In my explorations of South East Asian art scene, its galleries and artists, I am taking in the Art Fairs - this month is Singapore's AAF, and next up will be Art Stage Singapore.
This video is my curated journey around the fair, picking out some of the galleries and artists who I felt were exhibiting work which represents the exciting contemporary art scene that is growing in South East Asia.
New York-based French artist Bernar Venet has been exploring the notions of indetermination, disorder, chance, and unpredictability through art for decades. His solo exhibition at Art Plural Gallery has been a bold introduction to Singapore. The two month show closes on 24th November 2012, so if you are in the area do catch it this week.
The artworks on show include paintings of mathematical equations set in free plastic forms, which are part of Bernar Venet’s latest series. His Saturations and Shaped Canvases comprise mathematical formulas that boast a total degree of abstraction. Talking at the gallery, Venet explains that where other artists in the past have used diverse disciplines such as religion, botanics or geometry to be the framework, subject or motivation of their art, he draws from the field of mathematics. The artist passionately notes that, uniquely, “art is a discipline in itself, that feeds itself using other disciplines…to go beyond anything that was thought before.”
2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death. Catching the last day of the “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal” retrospective at the ArtScience Museum was an early highlight (and a jet-lag kicker) upon arriving into Singapore last month.
A commercial illustrator by training, Warhol was fascinated by the relationships between fame, celebrity, art, fashion, advertising and our consumer society which he explored repeatedly in his work. Often controversial, Warhol remains a complex and often misunderstood character whose art depicting objects such as Campbell's soup cans and celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Mao Tse-Tung, has been imprinted into the public's collective consciousness for decades.
Having recently relocated to a new studio in Singapore where I am making a new body of work, I decided to make this post more about my working process than my artwork progress.
Singapore is amazing, sensory and inspirational. In my first week I felt both swamped in things to do (as I have everything to do in terms of exciting new places to visit, pushing forward my projects / studio / ongoing initiatives as well as setting up a new home for the time that I am here) and also a rather unusual, floating feeling of nothing to do (as I am so new to life here nothing is set in stone yet, and I have no set daily routine.)
It’s been a while since I put fingertips to keyboard. As some readers, fellow creatives and friends will know, my efforts and braincells have been flurrying around over the last few months working to set up a second art studio in Singapore. Here, I will be creating a new body of artwork, as well as some exciting opportunities for other artists who will get the chance to take part in an exchange programme. Whilst time intensive, the process has involved forging many exciting new relationships and collaborations, meeting new people and discovering new places. I am delighted, amazed and overwhelmed to tell you that I am finally here: ensconced in my new art studio, equipped with a fresh horde of brushes, metallic pigments and ink pens, in the inspiring city of Singapore.
I don't usually blog this sort of thing, but I was pretty impressed by this cultural spectacle. As were the hundreds of other watchers who had come to see the ceremony on the big screen at Greenwich royal naval college, which was a fantastic place to view it and a real display of the multicultural nature of London.
Anyone living in London will have noticed that in preparation for the Olympic Games, a myriad of shiny new buildings, facades and artworks are materializing all over our City. This weekend I decided to bypass the luster and ostentation of new sights, and the glister of resurfaced old ones. I took a closer look at the things that have de-materialised, or are simply not there. (Like the Australian team bus that got lost somewhere between Heathrow and the Olympic Park last week, being spotted briefly somewhere around Buckingham Palace.)
I took a look at some invisible visions and the Hayward Gallery's exhibition Invisible Art of the Unseen...
The seemingly alive installation, composed of 1,216 bronze droplets attached to individual motorized pulleys, bobs and weaves in Terminal 1′s departure hall at Changi Airport. While some examples of airline art look like they could’ve used more planning (the Oslo wang) or boldness (or less boldness, as is the case with Denver International’s “evil robo-horse” and what-the-freak murals), this moving artwork is minimalism at its best.
