11 Highlights of Singapore Art Week 2018

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home

By Lifestyle Guide

April 27 2018

Image Source: artweek.sg, 'ARTWALK Little India'

We had twelve days of Christmas in the giving months of December, but here in January, we have twelve equally, wonderful days to take a step back and immerse in the blossoming local arts scene as Singapore Art Week (SAW) 2018 commences.

With more than 100 events going on concurrently for this spectacular affair, here are our personal highlights for SAW that we think you should cover for those who have no idea on where to start.

ARTWALK Little India (18th January – 27th January)

Since the first edition held in 2015, visitors have doubled in scale with 17 artworks and over 140,000 visitors over 5 days of programming. Artworks include wall murals, film music, and performances artists bring to life the history and traditions of Little India, as well as the personal stories of its community through this unbeatable art experience. 

Highlights include unique interactive programs, such as: ‘Senses – A Musical Theatre Dinner’ held by Audace Bar & Restaurant, guaranteed to ‘delight your palate, dazzle your eyes and sing to your ears, ‘Wellness in Writing’ which dedicates their time to have participants enjoy calligraphy through Craft Varies, a Singapore-based practice ‘established for self-discovery through the connection of mind and body’.

For those who want to go easy and snap some shots of public murals instead, make sure to sign up for the ARTWALK Trail held by Monster Day tours. This informative trail will let you know more about the story and artists behind the arresting and charming murals that’s emblazoned across Little India.

Is Anyone Home? By Superhero Me (17th January – 31st January)

This exhibition aims to explore what exactly defines a childhood from the perspectives of six children from diverse backgrounds. The primary medium used in this exhibition is mixed media work, and it’s intent is to let visitors question what exactly makes up a Singaporean child’s identity in the end.

Visitors can expect the exhibition to be an explorative one, as it depicts the worlds of these six, unique children. An example of how this is done can be seen from installations replicating their home environment to artworks such as drawings and photographs created solely by them.

Superhero Me chooses ‘embracing inclusion’ as it’s artistic choice and focuses their energy on shaping ‘the narrative of inclusion in Singapore’.  Visitors are also encouraged to drop by and participate in their available art workshops for ‘children of all abilities’.

BOXED UP – art in boxes by Iskandar Walen (23rd January – 28th January)

Some of us wear our heart on our sleeves, but Walen keeps his in a box; at Goodman Arts Centre, visitors can have a glimpse on how art and the past can be kept within the confines of a box.

This art exhibition will consist of a total of 15 works, and they will be available for viewing to the public until 28 January (Sunday). A hint to take note that will ensure you get the full experience during this exhibition is to make the effort to look and peer inside some of the individual boxes – who knows what details you might find?

5 Rehearsals of a Wedding by Kray Chen (17th January – 11th February)

You might know him as the artist who filmed himself jiggling his tummy, under arm and such for art, or as the guy who filmed himself running and climbing repetitively within the confines of Esplanade. But Kray Chen is a prominent multidisciplinary artist in the local arts scene, well-known for using his very own body as a canvas to get people thinking about the dysfunctions present in our society. ‘5 Rehearsals of a Wedding’ marks Kray Chen’s first foray into film production.

This piece aims to uncover and consider the rituals of an average Singaporean Chinese wedding, in an attempt to grasp the anxieties and behaviors associated with such weddings today. The 29-minute long short film will be available for viewing and admission is free at Objectifs.

Waterloo Street Crawl (13th January – 11th February)

Here’s one arts activity for those who fancy taking the road less travelled – Waterloo Street Crawl is an application-guided walking trail that shows the interesting and hidden secrets peppered along Singapore’s downtown district. Participants will find themselves absorbed in the sights, sounds and smells of the area, and are encouraged to take snapshots to document their journey along as they complete the trail.

Those who finish their trail at Practice Tuckshop will be part of the Waterloo Street Mural, an interactive art installation painted by Singaporean artist Low Jia Han and TTP’s very own Teh Xiang Her. The Waterloo Street Crawl application is available for download on iTunes and Google Play store.

