Swiss art dealer Frédéric de Senarclens opened Art Plural in Singapore in 2011. A unique space specialising in modern and contemporary art and design, Art Plural is nestled in a four-storey Art Deco heritage building and presents solo and group exhibitions, installations, public art projects, conferences, and art publications. Ocula caught up with Frédéric to find out why he felt the time was right to show work at Sydney Contemporary; and to discuss the particular artworks Art Plural will be showing.
Is this your first time to show at a fair in Australia?Yes, this is the first time Art Plural Gallery is participating in a fair in Australia.
Why do you feel the time is right to participate in Sydney Contemporary 13?
We are very confident in Barry Keldoulis’ team. The organizers have really devoted a lot of energy and we are impressed by the dynamism of the fair.
You will be showing an eclectic range of works, from Fabienne Verdier’s abstract and spiritual works, to Li Tianbing’s figurative work. Tell me about this selection of works and why you feel it is right for Sydney?
Art Plural Gallery’s philosophy is to show a plurality of artists bridging East and West. Our booth at Sydney Contemporary pays tribute to the creative paths of nine artists – Chun Kwang Young, Fabienne Verdier, Bernar Venet, Pablo Reinoso, Li Tianbing, Doug and Mike Starn, Julia Calfee, Ian Davenport and Qiu Jie. The booth will focus on the panel of different techniques and media used in similar artistic expressions.
You are bringing at last three works by Doug and Mike Starn. Please can you tell me about these particular works?
The works of Doug and Mike Starn that will be featured on our booth are from their latest series The No Mind Not Thinks No Things. The series is inspired by Doug and Mike’s fascination for inter-connections and rhizomatic fluency. It shares visual and conceptual threads with their earlier series Structure of Thought which featured dark silhouetted trees, metaphors to brain synapses and growth of thoughts. Each artwork is unique. They are printed on Kozo or Gampi papers which are then varnished, creating transparencies almost as seeing through skin.
The Starn’s are best known for their series Big Bambú. Can you describe the series and its latest iteration?
As part of the Setouchi Triennale 2013, Doug and Mike Starn have created a huge installation consisting of thousands of bamboo poles in the Ko district of Teshima Island. A path through the bamboo forest leads to a Bambú walkway tied with climber’s cord directly to the living stalks and goes up through the forest until breaking through the surface of the canopy of bamboo leaves. Only the visitor’s upper body emerges and the elevated pathway faces a large fishing boat, modeled after the fishing boat normally seen docked at Ieura port but enlarged to 20 meters long- and made entirely of Bambú – floating on the canopy sea of bamboo leaves at over 18 meters high.
Tell us about the next exhibition that will be opening at the Art Plural space in Singapore?
We just inaugurated the solo exhibition of Chinese artist Qiu Jie that will run until October 26. Qiu Jie is a Chinese artist living in Switzerland. He works with pencil on paper and confronts the history of Chinese society with contemporary Western popular culture. His drawings are impressively detailed and each one of them guides us through a new imaginary invention.
Art Plural has also recently inaugurated a new project, Third Floor. Can you please tell me about this?
Third Floor is a new platform dedicated to emerging talents and presented on the third floor of Art Plural Gallery. It is addressed to young collectors and art lovers eager to discover new artists, deepen their knowledge on contemporary art and immerse themselves in an artistic scene in constant evolution. Third Floor presents, for its inaugural exhibition, Chinese artist Tian Taiquan. His subversive work imbued with poetry transgresses the political codes established in China and subtly expresses a violent criticism on the Cultural Revolution.