• Shows
  • Jan 15, 2024

Shows to See in Singapore, January 2024

*Updated on Jan 16, 2024. 

Marina Bay Sands Singapore, venue of Art SG 2024, via WikiCommon. 

“Art Takes Over” is the title of Singapore Art Week 2024, which encompasses more than 150 exhibitions, programs, and events citywide from January 19 to 28. While many of the festivities are oriented toward the wider public, the international art market has its anchors in the Art SG fair, with 114 galleries arriving from 33 countries and territories to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands for the VIP preview and vernissage on January 18. The selling platform SEA Focus, organized by the Singapore gallery STPI, is held at Tanjong Pagar Distripark from January 20–28. Curated by John Tung, SEA Focus is titled “Serial and Massively Parallel” and brings together the works of 50-plus artists from with 22 galleries, with a focus on how emerging technologies are impacting regional art-making practices.

Major museum shows are also be on view, such as the National Gallery Singapore’s cross-regional survey of 20th-century Latin American and Southeast Asian art, “Tropical: Stories from Southeast Asia and Latin America.” Singapore Art Museum (SAM)’s two contemporary exhibition projects in January are Simryn Gill’s and Charles Lim’s collaborative exhibition, “The Sea is a Field,” with works made on their travels across the Straits of Malacca; and Vietnamese filmmaker Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s debut of a new film and sound installation 47 Days, Sound-less (2023) on filmic representations and reconstructions of nature. SAM has also organized “Time and the Tiger,” a monographic survey of Singaporean video and new-media artist Ho Tzu Nyen. Another cross-regional survey, held at The Institutum in Gillman Barracks, “Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics,” is curated by Chisenhale Gallery director Zoé Whitley and presents 100 internationally acclaimed artists from the African and Asian continents and diasporas. The VH Award, sponsored by Hyundai Motor Group, exhibits works by grand prize winner Subash Thebe Limbu and shortlisted artists Zike He, Riar Rizaldi, Su Hui-Yu at the Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film

Beyond the art fairs and these exhibitions, here are more notable shows to see during Art Week Singapore 2024. 

LEOW WEI LI & CELESTE TAN, Bubbling Stutterance, 2023, Cushion, Carpet Strips, Foam, 115 × 61 × 70 cm. Courtesy Wonder. 

Sep 1, 2023–Jan 28
Leow Wei Li and Celeste Tan: Palpable Affinities
Wonder by White Jacket

Visual artists Leow Wei Li and Celeste Tan have teamed up to exhibit “Palpable Affinities” at Wonder, an extension of the hospitality design studio White Jacket. Their installations explore how everyday objects can develop a new sense of existence as “sentient matter” when taken out of their “assigned functions.” In our reality of hyperconsumerism, Li and Tan hope to provide an introspective space amid all the noise. 

NAKROB MOONMANAS, All the poetry and the pity of the scene, 2023, still from single-channel video: 4min 40sec, courtesy the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

Jan 13–Feb 8
Doxa & Episteme – In Search of the Real Deal
Mizuma Gallery

Curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, the group exhibition “Doxa & Episteme”—the Greek words for “illusion” and “truth,” respectively—features works by Agan Harahap, Budi Agung Kuswara, Miti Ruangkritya, Nakrob Moonmanas, Naraphat Sakarthornsap, and Victoria Kosasie. The exhibition themes center around our modern-day trend of digitally manipulated culture, beliefs, and national identity. With artificial intelligence and malicious deep fakes becoming prevalent, “Doxa & Episteme” questions what the future of image-making might entail. 

Installation view of HTEIN LIN’s "Reincarceration," at Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore, 2024. Courtesy Richard Koh Fine Art. 

Jan 13–27
Htein Lin: Reincarceration
Richard Koh Fine Art

Burmese artist Htein Lin presents a poignant show on the ideas of Myanmar’s resilience, resistance, and continued struggle for liberty and human rights. “Reincarceration” encompasses works spanning the decades between the two periods of his political incarcerations, which first occurred in the late 1990s and again in 2022. Lin provides a voice for the trials and tribulations of his homeland and seeks to spark solidarity through his art.

AY TJOE CHRISTINE, Petal Number One, 2023, oil on canvas 180 × 190 cm. Courtesy the artist. 