The exhibition presents the largest survey of new Korean art to date, and highlights an exciting group of artists who have recently emerged on the global art scene, producing work that provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in Korea. The show begins on 26th July, but if you pop into the gallery now you can see a taste of Korea coming through. Intricate oil paintings on aluminium surfaces by Hyung Koo Kang really draw you in, and beautiful 'translated vases' by Yeesookyung are growing in the lower gallery spaces. Made from 'ceramic trash', Yeesookyung's uncanny and bumpy objects have organic, bubbling forms featuring fragments of Korean patterned vases joined in a frankenstein-like manner to make new, growing forms.
The nice people at Londonist just did an interview with me about the current show 'Games people play'. It's also my way of announcing a bit of news to you... I am setting up a second studio in Singapore and will be relocating there for a while to do so! Read on...
This piece is the fifth in the Rubik’s Series of sculptures. The series began with the premise of rebuilding a 2D ‘calendar structure’ using transparent glass & glass resin cubes, and giving this an organic, exaggerated Rubik’s cube structure – in a shimmering exploration of time, chaos & order.
Last night's private view of Games People Play saw the unveiling of a dissected dollar bill in a different format. Made from real dollars, the series is very intricate by nature, and I love that it forces the viewer to question what they are seeing and recognise parts of the dollar that they have never truly looked at before. See what you think of the images below. Visitors were very excited to accept my challenge - find the hidden message in the artwork: I have used the letters in the dollar to pick out some new words...
Custom/Practice are staging a slickly-edited, contemporary take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for this summer’s Almeida Festival. Artistic Director Rae Macken recently took a few minutes to chat about the cast, the setting and why those elements make this production of Dream unique.
This new exhibition is a playful nod to any games from the Olympics, to the Euros, Wimbledon to board games, toys to political or mind games. The artists have responded to this theme to create a concoction of playful artworks that play with your mind.... opens next Tuesday at Nolia's Gallery (Southwark Tube, near Tate Modern), please join us for the private view evening.
A kidnapped banker, an some escaped fairies and a body of work that has sprung from a duo of artists who’ve collaborated since childhood…. This is a review by Nicola Anthony, originally published in Trebuchet Magazine.
I will be popping along to this show on Wednesday, and would recommend it for everyone who loves design at its most exciting and cutting edge. My specific thoughts to follow, in the meanwhile here is what it's all about....
I REVIEWED THIS SHOW IN TREBUCHET MAGAZINE, SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE OR READ ON BELOW… “Sometimes an aesthetically appealing tiger cub or a quirky ladybird can overshadow the actual substance of the artwork”
The genre-busting artHAUS exhibition at DegreeArt Gallery is still open until June. Having been featured in the guardian's lifestyle picks, it's well worth a visit - It is very inspiring for me to see the art in the context of interior design. The art spills out onto the walls (in some cases quite literally) and inspires other elements in the room. It's very imagination capturing and eclectic. But also rather nice to get inspiration for how to place objects & art in our own homes & spaces. I have recently rearranged my studio to reflect a string of inspirations emanating out of one central artwork.
My recent group show ArtHAUS has been featured in the Evening Standard including images of my work in the 'living room' - "Bursting with statement pieces by up-and-coming creative talent, this eclectic show is bridging the gap between contemporary art and interior design. The downstairs floor of the Hackney gallery has been split into five small spaces, each of which looks like a different room in a real home."
It's a HAUS full of intrigue - Chopped up money, amazing vintage sofas, a human sized apple, giant paintings of our lovely Queen, organic sculptures growing in the bathroom, and a 'kitchen sculpture' made from a pile of fragile, ephemeral egg shells.
ArtHAUS opened last month, and I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who came along. If you didn't make it there's another chance to meet the artists at a private view & press viewing next Thursday. It has been fantastic to get such great coverage from the likes of Art Review and Guardian, for both the show as a whole and my own series of Ha’dollar artworks which Londonist noted as “hypnotic dissections and re-arrangements of one dollar bills that make you question what you’re seeing”. (see more press here).