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Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ Ocula Conversation Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ Jareh Das

Cinga Samson 's paintings lay bare the complex relationship between contemporary life, African traditions, globalisation, and representation. His strikingly sombre portraits contain similarities to those of contemporary painters such as Toyin Ojih Odutola, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye , Kehinde Wiley , Florine Démosthène, and Tunji...

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Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements Ocula Report Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements Radha Mahendru, Dhaka

Seismic Movements , the fifth Dhaka Art Summit, plotted movements, solidarities, and exchanges across the Global South with over 500 artists, scholars, curators, and thinkers.

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Guo Hongwei on Seeing Patterns That Don’t Exist Ocula Insight Guo Hongwei on Seeing Patterns That Don’t Exist Sherry Paik, New York

Guo Hongwei's recent watercolour paintings, showing at Chambers Fine Art in New York from 3 March, trigger pareidolia—the phenomenon of seeing random objects or patterns where they do not exist.

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Singapore Art Guide

Current Exhibitions

View Past (191)
Contemporary art exhibition, Johanna Helmuth, One Thing After Another at Yavuz Gallery, Singapore
15 February–9 March 2020 Johanna Helmuth One Thing After Another Yavuz Gallery, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Kim Jaeil, Visual and Perception at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore
14 February–11 April 2020 Kim Jaeil Visual and Perception Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Robert Zhao Renhui, The Lines We Draw at ShanghART, Singapore
15 January–15 April 2020 Robert Zhao Renhui The Lines We Draw ShanghART, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Curated by Deborah Lim, Where the sidewalk ends at Chan + Hori Contemporary, Singapore
22 February–22 March 2020 Curated by Deborah Lim Where the sidewalk ends Chan + Hori Contemporary, Singapore

Galleries In Singapore

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Institutions

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Ocula Magazine

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At Singapore Biennale, Artists Rework the World Ocula Report At Singapore Biennale, Artists Rework the World Stephanie Bailey, Singapore

The sixth edition of the Singapore Biennale, Every Step in the Right Direction , brings together works by 77 artists and artist collectives to consider how artistic practice can 'rework the world' while exploring how a biennial exhibition might facilitate such a reworking.

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Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Ocula Conversation Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Stephanie Bailey, Singapore

STPI's Emi Eu reflects on S.E.A. Focus, an STPI project platforming artists and galleries from Southeast Asia, in the wake of Art Stage's decline in 2019 and ahead of the launch of Singapore's new art fair, Art SG, in October 2020.

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Patrick Flores: 'Southeast Asia must be geopolitically unburdened' Ocula Conversation Patrick Flores: 'Southeast Asia must be geopolitically unburdened' Tess Maunder, Singapore

The start of the new decade has seen a series of natural disasters around the globe. Bushfires in Australia have burned an area of roughly 10 million hectares; while ash dumped from the Philippines' Taal volcano has led to the evacuation of around 300,000 people in fear of an impending eruption. Meanwhile, as global temperatures rise, as do sea...

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Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Singapore

Singapore Art Week returns from 11 to 19 January 2020 with a host of island-wide events, at the centre of which is the second edition of S.E.A. Focus (16–19 January 2020) at Gillman Barracks, showcasing the best of contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

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Arin Rungjang Connects Diasporic Narratives at ShanghART, Singapore Ocula Insight Arin Rungjang Connects Diasporic Narratives at ShanghART, Singapore Sherry Paik, Singapore

Arin Rungjang was born in Bangkok in 1975, a time of political turmoil in Thailand. Two years prior, student demonstrations led to the fall of military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn, who returned from exile in 1976. That year, students gathered at Thammasat University to protest and the military opened fire; 46 died, 167 were wounded, and over...

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Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery Ocula Report Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery Sam Gaskin, Singapore

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s , a major retrospective at Singapore's National Gallery (14 June–15 September 2019), opens emphatically in flames. At the exhibition's entrance, viewers encounter a wall-sized image from 1964 titled Burning Canvases Floating on the River . The photograph captures a performance by Lee Seung-taek, in...

