchase it. It’s one of those artworks that’s perfect for the office and Wee deserves more credit. Represented by Tembusu Art Gallery, Singapore.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Singapore Contemporary Art Show | March (2015) | Oil on canvas | Zorikto Dorzhiev

Back when I was working in an art gallery, one of my big ticket sale was an artwork by the young established artist, Zorikto Dorzhiev. Was delighted to find his artwork exhibited in the art show. Represented by Khankhalaev Gallery, Russia.

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Acrylic on canvas artworks by South Korean artist, Yoo Sun-Tai

What many people don’t realise is that art doesn’t just improve the aesthetics of one’s home, they can also create conversations. Such is the surrealism artworks by South Korean artist, Yoo Sun-Tai. Back in my gallery days, Yoo’s artworks were the crowd favourites. Represented by Galerie GAIA, South Korea.

Tours and Activities

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Complimentary art tours are available for art enthusiasts and members of the public.

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Indonesian artist Awiki doing a live painting.

Hats off to the entire Singapore Contemporary Art Show team for putting up such a pleasant, family-oriented show. There are so many activities going on for the four-day art show to which all guests and ticket holders get to enjoy. Get up to speed with the rising stars in the arts world by joining the many art tours, or get inspired by live painting demonstrations by the artists.

Visitors with children could also sign up for the complimentary kids art tours and art studio workshops.

Meet the Artists

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UK artist Jeff Murray introducing his artwork to members of the public. Murray also

One of the things I enjoyed most about the art show was being up close and personal with the artists behind the artworks. Beyond simply enjoying the intricate paintings and sculptures, what completes an art show experience is hearing from the artists themselves on their inspirations and their stories, et cetera.

Singapore Contemporary Art Show trumps Art Stage in this regard. The art show – which took place at the spacious 6,000 sq/m Suntec Convention Centre – is not overcrowded and there are ample opportunities for members of the public to interact with the artists many of which are present at their booths.

Overall, to term the Singapore Contemporary Art Show experience as mere pleasant is an understatement. Singapore Contemporary Art Show is for the art collectors who wants to acquire more art but isn’t ready to move into the top-tier art market, and for art enthusiasts who value an enjoyable art expedition without being overwhelmed.

If you are feeling gutted for missing out on the show, mark it down on your calendar and don’t miss next year’s show. Singapore Contemporary Art Show will return with its 2nd edition on January 19 to 22, 2017. For more information, visit their website here. RW

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Singapore Contemporary Art Show on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

Art Apart Fair: Supporting Local, Celebrating Diversity

PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Photo from last year’s fair

This year’s fair, the largest ensemble of fresh & emerging Singaporean artists features 40 local artists and final-year NAFA students.

Hotel-based boutique art fair, Art Apart Fair returns with its 7th edition turning the spotlight on local artists, featuring 20 final-year students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The fair was held in its ‘home ground’ at PARKROYAL on Pickering from 22 to 24 January 2016 with an entry fee of $10.

Other participating artists hail from Iceland, Japan, Korea, America, France, Thailand, and Malaysia.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Turnout from last year’s fair

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Art Apart Fair | Photo of last year’s fair

While ‘rival fairs’ like Art Stage and Singapore Contemporary Art Show the new kid on the block sought to excite visitors with its impressive assembly of artworks by emerging and established artists from the region and beyond, Art Apart Fair would have none of that.

Artworks from local and foreign artists were housed in hotel suites on the 14th floor; promising a good sky view, intimacy and allowing visitors to exercise their imagination on how these artworks would look like on the walls of their own homes.

While international artists and big names like Yayoi Kusama were also represented there, the highlight was without a doubt, on our local Singaporean artists. I was delighted to find emerging artists Andy Yang and Valerie Ng’s works on display. Visitors and art connoisseurs can find artworks priced anywhere from S$300 to $50,000 with the majority between S$2,000 to $3,000.

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Artworks by Andy Yang | Acrylic on Canvas

 

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Screengrab from valng.com | Rocks Water Marks 1, 2015 | Watercolour & Pencil on Paper 31 x 23 cm

What I love about this year’s Art Apart Fair was meeting the young artists from NAFA and seeing them in action. Members of the public can also support these budding artists by ‘adopting’ an artist through Art Apart Fair’s Adopt-an-Artist initiative. The initiative allows these Patrons of the Arts to financially support the budding Singaporean artists’ ventures into residencies, art exchange programmes, and other exhibition.

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Final-year NAFA diploma student Casey Tan sharing the inspiration behind his work with fair visitors

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Final-year NAFA diploma student Ang Kian Hoe doing an acrylic painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger live at the Art Apart Fair

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Final-year NAFA student Geraldine Lim doing an alla prima painting of the Capitol Theatre front

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Chiew Niing | Titled Big Girls Cry (2015), oil on board by final-year NAFA diploma student Chiew Niing

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(From left) Final-year NAFA diploma students Yang Xiao Yun, Geraldine Lim, Chiew Niing

Unlike the bigger art shows, hotel-based fair such as Art Apart Fair presents visitors with the rare opportunity to engage the local and international artists in longer dialogue and deeper conversations. I met Icelandic artist Sossa Björndottir from Iceland with whom I enjoyed a hearty conversation with and whose artwork I warmed up to. It is Björndottir’s first time (and first exhibition) in Singapore and she told me she loves our local cuisines.

