Must-See Art Guide: Singapore

This week's guide features Steve McCurry, Joan Jonas, Yinka Shonibare, and more.

Steve McCurry, Procession of Nuns, Rangoon (1994). Courtesy of Sundaram Tagore Gallery.
Steve McCurry, Procession of Nuns, Rangoon (1994). Courtesy of Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Well, it’s officially feeling like winter in New York, so this week we’re heading to warmer pastures and visiting Singapore. Nicknamed the “City in a Garden” for its proximity to so much lush vegetation, over the last few years Singapore has had numerous new galleries sprout up and has grown itself a thriving local art scene. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself here, tear yourself away from all the other charming tourist attractions this metropolis has to offer—you’re here for the art.

First stop, head over to the Gillam Barracks, a former military camp housed in a colonial building, now home to 11 international art galleries, three restaurants, and the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art—enough art in one place to keep you busy all day. Start your exploration at Ota Fine Arts, where you can see the work of two important Southeast Asian artists. Christine Ay Tjoe, originally from Indonesia, is known for her intricate, melancholic paintings, while Zai Kuning, a Singaporean native, has a multi-disciplinary practice that engages with both his nation’s history and contemporary social concerns. Next, be sure to visit Sundaram Tagore Gallery to see a stunning selection of National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry’s most iconic works. With 53 colorful photographs on display—from his world-famous Afghan Girl to a 1991 portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi—this is an exceptional opportunity to see a comprehensive overview of one of our most important photojournalists.

Once you’ve had your fill of the Gillam Barracks, head out and explore some other galleries scattered throughout the city. Over at Linda Gallery, there’s a retrospective of Chen Liu’s wry, funny paintings. STPI presents to the latest work of Singaporean artist Jane Lee, combining unconventional materials into tactile, dynamic installations.

Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word (2015). Courtesy of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word (2015). Courtesy of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Lastly, you absolutely do not want to miss the opening of Joan Jonas’ “They Come to Us without a Word” at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art on January 22. Originally created for the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, this large-scale exhibition focuses on Jonas’ poetic examination of human and ecological fragility. So if you didn’t make to Venice this year, this is your chance to catch up with on one of its most poignant installations.

Once you’ve done your art-seeing duty, go ahead and lay on one of Singapore’s many beaches, and order an outrageously colorful cocktail. You’ve earned it.

Zai Kuning, A Distance Between All Reality (2015). Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts.

Zai Kuning, A Distance Between All Reality (2015). Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts.

Exhibition: Our Nature: Ay Tjoe Christine + Zai Kuning
When:
December 12, 2015–January 30, 2016
Where:
Ota Fine Arts, 7 Lock Road 01-13, Gillman Barracks, Singapore

Exhibition: Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs
When:
January 16–February 21, 2016
Where:
Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock Road 01-05, Gillman Barracks, Singapore

Belinda Fox, Grounded (2015). Courtesy of Chan Hampe Galleries.

Belinda Fox, Grounded (2015). Courtesy of Chan Hampe Galleries.

Exhibition: Balancing the World
When:
January 15–February 14, 2016
Where:
Chan Hampe Galleries, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Unit 01/21, 328 North Bridge Road, Singapore

Amir Nikravan, Wall III (2015). Courtesy of ARNDT.

Amir Nikravan, Wall III (2015). Courtesy of ARNDT.

Exhibition: Amir Nikravan: Masks
When:
December 13–January 17, 2016
Where:
ARNDT Singapore, 9 Lock Road 03-21, Gillman Barracks, Singapore

Exhibition: Image Correction – Wang Guangyi
When:
January 12–February 12, 2016
Where:
Singapore MOCA, 27A Loewen Road, Singapore

Exhibition: Joan Jonas: They Come to Us without a Word
When:
January 22–April 3, 2016
Where:
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Block 43 Malan Road, Singapore

Chen Liu. Courtesy of Linda Gallery.

Chen Liu. Courtesy of Linda Gallery.

Exhibition: Retrospective Exhibition of Chen Liu
When:
January 29–February 29, 2016
Where:
Linda Gallery, Block 15 Dempsey Road 01-08, Singapore

Yinka Shonibare, Girl Balancing Knowledge (2015). Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

Yinka Shonibare, Girl Balancing Knowledge (2015). Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

Exhibition: Yinka Shonibare: Childhood Memories
When:
January 21–March 13, 2016
Where:
Pearl Lam Galleries, 9 Lock Road 03-22, Gillman Barracks, Singapre

Jane Lee, Just a Moment I,I. Courtesy of STPI.

Jane Lee, Just a Moment I,I. Courtesy of STPI.

Exhibition: Jane Lee: Freely, Freely
When:
January 17–February 20, 2016
Where:
STPI, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore

Oanh Phi Phi, Mapa mundi detail (2015). Courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore.

Oanh Phi Phi, Mapa mundi detail (2015). Courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore.

Exhibition: Sous la lune / Beneath the Moon
When:
December 12, 2015–February 3, 2016
Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street, Singapore

 


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