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‘Jason Martin: Meta physical’ at STPI Ocula Insight ‘Jason Martin: Meta physical’ at STPI Ocula IGTV

British artist Jason Martin 's solo exhibition Meta physical (23 March–4 May 2019) at STPI in Singapore was the result of his residency at the Institute, during which he experimented with the techniques of embossed relief, paper pulp painting, and paper casting. Most works in the exhibition are monochromatic—black, white, red,...

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Home-grown art fair with regional focus Related Press Home-grown art fair with regional focus 10 October 2018, The Straits Times

A new home-grown boutique art fair called S.E.A. Focus will be held in January. Open to the public from Jan 24 to 27 at Gillman Barracks, it will feature about 25 local and international galleries and focus on modern and contemporary South-east Asian art. Organised by Singapore's STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery, it will take place in a...

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Will the Real Singapore Arts Scene Please Stand Up? Related Press Will the Real Singapore Arts Scene Please Stand Up? 28 July 2018, Plural Art

Much has been said about the Singapore visual art scene in recent weeks. Depending on which media outlet one might be reading, the country seems to be lurching from being a much-lauded hub to one of abject 'stagnation.' Sometimes, 'ground is lost to Hong Kong,' and other times, it is a leaky bog of a landscape which requires emergency...

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Singapore to get two new art fairs – can Art SG and SEA Focus succeed where others have failed? Related Press Singapore to get two new art fairs – can Art SG and SEA Focus succeed where others have failed? 26 July 2018, South China Morning Post

Will Singapore's art market get its 'Hong Kong moment' next year? The city's art community hopes so. It wants to replicate Hong Kong's success following an announcement that the co-founders of Art HK are to launch a Singapore art fair along with Art Basel's owner, Switzerland's MCH Group. It is a partnership with a formidable track record, so it...

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MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS: DINH Q. LÊ Related Press MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS: DINH Q. LÊ 4 July 2018, ArtAsiaPacific

In his solo exhibition at Singapore's STPI—Creative Workshop & Gallery, titled Monuments and Memorials , multidisciplinary artist Dinh Q. Lê pursued the cultural and political trajectories of Cambodia through distinct moments in its history, interweaving lovely imagery of stone friezes from the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex with...

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Singapore Art Week Related Press Singapore Art Week 23 February 2018, art agenda

Developed by the Singapore government in 2013 in an attempt to create hype around the fair Art Stage Singapore, Singapore Art Week (SAW) is a loose collection of events organized by museums, art spaces, and cultural producers. This year’s edition featured a series of festivals that turned the Civic District’s museums into glowing canvases for art...

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Singapore Art Week 2018 The East Gears Up For Top Art Event Related Press Singapore Art Week 2018 The East Gears Up For Top Art Event 13 January 2018, Artlyst

Singapore rolls out the welcome mat to lovers of international art for Singapore Art Week 2018. This vibrant visual art showcase takes place from 17-28 January. The 12-day celebration, now in its sixth year, stretches between venues across Singapore. Museums and galleries host some exciting events in precincts, and iconic destinations including...

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CRUMBLE, CRUMBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE Related Press CRUMBLE, CRUMBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE 4 December 2017, Pauline x Usha

The House is Crumbling , the latest installation by renowned Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak, specially commissioned for the National Gallery Singapore's Light to Night Festival 2018, is a visual and sensorial treat. The installation will be open to the public from today, 4 December 2017, at the Koh Seow Chuan Gallery and, when the Light to Night...

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“Of Fragments and Impressions”: Filipino artists Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan at STPI, Singapore Related Press “Of Fragments and Impressions”: Filipino artists Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan at STPI, Singapore 27 October 2017, Art Radar

Brisbane- and Manila-based artist couple, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, have travelled to many parts of the world. The installation artists often work closely with the communities they enter, creating site-specific artworks that explore themes of home, longing and loss. "It is always a collective effort," says Isabel Aquilizan. As their...

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, S.E.A Focus 2020 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
16–19 January S.E.A Focus 2020
Contemporary art exhibition, S.E.A. Focus 2019 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
24–27 January S.E.A. Focus 2019
Contemporary art exhibition, MIA&D Fair Singapore at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
24–26 October 2014 MIA&D Fair Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Stage Singapore at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
16–19 January 2014 Art Stage Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Singapore Art Week at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
13–19 January 2014 Singapore Art Week

Over the course of Singapore's independence since 1965, the city-state has cultivated a strong arts scene comprised of a range of museums, galleries, and independent art spaces, positioning is a top cultural destination in Southeast Asia.

