One of the joys of attending Art Stage is to navigate the hundreds of booths and take in the works at your own pace. But with so much going on, you will inevitably miss a few exhibits. Here are four that you shouldn’t.

Gerhard Richters Museum Visit (MV 87)
After his “Abstraktes Bild” pulled in an impressive $2 million at last year’s fair, this 10cm by 15 cm oil on color photograph by Richter might be minute in comparison, but its vivid strokes in abstract formations are still compelling.

Philippe Pasquas Crane
This huge bronze sculpture measuring 323 cm by 220 cm by 200 cm may not be as impactful as Damien Hirst’s infamous “For the Love of God”, but its sheer size does the job to convey death and mortality in the modern age.

Zhang Huans Berlin Buddha
Another monumental piece, this subversive installation involves two Buddha sculptures facing one another. One remains still, while the other crumbles as the floor underneath it trembles. Yet another hypnotic look at the forces of religion and mortality today.

Chen Chieh-Jens Happiness Building I
The 84-minute single-channel video on loop depicts unemployed individuals living in often decrepit spaces—an allegory to modern life. Never mind that it’s time-consuming, this beautifully filmed video art piece is a hypnotic slow-burner.

Art Stage Singapore is on January 24-27 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre.


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The enigmatic French actress was recently in town to promote Michael Haneke’s Amour, which premiered in Singapore at the recently concluded 2nd Rendezvous with French Cinema. Terry Ong had a face-to-face chat with the multi-faceted actress, most well -known for her award-winning role as a sexually frustrated piano teacher in Haneke’s The Piano Teacher and as a runaway exnun in Hal Hartley’s Amateur

How do you choose your roles? 
Most of the time, it’s the directors. The good ones are usually not very intimidating and they’re great collaborators. So yes, it’s the director’s personality and the script.

You’ve worked with legends like Jean-Luc Godard and Claire Denis, as well as newer directors too like Korea’s Hong Sang-soo...
Yes, that’s because I’m very interested in Asian cinema and have also worked with first-time directors. As long as I feel that the directors have the right tone and rhythm, I’ll consider their projects. Every director has different methods.  I just met up with Eric Khoo recently, and I would also like to work with Kim Ki-duk and Park Chan-wook.

Are you a method actress?
I wouldn’t really say that I have a method. I usually act with my instinct... I want to make my characters understandable. Which is why collaborating with directors is so important to me to explore different points of views. The lines between good and evil are so blur these days, and the materials give me a chance to explore these ambiguities. I am also very interested in the notions of normality and abnormality.

Amour is your second collaboration with Haneke. How is your working relationship with him?
With Haneke I started by not working with him, actually. He first offered me the role in Funny Games but I turned it down. I didn’t do it because I thought that the script had no boundaries and that made me feel very vulnerable. And then he offered me The Piano Teacher and he said to me, “You won’t do it.” I took that as a challenge, and I did it! Of course, there were still certain scenes in the film that I found risqué, but there were lots of room for exploration. Haneke plans many scenes, but he also leaves room for actors to improvise. It’s a talent to be able to set limitations and give freedom to your actors at the same time.

Read our review of the five-star film, Amour.


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Editor's Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Directed By: 
Michael Haneke

Unsentimental and unflinching in its study of love of an elderly couple, Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winning Amour is a quietly devastating memento mori of a life lived. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva give flawlessly nuanced performances as Georges and Anne, retired music teachers in their 80s, living in a beautifully furnished, book-lined Paris apartment with a baby grand piano.

Opening Date: 
Thu, 2012-12-27
French with English subtitles
Running Time: 
2 hr/ 07 min.
Terry Ong
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The Brit artist is one of the forefathers of the local street art scene, having launched indie art magazine Kult five years ago and recently established Kult Studio & Gallery at Mount Emily. He takes five with Terry Ong.

Growing up in Hong Kong was really quite insane. Especially after visiting UK, I found out the UK was so behind with technology and how slow things moved there.

I was pretty lucky to live in a block with loads of kids who always played outside. You know, regular little block party for 8-year-olds. Good times.

I first got into weird shit when computers came out. Playing old video games, hanging out at gaming arcades. Then I started discovering alternative cinema, sci-fi and B-movies. I loved everything about them.

I am a classic case of someone shaped by ’80s pop culture. I ate fast food and listened to Madonna and Jellybean.

As a kid I wanted to be a magician on a cruise ship. I also wanted to design swimming pools. Now I just want to be a kid.

I always felt that the big giant billboards around every city in the world would be ideal platforms for spreading good, positive messages. I feel they are abused a lot these days, adding very little value to communities and cities.

Good art to me is when it reflects my life, forcing me to see it from a new angle. I am more a fan of figurative art, rather than abstract art. Abstract art is really hard to pin down. You either think it looks cool, or not. I like art when it tells me a story.

When I first visited Singapore in the early ’90s, I was struck by all the social messaging I saw around the city, spreading important messages about AIDS or famine.

I loved how billboards communicated very quickly an idea by using a single image. Today, this visual language is something very close to my heart, and it is what I am constantly trying to analyze and refine every day.

I’m generally quite a happy person when I’m out and about. It’s easy to focus on negative things, but it also requires the same skill to focus on the positive things. I find that when I am lazy, I am not as happy as when I am busy.

I am an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, guilty of a few fashion crimes occasionally.

I have absolutely no routine. I would say I stand more than I sit as I’m constantly outside visiting factories, suppliers and printers. Lots of time spent up on ladders too.

