A Breath of Fresh Air

Art lovers in Singapore would be well aware of the many events and activities happening this week. However, if you need a breather from the crowds and still crave for some arts and leisure, The Luxe Art Museum would be the perfect spot to visit this weekend for the FreshAir Fine Arts Festival Singapore 2013.

When Serine de Labaume began to plan the inaugural FreshAir FineArts Festival Singapore 2013, the Artistic Director of Brownhill Consultancy only had one goal in mind: to have people be transported somewhere else and forget about their everyday worries.

“The Arts is the most genuine and heartfelt form of communication across barriers and cultures. I also personally believe in the intertwining of art and education. The FreshAir Fine Arts Festival was designed to reflect on these philosophies.”

Held at the Luxe Art Museum, the festival began on 17th November with a myriad of art and music-related activities. 23 musicians and 23 visual artists from 10 nations within 3 continents are involved in this celebratory occasion. One might think that such numbers would be overkill for a new and unfamiliar art festival, but the audible and visual flow of the event depicts otherwise.

Putting the spacious venue of The Luxe Art Museum to good use, artworks are hung across the walls on both floors. Tiffany chairs fill up the main space in the middle where the daily artist talks and music concerts take place.

The art exhibition features artists from various countries namely the US, South Korea, Spain, Indonesia, Belgium and Austria. Not forgetting its host country, the festival also showcases Singaporean artist Siew Hock Meng who was the Guest of Honour for the opening reception. One of his most striking paintings was a portrait of his wife done in the 1980s. The painting, which is unfortunately not for sale, illustrates subtle softness and warmth in the subject’s expression and the exquisite details of Oriental embellishments in her traditional attire.

Another artist to highlight is New York-based American abstract and symbolist artist Lynn Johnson. In one of her series of paintings, Lynn gathers her inspiration from the idea of migration, which she claims depicts and investigates her interest in repeated behaviours.

FreshAir FineArts Festival Singapore 2013

Her paintings portray various migratory species such as birds and elephants as a metaphorical representation of the human travels. A viewer would also find lines, straight and squiggly, paralleled and unparalleled, in her paintings. These lines represent the migratory patterns and paths.

Lynn shared, “I’m fascinated with the idea that we travel from Point A to Point B, but knowingly coming back to Point A again. This is a representation of a behavioural pattern and our repeated activities. Even as something simple as going back to the same coffee shop every morning on the way to work – there’s something very familiar and comforting about that.”

Apart from visual art, visitors will also get to enjoy classical music performances by young local talents. Every evening at 6-8pm, the festival holds performances by a number of young musicians including a group of violinists and cellists called Joyful Strings. Serine shared, “We think that children should be involved in the arts from an early age so we invited Joyful Strings consisting of 6-14 year olds. Not everybody is a child prodigy but they are incredibly gifted and adorable to watch.”

A soprano herself, Serina revealed that the music component of this festival was added in to celebrate esteemed 20th century composer, Benjamin Britten. Born in 22nd November 1913, today ceremoniously marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. Local pianist Beatrice Lin who studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music will be performing Britten’s folksong arrangements with a number of lyric singers to commemorate the special occasion.  Visitors will get to enjoy a delightful musical arrangement by these young local talents which commences tonight at 6pm.

If you have missed the concert performances this week, fret not. As a special treat, all musicians will be putting together a never-seen-before musical extravaganza this Saturday and next Saturday (30th November) at 6.30pm. The art exhibition for FreshAir FineArts Festival Singapore 2013 has also now been extended till 30th November. Open to all arts-loving members of the public from 11am to 9pm daily, the FreshAir FineArts Festival Singapore 2013 is admission-free.