Singapore’s third Affordable Art Fair sets new benchmarks with a record of 86 galleries, an increase in physical size from 3000 to 4000 square metres and an extension from three to four days. The Fair is expecting to attract more than 15,000 visitors and generate about SGD$3.5 million in sales as it continues to grow in importance on the Republic’s art scene.
In keeping with the core concept, the Fair (held again at the F1 Pit Building in Marina South) showcases a selection of high-quality contemporary artworks from Asia, Australia and Europe, from abstract to figurative, including paintings, sculptures and photography.
Celebrity artists, including Yayoi Kusama, are showcased alongside Singapore’s established names such as Justin Lee and rising star Ang Sookoon.
YOUNG TALENT PROGRAMME
New attractions at the Fair include a ‘Young Talent’ programme, organised in partnership with ION Art, which promotes the finest up-and-coming local talent under the age of 30, who are born/resident in South East Asia. The organiser hoped that these young artists would be spotted by galleries and art institutions, and be introduced to the art-loving public.
The objective of this partnership is to identify young talents early, providing guidance and commentary on their artistic development, thus creating an opportunity for emerging artists to build a strong CV and experience in the art industry and to be in a programme which provides a focal point for contemporary art dealers and their collectors to access fresh artists’ works from the region.
Seven artists were selected to have an opportunity to exhibit their works at Affordable Art Fair 2012. Of these, two or three artists will win the coveted chance of a solo exhibition provided by ION Art in September 2013. The winning artists will work with the programme curator, allowing them a year to develop their practice.
The 2012 Advisory Committee of trusted and recognized supporters of the visual arts in Singapore comprises Dr Charles Merewether, Benjamin Hampe, Camilla Hewitson, Wendy Cheong and programme curator Seah Tzi Yan.
ION Art is the Official Partner for The Young Talent Programme.
The seven selected artists are:
Alecia Neo, Angela Goh, Huang Mingrong, Jasper Yu, Lavender Chang, Luke Heng and Vellachi Ganesan. Below are the photographs of the artwork taken on site at the Fair by the writer. The descriptions are by the artists as that best conveys their initial intention of the idea.
‘Che Cosa e la Vita’
Mao Wen can be regarded as a kind of double outsider. Through a twist of events during the Cultural Revolution, the protagonist found himself destitute in Italy, unable to communicate with both Chinese and Italian communities. This dislocation positions Mao as a vagabond, a Chaplinesque identity her often assumes in his own films. In this long term collaboration with the artist, he is engaged to perform various absurd scenes, which are carefully edited to reality, positing the relationships between real life and reel life.
Fine art archival prints mounted on aluminum channel
A revolving theme in Angela Guo’s work is to re-examine and understand how we know of, and eventually recognise things as they are. Ambiguous and enigmatic, the photograph is used to document and appropriate reality, in an attempt to provoke the viewer to a point of contemplation. The title of each image is from a word that does not translate into thecommon lingua franca of English.
‘Tomorrow is a Long Time’
Oil on Canvas
“I view these textures as landscape to create a non-existent, imaginary world. The transitional states of textural surfaces such as traces of debris, corrosion, wear and tear or dust are recreated to express abandonment and solitude.”
‘Oxygen For Sale’
Video & Still Images
Jasper Yu captures the interaction between people in public spaces based on the idea of the photographic moment. Here the artist attempts to stretch the truth by combining different moments that occur over a say. Each constructed scene portrays Yu’s perspective of the social environment of Singapore.
‘Eldest Daughter #1’
Archival Fine Art inkjet Print
In Chinese culture past, the eldest daughter and the eldest son share different responsibilities within the family. In modern society, the eldest daughter is no longer just limited to her traditional responsibilities, but increasingly finds herself required to take on the part of the eldest son.
Parents are giving preferential treatment to boys in a different form. The traditional identity of girls getting eroded because Chinese society is now expecting the girls to be like boys, and sometimes girls may need to abandon what has been expected from them in the past, in order to fulfil their new roles.
The parallel between the ideas of eastern philosophy (yin yang) and the formalistic expressions of painting form the basis of Heng’s painting. Using the fundamental basics of herbology – traditional Chinese medicine here, the process is about making a painting to find a balance between the ‘unconscious state of chance and the conscious state of the painter’s intervention’.
Daydream is a concept that is inspired by clouds. These works are an invitation to the public to daydream. As with all objects that enable our life, from the television to the lamp to the chair, the cloud is presented as an everyday object that one should have at home, to enable daydreaming, an integral function of being.
ABOUT ION ART
ION Art is a unique proposition of ION Orchard, bringing to the landmark mall an ‘integrated mall experience’, featuring the best in shopping, dining, art and design from the world over. The structured art and design programme is focused on the exhibition of modern and contemporary art and design, and offers ION Orchard’s visitors an opportunity to savour a diverse range of visual arts, including multi-media and digital art. The initiative includes significant sculpture and media installations at the mall, as well as an annual programme of art-based events and exhibitions at ION Art gallery, now a major Orchard Road art destination. Through collaborations with the art community and other strategic partners, ION Art is committed to bringing quality art programme for ION Orchard. For more information, please visit here.
Written, photographed and photo-editing by Karen Mitchell