Art Stage Singapore is the flagship art event in South East Asia, held each year during Art Week. This year’s theme was “City and Art in the Urban Age” and featured works from 173 galleries spanning 34 countries, many in South East Asia. Always on the hunt for inspiration, a group of us from the Singapore Studio headed over to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel to take a look.
Our first stop was the Japanese gallery, Incurve, where we came across artist Katsuhiro Terao’s crayon drawings portraying several Singapore landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, temples in Chinatown and shop houses in Katong. What really stood out for us here was the curating. To complement the art, the space was divided in half in in a black and white symmetrical manner. Instantly Wabi-sabi, instantly Japanese.
Moving on, and we came across one piece which everyone has been talking about since – Damien Hirst’s monumental Black Scalpel Cityscape of Singapore (Singapore, 2014). Thousands of blades and sharp steel objects have been assembled to create a bird’s-eye view of one part of urbanised Singapore. It’s a stunning piece.
Next we came across Thailand’s Anon Pairot and his work inspired by traditional weaving techniques. Pairot worked with local weavers to create a life-sized Ferrari woven with rattan – an interesting comment on the growing socio-economic divide between worlds.
We were then drawn to the large-scale, hand-built ceramic sculptures created by Hsu Yung-Hsu – a real talking point in the gallery space.
Round the corner, this sculpture grabbed our attention. ‘Where do I go and who do I follow?’ – a universal question for those who live in the urban age and get lost in the crowd. Sometimes love, dream and work can be heavy to carry, but they can also bind us together.
Overall, we left the exhibition thinking a little differently about the urban environment and culture that we live in, but also refreshingly inspired.
A big thanks to Anke for writing this blog post.