Jan 13–Mar 2
Rina Banerjee, Ay Tjoe Christine, Maria Farrar: Self and Beyond
Ota Fine Arts

“Self and Beyond” brings together the works of female painters Ay Tjoe Christine from Indonesia, Maria Farrar from the Philippines, and sculptor Rina Banerjee from India. The displayed artworks by this trio explore themes of the self through reflections of personal emotions, self-presentation, and self-identity in our contemporary landscape.

Installation view of PRIYAGEETHA DIA’s "TURBINE TROPICS", at Frieze Seoul 2023, Yeo Workshop, COEX, Seoul, 2023. Courtesy Jonathan Tan for Yeo Workshop. 

Jan 17–28
Priyageetha Dia and Maryanto: Archiving Landscape
Yeo Workshop – 63 Kim Yam Road
Jan 13–Feb 10
Filippo Sciascia: Tablet
Yeo Workshop

The pop-up exhibition “Archiving Landscape” features recent works by Singaporean media artist Priyageetha Dia and Indonesian landscape artist Maryanto that reflect narratives surrounding Southeast Asia’s natural environments and encourages audiences to reflect on the ongoing climate crisis. At Yeo Workshop’s space in Gillman Barracks, the Bali-based artist Filippo Sciascia presents hyperrealist “cracked” paintings depicting our fixation with screens. 

HEMAN CHONG, Georgette Chen / 64 Butterfly Avenue / Singapore 13 / 2024.01, 2024, acrylic on stainless steel, 8.5 × 5.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore. 

Jan 17–Mar 10
Heman Chong: Meditations on Shadow Libraries

Heman Chong’s “Meditations on Shadow Libraries” features nine bodies of work that reflect his multimedia, conceptually rooted practice that spans paintings, installations, performance, and writing. The exhibition explores the ways in which personal, individual, and informal libraries have transformed as the dissemination of information and knowledge becomes instantaneous. 

J. JACKSON, A group of Rangoon Coolies, c. 1868. Courtesy Gajah Gallery. 

Jan 19–Feb 18
Customised Postures, (De)colonised Gestures
Gajah Gallery Singapore

Curated by Alexander Supartono, “Customised Postures, (De)colonised Gestures” is a group exhibition on the interconnection between photography in colonial Southeast Asia and contemporary art practices in the same region. Divided into two sections, the first part of the exhibition will showcase historical photographic portraiture, while the second displays works of various mediums that express motifs from the former. 

YEO TZE YANG, This Is A Pizza, 2023, oil on canvas 35.5cm x 45.4 × 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Fost Gallery. 

Jan 13–Mar 9
Yeo Tze Yang: My heart will go on and on and on
Fost Gallery

A prodigious realist painter of scenes from daily life, Yeo Tze Yang focuses his painterly gaze on the detritus found around Singapore, from takeout containers of half-eaten food to business advertisements and receipts left on the street. Finding humor in the neglected and forgotten, Yeo experiments with the presentation of his works, even putting one pair of paintings (of a dead rat) on a remote-controlled toy car that zooms around the gallery.

ANGIE SEAH, From Shadow to Shaman, 2015. Instructions, clay hammers, spotlight, public participation, dimensions variable, at Asia Society Triennial "We Do Not Dream Alone," New York City, 2021. Courtesy the artist. 

Jan 13–Feb 8
anGie seah: “‘a room of one’s own’ (and then it got legs)”

anGie presents her long-awaited solo exhibition “‘a room of one’s own’ (and then it got legs),” marking her first show in seven years. From social interventions to more traditional mediums such as sculpture, video, drawing, and performance, anGie’s practice seeks to comment on contemporary crises. This exhibition questions empathy and its hidden social fabric, where the notion of well being, pain, and physical incapacity have become recursive in everyday life. 

TANG DA WU, Our Children, 2012, galvanized steel, glass, and milk, 158 × 227 × 60 cm; 67 × 113 × 31 cm; 22 × 8 × 8 cm. Courtesy the artist and Solomon R. Guggenheim Musem. 

Jan 12–Feb 4
Tang Da Wu: Our Children

Art Outreach

Veteran Singaporean artist Tang Da Wu presents a restaging of his performance-installation Our Children at Art Outreach. Inspired by Chinese Teochew opera, Tang relays a story of a young boy who experiences enlightenment after witnessing a goat feed its baby. The original 2017 tapestry is also now available for public embroidery. In addition to showcasing Our Children, the exhibition also features tapestries and crafts depicting filial piety from private collections. 

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