ART STAGE Singapore 2018 (26th January – 28th January)

This year marks the eighth edition of the flagship show showcasing the Southeast Asian art world.  In 2018, ART STAGE Singapore will nail a special focus on the flourishing arts scene from Thailand, and marks the edition with the new initiative and theme of ‘Interactions’.

Count yourself lucky to see the best of contemporary art at Southeast Asia’s flagship art fair. Artists not to miss include Fernando Botero, ART STAGE first Honorary invited Artist, and artists from Thailand which includes Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Natee Utarit, Rirkrit Tiravanijia, Manit Sriwanchipoom and Sakarin Krue On.

Progress: The Game of Leaders by Sam Lo (22nd January – 28th January)

Ever wondered what choices you’d make as a leader if your aim were to bring the nation to be the very best? Make yourself available and give a shot at this highly interactive sculpture created by Sam Lo, the self-taught Singaporean artist who is also dubbed as the ‘Sticker Lady’.

From this piece of work, the artist hopes to translate the idea that with progress comes compromise – sometimes you’d have to make unpopular decisions because they may be the only best decision available at that point of time.

This interactive piece created resembles the old-school Jenga blocks. But these blocks are labeled with ‘Military Spending’, ‘Stronger Currency’ and such, symbolizing the hefty decisions one has to make as they gun for the top. Make it a point to note on how and what compromises you end up making as you compete with fellow friends to build up the highest sculpture. The main goal at the end of the day is to make the tower as high as possible. 

Light to Night Festival 2018: Color Sensations (19th January – 28th January)

This year, the annual urban art event celebrates its second edition at the bustling Civic District of Singapore. Whether if you are a visitor or just passing by chance, be in awe as major cultural institutions and parks are transformed into dazzling works of art when night falls.  Some works that you shouldn’t miss include ‘Flowers and People – Dark’ by teamLab, ‘A Stitch In Time’ by David Medalla and many more others listed under the different zones available within the festival!

Aside from the light displays, visitors can also sprawl and chill on the open field of The Padang. Food is also available for purchase at The Padang, and well-known mentions include the ‘Raclette Factory’, ‘Sofnade’ and others! Given that there are over 60 public programmes and performances planned, you know you are in for a good time as there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Art After Dark by Gillman Barracks (26th January) 

Visitors can expect new gallery openings during this night time open house event such as FOST Gallery’s ‘The Foster Emporium’, Ota Fine Art’s ‘Chen Wei: Fresh Dewdrop’ and others! Aside from these openings, visitors can also get a rare glimpse into the artist studios present at the area.

Special programmes include the launch of DISINI, a curated festival consisting of a series of events, art exhibitions and public engagements. Art After Dark covers the first phase of DISINI, which consists of ‘the launch of commissioned public artworks and an architectural pavilion’.

If that’s not enough, Here/Now will also be ongoing - it's a curated list of musical acts that marks the launch of DISINI. Music performances include .gif, Aesop Cash + Unknown Radicals, NADA, MEAN and DJ sets by many others such as Darker Than Wax and Jacques Green.

PVM Live! by The Parkview Museum (27th January) 

If you ever wondered what it is like to hang out at a museum after hours, find yourself digging this experience by showing up for PVM Live! at The Parkview Museum. Expect a stellar performance line-up such as an artistic improvisation by Bani Haykal, a performance by Weish (dotgif) and a live DJ set by Rah (Darker Than Wax).  This is one for those who have always wanted a mash-up between great music and art exhibits!

Make use of the second last day of Singapore Arts Week in the year 2018 by enjoying the company of sterling melodies going on in the background and available drinks provided at the party – museum assistants will still be present to offer their personal insights on the works available for viewing during the party, in case you are still in need of that art fix as the night goes on.  

Art Market at SAM (Singapore Art Museum) (28th January)

For some, there’s no better way to wrap up this iconic art week then indulging in some retail therapy with artisanal crafts and products crafted by a remarkable curated selection of local designers, start-ups and food entrepreneurs!

So make your way down to the open courtyards of SAM with your wallets at hand, and enjoy the final day of Singapore Art Week 2018 by getting unique trinkets or food items for you and your loved ones.

Featured Image Credit: Visit Singapore