Asian artists feature strongly in the inaugural Art Stage Singapore 2011.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF COURTESY GALLERY TAGBOAT/Takashi Kuribayashi|
The past few years have seen the awakening of Asia’s art scene—cue the record-breaking biddings for Chinese art work in international auction houses in New York, London and Hong Kong. It’s undeniable that Asia is on its way to becoming an important platform of the international art market, and Art Stage Singapore, held at Marina Bay Sands from Jan. 12 to 16, is the answer to this trend.
Bringing together more than 120 galleries from 18 countries, as well as numerous collectors, art institutions and art fairs, the event “… is intended to be the jewel in the crown for Asia’s art industry—a leading platform for trade and a showcase of Asia’s best. It will open the international art season annually. Locally, it will also generate a momentum that will continue all year round with our growing base of Asia’s top galleries, auction houses and art supporting services,” said Dr. Beh Swan Gin, managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board. The event is spearheaded by Lorenzo Rudolf, a former director of Art Basel and one of the masterminds behind the hugely successful Art Basel Miami Beach fair.
City News shortlists some of the most inspiring artists and their works featured at the fair.
Art Stage Singapore 2011 is from Jan. 12 to 16 at Marina Bay Sands at B2, Halls D, E and F. Log on to www.artstagesingapore.com for more information.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF ARARIO GALLERY/Subodh Gupta|
Name: Subodh Gupta
Project: Everything Is Inside
The work: Gupta, whose signature artistic touch includes incorporating everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, attempts to explore “India’s increasingly globalized vision of travel and the economic migration of its working class” with this installation art of bronze-casted ghathris (bulging packages) precariously perched atop a sinking Ambassador taxi. The packages typically contain consumer goods brought back to India by migrant workers traveling from the Gulf States, symbolizing their pride in garnering wealth for their families back home.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF LDX CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER|
Name: Cao Xiaodong
Project: A Carnival of Fragmented Memories and False Witness
The work: Cao used hundreds of old photographs of himself to recreate scenes or objects, forming a personal photography archive of a faux militant during the Republican era. These photographs form a record of his family history, his childhood years, the social unrest and emotional turmoil he went through during that period of time, telling his own story.
His choice of photographs clearly represents his approach in dealing with cruel events such as the anti-Japanese war. For example, he would portray the misery and hardship that transpired with a walk-in-the-park type of victory, and the brutal battles and with their gloomy outcome with an imagined reconciliation. By reconstructing a historical narrative with one’s own narrative, Cao creates a beguiling theme of “what ifs,” inviting the reader to reinterpret history through a non-textbook perspective.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF COURTESY PURPLE ROOF GALLERY/Liu Zhuo Quan|
Name: Liu Zhuo Quan
Project: World of Thousands
The work: Inserting paintings of objects and depictions of stories into thousands of glass bottles, Liu creates a “world of thousands” for an arresting, otherworldly visual experience. This “world of thousands” encompasses the life and death of all living beings in a boundless universe, demonstrating desires driven by sexual urge, hunger and warmth. It is divided into three levels, with the top-most depicting worldly emotions, the middle a boundless physical world and the below a burning hell inhabited by hungry ghosts and beasts.
Liu uses the “drawing inside the bottle technique”—an almost extinct technique, to draw on the inner walls of the bottles, collected from all sources as vehicles to portray his imagination. One can only imagine the level of patience and time devoted to create this work of art, which draws the viewer in as he tries to decipher the many objects and stories embedded within. The scale of the work is immense, containing numerous imaginations.