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5 artists to look out for at the Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2016

The inaugural edition of Singapore Contemporary will be held from January 21st to 24th,2016, at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Show’ s theme is A World of Art, with exhibitors and artworks from Singapore, most Asian countries, Australia and Europe. Singapore Contemporary presents a wide selection of interesting artworks from some of the world’ s most recognized and successful contemporary artists with strong track records at auction, and a presence in notable private and public collections. The focus carries through to emerging and mid-career artists who are achieving a following on the international scene, and many with investment potential for the future. Here are five artists to look out for at the fair:

ALEAH ANGELES

Parallel Botany by Aleah Angeles, 2013, 183 x 152 cm (72 x 60 inches), Oil on Canvas

Parallel Botany by Aleah Angeles, 2013, 183 x 152 cm (72 x 60 inches), Oil on Canvas

Filipino art has created considerable buzz in the Asian contemporary art scene in recent years, in part due to the incredible international success of painter Ronald Ventura. Another Filipina artist making waves is Aleah Angeles, known for her works that have been described as “ lyrical compositions with a warm romantic flair.” At just 26 years of age, Angeles is one of the youngest artists to have had her work included in the Christie’ s auction of Asian Contemporary Art.

'Four-Seasons-of-a-Rose'-by-Aleah-Angeles,-2015,-300-x-400-cm-(Diptych),-Oil-on-Canvas

‘Four Seasons of a Rose’ by Aleah Angeles, 2015, 300x 400 cm (Diptych),Oil on Canvas

And remarkably, her work “ Lazy Daisy,” sold for more than twice the estimated value. It is not surprising that Angeles has caught the eye of local and international audiences. The depth and soulfulness of her paintings belie the artist’ s young age. Others have described Angeles’ work as “ Mona Lisa-inspired.” Soft-spoken, unassuming and intelligent beyond her years, Angeles counts Frida Kahlo as one of her greatest influences. She admits that she dreams of becoming a botanist in another life, hence the huge influence of wildflowers in her work

 

DEDI SUFRIADI

Art Theory and Religion Theory by Dedy Sufriadi, 2013, 145 x 145 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

Art Theory and Religion Theory by Dedy Sufriadi, 2013, 145 x 145 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

Sufriadi started painting in Yogyakarta in 1995. In 1998, he was honoured as a Finalist in the Winsor & Newton Art Competition, followed by a Nokia Art Award in 1999; and in 2000, he was presented the prestigious Philip Morris Indonesia Art Award. Using variations of text and naïve symbolism, the artist’ s works infuse both the current ubiquity and historical importance of text and symbology into intricate abstract expressionist compositions, utilizing multilayered literary excerpts, narratives and symbols to replace what would usually be the play of colors and lines.

Mind by Dedy Sufriadi, 2014, 195 x 400 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

Mind by Dedy Sufriadi, 2014, 195 x 400 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

His more recent works take text to another level, beyond the literal and familiar. Embodying the concept of hypertext, borrowed from the world of information technology, he invites the viewers of his art to extrapolate and form their own contextual meanings from the visual imagery presented. In some cases the text is distinct and recognizable, but quite often obscured as a result of layering and over-painting. The more we scrutinize his works, the more information materializes, in the form of text and sometimes in the form of iconography, allowing us to interpret what is presented to the viewer as visual clues. This is conceptually similar to how hyperlinks – both text and icon based –facilitate us jumping from one location to another on the Internet, revealing more information along the way.

 

KWON KISOO

Meditation in the Reflected Green Forest by Kwon Kisoo, 2013, 116.7 x 90.9 cm, Acrylic on Canvas on Board

Meditation in the Reflected Green Forest by Kwon Kisoo, 2013, 116.7 x 90.9 cm, Acrylic on Canvas on Board

With a background in classical Korean painting from Hongik University, Kisoo creates graphic fantasies comprising technicolor wands of bamboo, popping plum blossoms, and expanses of brilliant monochrome. Most of these works are inhabited by a modern icon of his own creation – an alter ego, named Dongguri. A simplified line-drawn figure with an invariable expression,

Flower Doggie by Kwon Kisoo, 2012, 90.9 x 116.7 cm, Acrylic on Canvas on Board

Flower Doggie by Kwon Kisoo, 2012, 90.9 x 116.7 cm, Acrylic on Canvas on Board

Dongguri has neither gender nor identity,and often appears with an ’emoticon’ army of similarly ambivalent smiley-faced clones. The artist frequently places this cartoon-like protagonist within scenes that are discernible to the viewer as traditional Korean landscapes. In creating this temporal confusion, Kwon instigates a dialogue between tradition and modernity. Born in 1972, Kwon Kisoo lives and works in Seoul. He has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Busan Biennale; and the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

 

SAN ZI

Maples Melody by San Zi, 2015, 50 x 70 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

Maples Melody by San Zi, 2015, 50 x 70 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas

San Zi,  is known for his mastery of deploying a combination of techniques, including Western painting, traditional Chinese ink painting, metalwork and woodwork. Heavily influenced by Taoism, the artist often signs his works with “ Sanzi” (散子), which has the metaphysical meaning of “ floating” , “ freedom” and “ humility.” Many of the subjects of his paintings reflect concepts of humanity, cosmos and “ wu wei” – action through inaction. He also depicts Taoist view of sexuality: valuing the body and mind as positive assets, which generate harmony and balance. In 1983, San Zi enrolled in the Fine Arts Institute of Hunan Normal University in Changsha where he studied traditional Chinese ink painting and calligraphy, as well as European oil painting and sculpture. Today he is one of the best-known figures in contemporary Chinese art. With his rising popularity, he was commissioned to create a background painting for the China Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010. The artist has lived in several different cities in China, and in 2010 he also set up his first “Sanzi Studio” in Belleville, Paris.

 

SIMON WEE

Future by Simon Wee, 122 x 122 cm, Acrylic on Linen

Future by Simon Wee, 122 x 122 cm, Acrylic on Linen

Simon Wee was born in Singapore in 1946 and graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1967. The renowned first-generation Master Painter Chen Wen Hsi was his first teacher, and the person who introduced him to the basics of painting. Most of Wee’ s works are painted on rice paper with white, black and gold, which are his  “ primary colours.” The strokes are simple yet profound, as if they were derived from the inner recess of his feelings.

Power by Simon Wee, 100 x 100 cm, Acrylic on Linen

Power by Simon Wee, 100 x 100 cm, Acrylic on Linen

Each of his artworks is full of energy and strength. Simon’ s one-breath-one-stroke and unique acrylic style have impressed many art collectors, such as the National Art Gallery, several banks, property developers, private collectors and organisations. Just recently, British Airways added his work to their collection, and now showcase it in a permanent installation at the Changi International Airport in Singapore. Wee’ s works have been exhibited across Asia, as well as in Abu Dhabi, Italy, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai and Zhongshan.

Singapore Contemporary Dates: January 21 – 24, 2016
Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre
Opening Hours:
VIP Program: Private View (by invitation only) Thursday January 21, 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Vernissage (by invitation only) Thursday January 21, 5.30pm –9pm
General Admission
Friday January 22, 12 noon –9pm
Saturday January 23, 11am –7pm
Sunday January 24, 11am –6pm

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About Durriya Dohadwala (27 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.