Walking along the Hindoo Road in the Tekka region of Singapore, it is with rather an impulsive stimulus that you will look at it. This one (of many) literally larger-than-life mural of a person whom you know you have seen before. At first sight, you would think it’s related to Thailand or Indonesia. But, as you walk closer to the mural and stand in front of it, it will dawn on you.
You will immediately relate it to the place you are in – the ethnicity, the culture, the cinema. And that’s when you will realize that what you just saw is an abstract painting of an actor who is considered God in Tamil Nadu, a Southern state in India. Rajinikanth is the name of the man, but that is not relevant because creator ZERO titles it as “Working Class Hero”. He alludes it to the actor’s elegance which captivated him in his childhood.
This – the derivation of art from things that inspires you, makes you, completes you – is the sole attribute on which art should be based. And that is what the Singapore Art Week (SAW) is primarily doing to reinforce the country’s visual art scene as it finished its fifth edition on 22 January 2017 to roaring success.
2017 Singapore Art Week
There is a popular belief in the art circles around the country that an art week never ends – it keeps going on and on as art enthusiasts still flock the streets to experience the sheer creativity that is shed by the best artists from around the world. The 2017 Singapore Art Week focused on art tours, gallery openings, exhibitions, museums, street art, and drawings. Thanks to the great support from the Singapore Tourism Board, the art week has been able to replenish its agenda with each passing year. Each edition has something new for the audience, and this time was no different.
Singapore Art Week 2017 Teaser
When we talk about reinforcement, we speak of the purpose of the art week: what it does and how. Following are few of the innovative tours that enthralled us and reinstated our belief that Singapore has already become an arts authority in the world. ArtKlan brings you the top art tours of the 2017 Singapore Art week that were flanked by hundreds between 11 and 22 January and still is. The better thing is that most of the tours listed below will continue through February 2017.
Top Tours at the 2017 Singapore Art Week
“She Smiled at Me” by Kenny Pittock
If you are into wry humour and have resisted the urge to laugh out loud because laughing when you are at an art gallery is frowned upon, then this Australian artist is the guy you should be following. And his collection of hand drawings exhibited at Chan Hampe Galleries. Pittock has revealed that his daily commute to work back in Melbourne is when and where he thinks up ideas. “It’s sometimes more interesting to do (work) in the public where things are a lot more out of my control and the stakes are a bit higher,” he told to Channel News Asia in December 2016.
Look at Pittock as he draws a sloshed man on the train:
Pittock will be running his gallery (and possibly taking workshops) until 9 February. So, it is still not late to register for his show, curated by Khai Hori, at the SAW website.
“Immortality Project I” by Sam Jinks
Another Australian, this one who uses his hands to sculpt. Sam Jinks is an independent sculptor who uses silicone, resin, and real hair to create life like figures in an attempt to demonstrate the vulnerability of the human body. The Immortality Project I, hosted at Gillman Barracks by Sullivan and Strumpf, is his first solo project in Singapore. Jinks is known for the accuracy in his sculptures which will make you marvel at his exhibits for hours straight.
Thankfully, it’s still going on and can be visited till 12 February. For more info, log on to the Sullivan and Strumf’s website.
Artwalk Little India
You must be familiar with the Tekka Market, but if you go to Little India right now, you will see more than you previously have. Yes, we are talking huge murals painted over walls that capture the ethnic diversity of the area.
Rajinikanth is just one example we gave you at the beginning because the whole area is decorated with such colorful murals that speak volumes about the brilliant artistry Singaporeans have. The artistry that is not confined to Singapore’s roots, but instead expanded to that of world’s.
Artwalk Little India is only a small part of the Singapore Art Week and unfortunately ended on 17 January. But, sources close to us tell that the murals are still there for you to gape at…
State of Motion: Through Stranger’s Eyes
Let’s not confine our perception of art to murals, paintings, sculptures, and train drawings. As you know, it is much more than that. It is also cinema. Brought to you by Asian Film Archive, the State of Motion film tour is a one-of-a-kind event where visitors will be taken to five different places in Singapore where classic movies have been filmed. Did you know that the 1973 action film, Ring of Fury, was shot here? Are you a movie buff who likes to visit the places where your favourite movies and their sequences were shot? Then the State of Motion, presented by the Singapore Art Week, is just for you.
The sites include Golden Mile Food Centre, Hong Lim Park, Old Bugis Street, and Labrador Park among others. Artists have created exhibits and artworks for visitors to better understand the locations and relate them to the films. It is the second edition of State of Motion, and focuses on international films of the 60s to 80s. Starting at National Library, one gets the feeling of visiting Ramoji Film Studio, the world’s largest cinema production site, in India because you also get to dive into other aspects of cinema such as Ming Wong’s polaroids of old cinema houses.
The tour will be available till 5 February, and more info can be found at State of Motion’s website.
These are the top four events that we think helped the 2017 Singapore Art Week stay more relevant as the country tries to become the cynosure of world art. Artists from around Asia – Australia, South Korea, Sri Lanka – have exhibited their artistry in SAW’s years-long history. No wonder it is the top art event in the country. Strengthening the art scene is not easy, and we are thankful to the organisers of Singapore Art Week for taking the event to a whole new level. Here’s to a fantastic and artful 2017, here’s to an even grander 2018 Singapore Art Week.
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