Art Stage Singapore, Southeast Asia’s flagship art fair, returns from 21 to 24 January 2016 (Vernissage on 20 January) with a bold new vision for contemporary art from the region. In today’s dramatically changing art world, Art Stage Singapore continues to be innovative and proactive in creating and developing art markets in Southeast Asia, matchmaking segmented regional markets with each other, encouraging exchange and dialogue about contemporary art and driving international interest in and understanding of Southeast Asian contemporary art.
The Fair’s sixth edition will further highlight the developmental role that Art Stage Singapore plays in Southeast Asia. Through its latest programme, Art Stage Singapore references the Roman forum or the agora of ancient Greece, which will position the Fair as an intersection that facilitates not merely the exchange of art, but also of ideas. With this new initiative, Art Stage Singapore will further invest in the region to create a fertile environment for Southeast Asian contemporary art to flourish and for an active art market to prosper.
“Our role as the leading art fair in Southeast Asia is not about dealing with square metres of space on the fairground. More importantly, it is very much about raising the awareness for contemporary art and its role in our societies. A strong art scene and a deep public understanding of contemporary art will engender a robust art market. This is why it is so important for us to continue our efforts to develop an active art ecosystem, to encourage a spirit of discussion and debate to foster a culture of curiosity about contemporary art in Southeast Asia. With its base in Singapore, Art Stage Singapore is committed to creating and growing a strong art market for the region,” says Lorenzo Rudolf, Founder and President, Art Stage Singapore.
Southeast Asia Forum
In its 2016 edition, Art Stage Singapore will introduce the Southeast Asia Forum, which aims to emphasise the balance between art, commerce and content. An extension of the Southeast Asia Platform exhibitions at the Fair from 2014 to 2015, the Forum is a thematic programme that takes a more focused and deeper view into broad global issues that also affect our immediate region and lives.
This initiative draws attention to contemporary art’s significant place in the development of modern society and the central role the artist plays in the context of Southeast Asia. Moving beyond artistic discussions, the Forum will take a broader approach towards contemporary art by situating it outside the art world community and connecting it to the larger society, thus growing the range of contemporary art by involving individuals from other fields.
The inaugural Southeast Asia Forum is titled Seismograph: Sensing the City – Art In the Urban Age. Comprising two symbiotic parts – an exhibition and a talk series, it is centred on the theme of urbanisation. Cities not only shape our environments, spaces and interactions; they also shape our roles, functions, ideas, beliefs and identities, on different levels and in different spheres – as individuals, communities and ‘cityzens’. The Southeast Asia Forum makes the case for art to be regarded as part of the urban DNA. In the same vein that designers and planners build and shape cities, art explores visceral depths of human existence and civilisation by making the invisible visible. Contemporary art is a reflection of our time, and artists are instrumental to how we sense, measure and interpret perceived reality. The Forum will explore the role of artists as seismographs of society’s pulses and will cast light on Southeast Asia’s rapidly urbanising landscape.
The Forum’s exhibition component will survey the role of artists in the evolution of contemporary societies across Southeast Asia. The 10 projects to be presented in the exhibition will focus on artists who relate to issues and sentiments of extremely rapid urbanisation in their own countries. Among the featured artists will be Aliansyah Caniago from Indonesia, Norberto Roldan from the Philippines and Sherman Ong from Singapore.
Roldan’s 100 Altars pays tribute to a bygone era and pays homage to a rich history of simple and peaceful community life after the Second World War ended in the Philippines. Aliansyah Caniago will present Titik Balik (“Point of Return”), an ongoing art project started in 2012 in response to environmental damage caused by factory waste, to Situ Ciburuy lake in Bandung and resulting in the decline of the village’s fishing trade and tradition. Sherman Ong will feature selected video works from his ongoing project Nusantara, which mingles fables of the Nusantara – an Indonesian word meaning “archipelago” – with contemporary dilemmas concerning migration and diaspora.
The Forum’s talk series will bring together architects, urbanists, social scientists, men and women of letters and artists to examine, through their different perspectives, the challenges of urbanisation and how cities can be re-imagined through different ways of seeing, learning and cooperation. In creating encounters between observers, thinkers and planners in these different fields, the Forum seeks to bring about more inter-disciplinary understanding and collaboration in shaping the underpinnings of cities as they continue to evolve, parallel to shared global conditions.