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Approximately ten kilometres west of Singapore's Downtown Core is Gillman Barracks—an arts precinct situated in a former military barracks. The leafy enclave is home to 11 galleries—including Chan + Hori Contemporary, ShanghART, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, and Yavuz Gallery—that exhibit work by artists from Singapore and further afield. At the helm of Gillman Barracks is the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore). Directed by Ute Meta Bauer, NTU CCA Singapore's extensive exhibition and public programme includes talks, workshops, and performances that contribute to Singapore's intellectual life and knowledge production—the Centre itself being tied to Nanyang Technological University.

Other than its rolling exhibitions, a number of popular arts events take place at Gillman Barracks throughout the year, including Art After Dark—a biannual open house event that sees pop-ups, performances, and live music accompany late-night exhibitions at the galleries. In 2019, the January edition of Art After Dark overlapped with the inaugural S.E.A. Focus—a showcase of Southeast modern and contemporary art by a selection of international and local galleries, hosted by STPI.

Established in 2002, STPI is located on the banks of the Singapore River, comprising a 400-square-metre gallery space, with workshops that support artistic projects in the mediums of print and paper. A non-profit organisation, STPI collaborates with artists from around the world, including Carsten Höller, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Ashley Bickerton, Aaron Curry, Sam Durant, and Heri Dono, to name but a few. STPI also runs a regular schedule of public programmes, including screenings, talks, and tours.

Beyond Gillman Barracks, other galleries in Singapore include Gajah Gallery, which is situated in a large industrial space in Tanjong Pagar—an historic district where visitors can find Maxwell Food Centre, home to the famed Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Established in 1996, Gajah Gallery has held an important position in the development of the Southeast Asian arts scene, supporting artists from across the region such as Yunizar, Erizal As, and Handiwirman Saputra. The gallery also has a space in Yogyakarta, a dynamic arts hub of Indonesia.

Independent arts spaces in the city include Grey Projects and The Substation. The former is located in the bustling neighbourhood district of Tiong Bahru—one of Singapore's oldest public housing estates, known for its distinctive, white architecture. Focusing on design, writing, and curatorial research, this multidisciplinary project space hosts exhibitions by local and international artists, and conducts regular reading groups, talks, and residencies, many of which are conducted as exchanges with residency partners including Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea.

The Substation is one of Singapore's more subversive arts spaces, supporting experimental arts practices since its founding in 1990 by the late playwright Kuo Pao Kun. Each year, an overarching theme informs The Substation's programming. In past years, themes have included 'Cities change. People die. Everything you know goes away.​' (June 2018–April 2019)—'an exploration of ​how​ and ​why​ heritage is a political and emotional topic for the public.' The programming according to these themes is eclectic, from theatre to panels and exhibitions across The Substation's multi-use venue.

Ten minutes' walk away from The Substation is the National Gallery Singapore—the city's foremost arts institution, built in the former City Hall and Supreme Court. Opened in 2015, the Gallery holds the world's largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian modern art, some of which is visible across the 64,000-square-metre venue in exhibitions such as Between Declarations and Dreams: Art of Southeast Asia since the 19th Century, an impressive historical overview of the art history of Southeast Asia, containing over 300 artworks. Large-scale international exhibitions include Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. in 2019—an ambitious survey of Minimalism and its legacy in the 20th and 21st centuries across the globe.

Singapore Art Museum (SAM) accompanies National Gallery Singapore as the city's contemporary art museum. Since 2011, SAM has been commissioned by the National Arts Council to organise the Singapore Biennale, which was established in 2006 as a platform for dialogue around contemporary art. LASALLE College of the Arts' Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore joins SAM and NTU CCA Singapore at the forefront of institutional contemporary art exhibition and production. Like NTU CCA Singapore, the Institute is tied to one of Singapore's universities, placing it as another critically informed destination for the arts.

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