Gifted with the palette knife, Björndottir paintings transports viewers into her world back in Iceland – the source of her inspiration. Partnering with Icelandic poet Anton Helgi Jonsson, Björndottir creates artworks that are both whimsical and tranquil. Learn more about Björndottir and her works here.

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Overall, I had a great time at Art Apart Fair. While you won’t find hundreds of top international galleries and artists represented here nor ‘showstopper’ artworks found in Art Stage et cetera, Art Apart Fair allows you to breathe, relax, and connect with these artworks at your own pace.

Perhaps even more supportive of the local arts scene than the anchor exhibition of Singapore Art Week, I like the idea that the head honcho, fair director Rosalind Lim decided to make this edition all about supporting and giving fresh and emerging local artists extra exposure to the commercial arts world. All these are invaluable to the artists’ development – which in turn improves the local arts scene in the long run.

I was also surprised that I would discover other international artists to which I will be an instant fan of – such as Sossa Björndottir and Suzume Uchida to name a few.

The not-so-good: What I didn’t really like about the fair was the presentation of the artworks. For many of the artists sharing a hotel suite, visibility was priority. As a result, one finds artworks on the beds, pillows, everywhere. While there is a space restrain, I do wish that there is tighter quality control on the part of the curatorial team to up the already-pleasant viewing experience at Art Apart Fair. The curatorial team can also afford to be more picky with their choice of artworks to be displayed at the fair.

Nevertheless, I would like to raise a toast to Rosalind and her amazing team for their dedication to the local arts scene but it seems that they have their hands full with the 1st edition of Art Apart Fair New York (Oct 2016) and 2nd edition of Art Apart Fair London (Oct 2017). Congratulations on breaking through to foreign markets, you guys deserve every credit and success. RW

Disclaimer: Reuel Writes attended the Art Apart Fair on media pass. However, Reuel Writes retains full editorial direction of this blog entry.

Collider: Step Inside Mankind’s Greatest Experiment

Science is sexy in the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider. Collider exhibition runs till February 14, 2016.

You are now 574 feet below the earth’s surface, and you are now in the world’s largest single machine and most complex experimental facility ever built, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Except that, it’s really just an exhibition in the ArtScience Museum, designed to imitate what it’s like to tour the actual LHC in Geneva, Switzerland.

It’s easy to see why the LHC was touted the world’s greatest experiment. The LHC took 10 years to complete and was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), involving more than 10,000 scientists and engineers across hundreds of laboratories and universities from over 100 countries.

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So what does the LHC do?

Basically, the LHC smashes subatomic particles together in its 27km ring tunnel at the speed of light – again and again – to look for new particles and to answer some of the deepest mysteries in science. In 4 July 2012, the LHC made history – announcing the discovery of the Higgs boson dubbed the ‘god particle’. To learn more about the Higgs boson and what’s the big deal about it, click here.

Alas, I was unable to publish this review much earlier due to an impending spontaneous backpacking trip across Vietnam. The adjacent Nobel Prize exhibition might have been over (ended 24 January), it doesn’t take away any shine from the exhibition of what-is-to-be the biggest (and undisputedly the greatest) international collaboration.

Here’s why you should check out the Collider exhibition.

1. Quench your curiosity

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One of the greatest gift bestowed to mankind is the gift of curiosity. We ask ourselves questions (why and how) and we sought to answer them. The good people in LHC probes some of the deepest scientific questions such as, ‘How do particles get mass? What makes up the invisible matter that binds galaxies together? What proceses shaped our universe after the Big Bang?’

The LHC is a global collaborative project. There are literally trillions of collisions taking place in the LHC. A computer network infrastructure connecting 170 computer centers in 36 countries was set up to process all these almost-innumerable volume of data. In short, it’s one big project where the most talented physicists from countries all over are involved.

There is so much going on in the LHC and coming to this exhibition gives you a sense of its significance to us as a species.

2. See how the LHC actually works

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In the exhibition, you will get to see the actual parts that makes up the LHC. There are also multimedia presentations on the accounts from the actual physicists working in the LHC (who are also the ones involved in the discovery of the Higgs boson). Also, witness a particle collision take place before your eyes in a 270-degree audio visual projection of the particle collision.

At the end of the exhibition, there is also a cool audio visual installation that allows visitors to ‘acquire their own mass’. Lots of cool stuff to be explored in Collider exhibition.

3. Acquainted yourself (and your kids) with science

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I will be honest, I don’t have an affinity (read: interest) with science, much less particle physics. Dark matter? Higgs boson? Heck, I don’t even know my protons and electrons. Needless to say, I was quite lost with all the scientific jargons and all. In spite of this, coming to the exhibition gave me a deeper appreciation for the good work of our scientists and physicists.

One of the purposes of this exhibition is to get people interested with science. Parents with kids should most definitely bring their kids along to introduce them to science and physics. Who knows, these young ones could be the future physicists involved with the discovery of the next particle?

In summary, Collider exhibition is a scientific exhibition like no other. If you are a local Singaporean, present your identification document to get access to the exhibition at $10. RW

Collider Exhibition at ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

ArtScience Museum, MBS

Opens 14 November 2015

Step inside the most ambitious scientific experiment in human history! Collider is an award-winning, fully immersive exhibition that draws you into the fascinating world of experimental particle physics.

Blending theatre, video and sound art with real artefacts from CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Collider transports you the heart of the largest and most sophisticated piece of scientific equipment ever constructed – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Ticket Pricing: $14 / $10 (Singaporean)

Web Link: Collider