Half a dozen new art galleries, a slew of cool exhibitions happening right now, and even more to look forward to in January’s Art Week—the local visual arts scene is heating up, says Terry Ong
Cool art exhibitions are opening every week in this Little Red Dot of ours. Not only that—next year’s Singapore Art Week will feature more than 60 independent exhibitions, alongside mammoth art fair Art Stage. Perhaps most excitingly of all, five new independent galleries have just opened with more on the way (Pearl Lam brings her Shanghainese style to Gillman Barracks from January). Here we take a look at these new arrivals and peek ahead at what’s to come.
What: Run by former photographer Dominic Khoo, the 8,000 sq. ft. art gallery is luxury and artistry personified. It was just a couple of months after Khoo decided to close down his former space at Jalan Kilang Barat (which in November held the Super O Season pop-up parties) that he reopened at this picturesque spot. “I still wanted to push the idea of art and I wanted a space where viewers can see the works through a more realistic setting, where the pieces are placed at home,” says Khoo.
Who: Never mind that it boasts a rather chi-chi setting (customers get to rest on the luxury sofas and sip on tea or coffee while they browse), the art pieces here are an infectious mix of street art influenced works and charming one-offs, including rare early works by Samantha Lo a.k.a. SKLO and Parisian Kongo ($20,000 upwards). Images from Khoo’s photography collection, of celebrities like Maggie Cheung and Lindsay Lohan, are also on sale ($6,888 upwards), as are one-off furniture piece by Italian brand Manoteca ($11,888 upwards).
Why: The friendly atmosphere and warm ambiance makes you want to come back again and again.
Where: 6 Kay Siang Rd., 6366-4642.
When: Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 1-6pm.
What: The latest gallery to open in Dempsey is the sister gallery of Spain’s Barnadas Huang, a 1,500 sq. ft. space that offers some of the best in European art. “We brought the gallery to Singapore because we thought there was a gap in the market when it came to contemporary European art,” says partner Abigail Wong.
Who: A staple of both veterans and emerging European artists, including names like Fernando Adam, Jesus Curia, Marc Jesus, Joan Longas and Gabriel Schmitz. Currently on show is The Real Barcelona. Works are priced from $500 upwards.
Why: Apart from one-off shows, there has never been such a huge and diverse collection of European artists under one roof in Singapore.
Where: 22 Dempsey Rd., 6635-4707, www.barnadashuang.com.
When: Open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm.
Editions by Collectors Contemporary
What: The second outpost by gallerist and collector Gary Sng—of Collectors Contemporary fame—which opened three weeks ago (official opening in January), is located inside an apartment building off Orchard Road, boasting an urban, industrial setting. “We have been discussing opening another space for a long time,” says Sng. “The place has a very relaxed environment. It makes me feel like I’m back in Los Angeles. This is a casual space so it feels more welcoming for novice art collectors, while our original gallery space at Jalan Kilang Barat will continue to offer original works in the secondary market.”
Who: As its name suggests, the gallery mainly carries prints, silk-screened pieces and art-related merchandize from great art names like Gilbert & George, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami, just to name a few ($58 upwards). “Our other space feels like a museum, while this one feels like a museum shop, to put it simply,” says Sng.
Why: For those who can’t afford to buy the real thing, these editioned pieces are as good as they get. It’s like the Affordable Art Fair, all year round.
Where: #01-21 Park House, 21 Orchard Blvd., 6235-2110.
When: Open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm.
What: A three-week-old, two-story, 3,000 sq. ft. contemporary art space currently hosting a solo show by revered Spanish-American Neo-Expressionist artist Domingo Zapata. Located in River Valley, it will continue to stage shows by both established and new local artists over the next few months, as well as host art residencies. CEO Malini Murjani says, “We are not only looking to function as a space for artists to get their works out but are working towards becoming the platform that connects Singapore’s art scene to the US’s where Gramercy’s main outpost is currently located.”
Who: Keen art enthusiasts will be thrilled to see Zapata’s works for the first time here—all 40 pieces of it—featuring his signature mixed-media, collage and graffiti-infused figurative paintings ($13,000 upwards).
Why: Finally, a noteworthy art gallery around one of our favourite hoods to complete the shopping experience.
Where: 81 Kim Yan Rd.
When: Daily 10am-8pm.
What: Set up by veteran gallerist Jennifer Soen in October, this contemporary art space is a breath of fresh air, at the newly revamped Suntec City Mall, with its wide open layout and calming, whitewashed ambiance.
Who: The gallery currently carries pieces by a wide array of local and Asian artists including China’s Liu Feng Hua, Taiwan’s Yang Tze Yun, Japan’s Masato Shigemori and Singapore’s Sonny Liew ($55 upwards).
Why: The diverse styles and mediums featured here will make you want to come back for more.
Where: #02-381/382 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd., 6336-3972.
When: Open daily 10:30am-9:30pm.
Don't miss these five ongoing visual arts exhibitions and check out our list of not-to-be-missed marquee art events for Singapore Art Week 2014!