Exhibitor Highlights and Leading Galleries at the Fair
Art Stage Singapore will present a diverse range of carefully selected galleries from across Asia and the world, featuring 143 galleries from 32 countries and 30 global cities. Galleries that will be exhibiting at the fair hail from Argentina, Australia, China, Columbia, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay. 67 galleries are returning exhibitors and these include top international, regional and Singapore-based galleries such as Artinformal (Philippines), ARNDT (Singapore), FOST Gallery (Singapore), Galleria Continua (Italy), Ota Fine Arts (Singapore), Pearl Lam Galleries (Hong Kong/Singapore), Richard Koh Fine Art (Malaysia), ShanghART Gallery (China/Singapore), Tomio Koyama Gallery (Japan/Singapore), Singapore Tyler Print Institute (Singapore), Sundaram Tagore Gallery (Singapore) and White Cube Gallery (London), among others.
Following through the concept of Art Stage Singapore as an Asian fair, there will be a strong showing of Asia-based galleries at Art Stage Singapore 2016 with 112 exhibitors (around 75 percent) coming from across Asia. 32 of these galleries are Singapore-based. The significant presence of these galleries will underscore the Fair’s Asian identity and reinforce its position as the matchmaking point for collectors, artists, gallerists, curators and art enthusiasts in Asia. 65 new galleries will debut at Art Stage Singapore in 2016. They include Aspan Gallery (Kazakhstan), Galerie Forsblom (Finland), Gallery Ward (United Arab Emirates), Giorgio Persano (Italy), Hafez Gallery (Saudi Arabia), Flowers (United Kingdom), Martin Browne Contemporary (Australia), Mo J Gallery (South Korea), X-ist (Turkey), among others.
Several notable regional artists will also be presenting works at the fair. Hailing from Singapore are David Chan, Ruben Pang, Donna Ong, Jane Lee, Jimmy Ong and more. Other artists include Shooshie Sulaiman and Ali Nurazmal Yusoff from Malaysia, Mujahidin Nurrahman, Kinez Riza and Syagini Ratna Wulan from Indonesia and Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Ronald Ventura and Raybeet Ramos from the Philippines.
Several artworks will be exhibited in the public areas of the fairground. Dada on Tour is a multimedia installation celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dadaism in 2016. By entering a “nomadic” tent, visitors get the chance to discover the visions and actions of 165 Dadaists such as Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, Marcel Janco, André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Francis Picabia, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Tristan Tzara, among others. Welcoming visitors to Art Stage Singapore 2016 will be the entrance artwork by Thai artist Ploenchan Vinyaratn (Mook) titled Netscape executed in her signature style of using handwoven textiles. Spanish artist Manolo Valdés’ large-scale sculpture will also be presented as a public artwork.
International Visitors and Collectors
As the leading contemporary art event in Singapore and the region, Art Stage Singapore is the meeting point for international art collectors and art professionals. High profile visitors to the Fair in 2016 will include Simon de Pury, world-renowned art auctioneer and TV personality; Jean de Loisy, President, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Lu Xun, Art Collector and Co-Founder Sifang Art Museum, China; Lee Yongwoo, Founder, Gwangju Biennale and President, International Biennial Association; Joan Jonas, artist and representative for the United States Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2016; Paul Ha, Director, MIT List Visual Arts Center, USA; Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Hou Hanrou, Artistic Director, MAXXI Museum, Rome; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
CATALYST – A New Publication
In 2016, Art Stage Singapore will be introducing CATALYST, an indispensable reference guide for galleries, art collectors and industry professionals. CATALYST will become an important industry document for Southeast Asia as well as a connector between the Southeast Asian art scenes and markets. In a crucial time for the region, CATALYST will provide insight and guidance on all major art markets and scenes in Southeast Asia, acting as a stimulant. The core component of CATALYST is its Market Reports, a section featuring country-specific market reports independently written by acclaimed art researchers and writers that provide insights into the Asian art market. CATALYST will also present a curated selection of specially commissioned essays, interviews, profiles and event highlights, underscoring Art Stage Singapore’s active role in the Asian and Southeast Asian art scenes.
Art Stage Singapore 2016 is the anchor event of the Singapore Art Week and takes place from 21 to 24 January 2016 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Strategic Partners of Art Stage Singapore 2016 include Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), National Arts Council (NAC), the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and the new National Gallery Singapore, with Official VIP Lounge Designer ASYLUM, Partner Artsy.net and My Art Guide, among others.
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