People who don’t say “please” and “thank you” make me sick.

I am seeing a lot of greed recently. Not cool.

There is a real problem with landlords hiking rent here so high it is forcing out small independent businesses. We are being replaced by chain stores and monocultural mediocrity.

There is not much philanthropy around. It would be great if more public buildings offered gallery space and subsidized rents for indie designers and businesses. This problem has plagued Hong Kong for years, but is now being addressed—it is fashionable to be a supporter of the arts, and patrons are recognized for their contribution to society.

Find what you love doing, and who you love doing it with. Try and be involved in life rather than watching it from the sidelines. Learn other languages, enjoy all cultures. Learn some history. It can be quite interesting.

Don’t eat yellow snow.


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These new Singapore stores should help you get started on shopping for the New Year (and last-minute Christmas gifts).

agnès b. VOYAGE

Even before you browse through its extensive collection of its Bijoux range of accessories, its mainly crystal and steel finishing will set the festive mood. Once you’re in, the quirky accessory range spanning necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and cufflinks (from $125) will bowl you over, while those looking for more substantial presents can check out the extensive range of shoulder bags, backpacks and wallets (from $245).


Founders Aaron Koh, Casey Loh and Leon Lai (no, not the Cantopop singer) scour the island’s estates, homes and flea markets for unwanted junk, then repurpose and restore them into unique furniture and furnishings (prices range from $19 to an enamel vase to $2,000 for a sofa). Aspects of the original material, including its history with previous owners, are preserved and there’s always a story to tell.


From cushions to candelabra, decorations to drinking decanters, necklaces to apparel, this new lifestyle store has them all. All products are meticulously put together by a team of independent designers, showcasing quality, artisanal products that are truly unique to the city, even if its original concept is drawn from the many bazaars found in India. Highlights include a pure silk wrap dress ($389) and a handcrafted leather suitcase bag with a digital photo print of Calcutta ($749) which are both sublime.

The Black Label

More bespoke loving at this high-ceilinged, wood paneled space in the heart of the Central Business District. Top draws here are off-the-rack jackets, hand-embroidered shirts as well as accessories including handmade shoes, premium ties and quality belts (from $189). But if you’re looking for something special, the diamond-studded cufflinks, which bear 0.3 to 0.5-carat diamonds and come in sterling silver, white, yellow or rose gold, are perfect for the festive season (from $232).

Carhartt WIP 

The fashion arm of this heritage American workwear brand makes its debut in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Currently on the rack is its male-centric Fall/Winter collection of T-shirts, shirts, pants, sweat and jackets, all evoking a no-fuss, utilitarian-cool aesthetic. $69 for T-shirts.

Jules & Jim 

Although it has since scaled down after its recent move from Club Street, the bespoke home interior store still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Owner Camille Besancon continues to stock some rare gems here, including a hand-painted porcelain tea set ($8,000). But if you’re looking for something more affordable, sofa cushions here are a steal at $50 each, featuring a myriad range of prints that are certainly très chic.

M Dreams

Previously sold at department, multi-label and online stores, collab-happy Brazilian brand Melissa recently unveiled its first standalone flagship boutique, which boasts stark white interiors that make the candy colors of the jelly shoes (from $75) pop. For those who love previous collections from Jason Wu and swimwear label Salina, good news: their latest designs for Melissa are in this season.

Roccoco Kent

This unpretentious vintage shop is filled to the brim with an eclectic range of items from clothes and accessories to furniture and collectibles. Goods stocked here are mostly rare, one-of-a-kind pieces from all around the world and are updated weekly. Highlights include dresses (from $49) and old-school typewriters (from $168).

Suit Select

With preppy still being all the rage now, grab a ready-made suit here for just $299. The spacious store allows shoppers to browse up to a hundred styles of shirts, pants, suits and accessories for both men and women through two main collections— the Black Line which boasts more contemporary aesthetics, while the Silver Line is a must for those looking for more classic pieces. Shirts and ties are also very affordably priced here (from $49).


nana & bird’s Georgina Koh and Chiew Ling Tan have added another retail concept store under their stylish belts with this recent opening, which houses emerging labels like Bracher Emden (from $280) and Wnderkammer (from $199).

Short Stops: Shop at these pop-ups before they’re gone

Feist Heist x White Antler at Blackmarket No. 2

Launched in collaboration with local lifestyle brand White Antler, the store, which wraps end December, carries its limited edition home décor items ($39 upwards) and Feist Heist’s latest collection ($39 upwards).


In store through January 31 are five brands that are making their debut in Singapore, including Commongoodsociety (from $69), Joyrich (from $70) and kapok TOOLS (from $21).

The Emporium

The multi-label concept store brings in new stock every week from these brands (from $20), as well as items from guest labels like KLutched (from $499) through end February.




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Like fellow contemporary Banksy, UK street art duo STATIC’s identities remain elusive. Preferring to let their art speak for them, they’ve produced cutting-edge pieces with elements of Pop Art and graffiti as well as clever juxtaposition of imageries. Terry Ong manages to sneak a quick chat with duo recently. 

The street is… full of stories.

Banksy is… a pioneer.

The Queen is… an icon.

Street art is… for everyone.

Art galleries are… cool places to visit.

Contemporary art is… evolving and exciting.

Life is… for exploring.

We Like Static is on through November 22 at Collectors Contemporary.


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