Art Stage Singapore the Third, 2013

Vernissage night - Yours truly and Andy Warhol. Well, his signature silkscreen ink artworks at Jablonka Galerie.
Attending art fairs has always made the silly school girl in me squeal in delight. Yes, I am one of those people who would find it utmost fascinating to roam the halls of an art museum on a weekend, ogling and spending hours allowing my imagination to travel beyond the canvas. Subjective admiration has always been attributed to art more so than any other artistic expression like that of music, books, dance, theatre, fashion or poetry. Where art is concerned, its value is relative to the celebrity element such as statuses of certain masterclass pieces (Hopper, Matisse, Picasso), art criticism, speculation, promotion, hype and conversations.  Arguably, art is priceless. Its worth is as much as we the beholders perceive it to be regardless of whoever painted, photographed, sculptured or installed it.

On the left, ARNDT Gallery from Berlin. They have a gallery at Gillman Barracks here in Singapore if you wanna check them out.
Entang Wiharso, Expanded Dreams (sculpture), 2011 set against his Rejected Landscape (painting), 2012. The correlating sculpture and oil canvas painting gives off an unearthy tone, almost terrifying and mysterious. Indonesian artist Wiharso is known for his vivid depictions of 'personal disclosure"between man's inner dialogues and the world in which he inhabits.  
I had the opportunity to visit the third edition of Art Stage Singapore on its Vernissage on 23 Jan 2013 on assignment for M.O.D.A magazine’s 2nd quarter issue. Granted, I am a layman when it comes to judging the quality and value of art. My impressions upon it has nevertheless been of high-regard as when I was a child, art was clearly the choice medium of expression I found myself thoroughly involved in. I would get bored easily and soon found that transporting myself into an imaginary world through paint/crayons provided a far more sustainable form of entertainment than a game of tag. Pictures to me are worth more than a thousand words, heck, a thousand word assignment is nothing compared to the endless perspectives one graphical form provides.

From the Indonesian Pavillion: S. Teddy D's Jalan Kertas (Paper Road), 2012 - 1000cm long ink on paper. Drawn with Chinese ink, the scroll illustrates the various thoughts and opinions Teddy D expresses through the various stages in his life from a personal standpoint - as though he were conversing with himself.
Aditya Novali's Unscale Reality, 2005-2012. Constructed from coated steel, wood, copper, paint, LED fabric, Plexiglass, and resin on some interactive rotatable triangular parts. I was drawn by the tiny rooms complete with furniture and lighting within the structure that gave off a dystopian-like reflection towards concrete living within a cold, harden society. The theme is that of an Urban Paradox - according to Novali; a depiction of tragedy, glory, struggle and victory in two different realms. 
Art stage this year commits itself ever more fervently on the subject of an emerging Asia as a competitive art platform. With a reported 75% of the participating 131 galleries hail from Asia with more than 600 artists from 23 countries, it’s theme - We Are Asia - is on full display with a humongous pavilion dedicated to Indonesian works as well as an accompanying albeit much smaller Singapore Platform. It’s most disappointing attribute was how minuscule support was attributed towards local Singaporean art and its artists.
Singaporean photographer John Clang's latest gravity defying work; Myth of the Flat Earth, 2012 at 2902 Gallery. Well-dressed folk captured in mid-air. A certain curiosity is struck as I question the motives and stories behind the subjects of Clang's photographs. Nothing is what is seems as Clang exposes the misconceptions and perceptions about modern living that society has inadvertently caused us to have. 
Day 3 at Art Stage with John Clang and his wife Elin. It was a pleasure being able to interview the 2010 President's Design Award winner on his creative process, inspirations and upcoming projects over some coffee. Both John and Elin had their schedules full with Art Week events and their projects so I am incredibly thankful that they were able to fit me in at such short notice. Full interview will be featured on MODA mag so stay tuned.
For a Wednesday evening, Vernissage night at Art Stage pulled quite a gathering of international art lovers, collectors, curators, buyers, art consultants, artists, writers, lecturers, gallery owners and those of the upper echelons of society. The spacious halls were boisterous, filled with chatter in just about every language as I spotted many a guest requesting for pricelists. Not bad for opening night. Art fairs are after all trade fairs where international galleries such as Seoul’s Kukje Gallery, London’s White Cube, Manila’s The Drawing Room, Takeshi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery, and Germany’s Eigen+Art to name a few, bring out their freshest pieces for the sole purpose of catching the fancy of buyers and collectors. Got a couple of millions just lying around doing nothing? How about a Warhol to brighten your walls?

Pieces from Galeria El Museo from Bogota. Behind: those bright blue eyes as photographed by Adriana Duque. Such childlike innocence that I can't help but feel a sense of trepidation and a slight tinge of the paranormal.

Quaint sculptural figurines at the Linda Gallery
Dramatic facepalming (not actual title lol) by Italian artist Pier Paolo Pitacco.
While I would like to add that I partied that night to the drumming beats of One Direction (gasp!) at the exclusive members-only Spider Room next to the glitzy club Avalon, however I can only say that I could only bear a mere 20 minutes packed like sardines alongside champagne-sipping VIPs before calling it a night after excusing myself onto the open-air deck for some fresh air. Not that I was here for the night time entertainment. With all that said, in conclusion, Art Stage certainly fits the bill for that one-stop shop destination to meet all your high-end, contemporary fine art needs. An applaudable attempt indeed however with Hong Kong still everyone’s default go-to destination for art, what would Art Stage 2014 bring to the international art arena to challenge that position? I can’t wait.

I managed to catch hold of Singaporean artist Ang SooKoon as she graciously revealed the perspectives behind her work: Weights Like Mind - Four Drawers, Your Love is like a chink of gold and The Waves/Waifs
The Kaikai Kiki Gallery owned by renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami shows off the epitome of "kawaii-ness" in the form of wide-eyed girls in pastel fantasy like this oil on canvas by ob
The candy glo Jelly Baby family in all its pop transparent resin glory by Italian artist Mauro Perucchetti. They almost look delectable to a point. Not for actual consumption! lol 

It's hard to look away when there are hundreds of heads piled up high in a heap before you. Behold the terracotta heads - Java, 2011 - by Indonesian artist Dadang Christanto
Presenting the Batman Family (Girls) by Gerard Rancinan at the Opera Gallery. The play on comic book anti-hero Batman of crime ridden Gotham City is highly amusing as is this family of girls pokes fun at the state of which our lives have become saturated with pop culture and its tragic consequences. Here the Batman family although obviously wealthy is sterile and devoid of emotion or actual familial affection.  
Initiated by MAD (Museum of Art and Design), the Aibudao is a collaborative installation between Ai Weiwei and Eric So. These oversized bauble figures bearing the face of controversial artist and political activist Ai Weiwei are the caricaturization of his nude studio portrait series. Hilarious no?
With the classically stunning Michelle - the gallery owner of Upspace, Beijing. This installation by Gao Rong is entitled, The Luxury, 2012 under the Project Stage platform
The view from Kaikai Kiki Gallery looking across Gallery Hyundai
The charming And Then , And Then, And Then, And Then, And Then, And Then (Red Dots: The Superflat Method) by Takashi Murakami was sold for a reported US$550,000 at Galerie Perrotin


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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