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Art-full November: Art Happenings this month

With the Affordable Art Fair around the corner and the much awaited opening of the National Gallery at the end of the month, November promises to be an art-full month.


The Affordable Art Fair, which will run from Nov 12-15 at the F1 Pit Building, is now into its sixth edition. 86 local and international galleries will be participating in the Fair, showcasing original contemporary work from more than 600 artists, all priced between$100 and $10,000. Though finding anything towards the lower end of the range is a challenge at best, the Fair is a good way to look at a wide range of art in a short span of time and space; and for the emerging art collector, this is a great place to start. The fair also offers talks, and educational and interactive programs during the four days as well as an online guide to first time buyers of art.

The National Gallery Singapore which opens to the public on November 24, 2015 will be home to the largest public collection of modern Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. Beautifully restored and transformed, the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings are a work of art in themselves. The heritage that they hold within of Singapore’s founding years has been artfully preserved, striking a beautiful balance between the past and present. The former public offices and halls of justice will now showcase some of the 8000 artworks in the Gallery’s collection in the DBS Singapore Gallery and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery.

Gallery Images Credit National Gallery Singapore

Gallery Images Credit National Gallery Singapore

The DBS Singapore Gallery will exhibit 400 works by Singaporean artists that explore the nation’s art history and its development over the last century. The title of the exhibition, Siapa Nama Kamu? (What is your Name?) references the 1959 work of Chua Mia Tee whose painting National Language Class had this text scrawled on the blackboard in the background. The Gallery will also showcase works of well known Singaporean artists like Geogette Chen , Liu Kang, and Cheong Soo Pieng.

Gallery Images Credit National Gallery Singapore

Gallery Images Credit National Gallery Singapore

The UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, will present 400 artworks that chronologically trace the history and evolution of modern art in the region. With the theme of Between Declarations and Dreams, the long-term exhibition, which has been divided into four sub-themes, draws from Singapore’s National Collection as well as from loans from private and institutional collections in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia and from the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. The exhibition includes iconic works such as Raden Saleh’s Forest Fire, Hendra Gunawan’s War and Peace, and Jose Joya’s Hills of Nikko.

The National Gallery will also be holding a special exhibition, Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form which will open to the public on 26 November 2015. Though Wu’s work has often been on show at the Singapore Art Museum (the artist had made a donation of 113 paintings in 2008) this exhibition with more than 80 works on show promises to be interesting and new as it includes 22 artworks on loan from five major museums – National Art Museum of China, China Art Museum, Shanghai, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Zhejiang Art Museum and Nanjing Museum.

Admissions to the Singapore and Southeast Asia permanent galleries will be free during the Opening Celebrations from 24 November to 6 December 2015. Following this period the permanent galleries will continue to be free for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Besides free guided tours, museum goers can also download and use the Gallery Explorer application which will be available for download from November 18 to explore the museum and its exhibits.

Look out for Artitute’s reviews on the Affordable Art Fair and the National Gallery later this month!


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About Durriya Dohadwala (26 Articles)
Durriya Dohadwala is an independent writer on contemporary Asian art and culture. She is also a docent and enjoys facilitating the decoding of contemporary Asian art.