Carpe Bloom went to Art Stage 2018, an anchor event for Singapore Art Week this year. Art Stage is a fair held annually in both Singapore and Jakarta. Within the fair are galleries – each of these galleries house the individual pieces of artists from Asia and sometimes the home-country of the curators, such as London, Italy, Japan and Korea.
All photography by Trevor Wee unless stated in the caption.
Art Stage 2018 was a truly wonderful experience, and one that I will not forget.
Accompanied by my cover artist, Ajit and photographer, Trevor, we went to Art Stage Media Preview Day 1 expecting a display of primarily Southeast Asian work, as Art Stage Singapore is the flagship art fair of the Southeast Asian region. However, upon stepping inside and taking in the work by Hiroshi Senju, a Japanese Artist, and exploring the entire Convention hall in awe of artists’ works situated in 1 Project Gallery, Number One Gallery, Wei Ling Gallery, and of course Alexander Calder’s anticipated hovering exhibit, we realized that Art Stage had outdone itself in proving that Art could truly bring out the best in an individual (Southeast Asian region) while highlighting the beauty of the people around the individual (The home-countries of numerous other artists and curators from the UK, Korea, United States).
Do you recognize the familiar shape of the wave in another famous artwork?
ART STAGE is the flagship show of the Southeast Asian art world and the region’s key voice in representing the interests of Asian art in the global arena. Through its insights on the regional art landscape, the Fair acts as a catalyst for driving international interest in and understanding of Southeast Asian art and igniting heightened market activity. ART STAGE also plays a pivotal role in developing and bridging various segmented art markets in the region. At the crossroads of Southeast Asia and the world, ART STAGE creates a singular and unified Southeast Asian market, positioned to be more competitive with the more developed global art markets in the West and China.
Here’s what we saw – and found to be intriguing!
Jan Wisse’s Brilliant Brollys (or, unique umbrellas)
Jan Wisse incorporates the body parts of the female body into much of this series, entitled ‘Character Cocoons’. These umbrellas aren’t just decked out, they’re crafted into character.
More information here.
Echo Guo, an exhibitor of FLOWERS GALLERY, kindly took us through the stunning 3D work by Patrick Hughes entitled Peachy Palazza.
If you walk alongside the frame, the painting “follows” you! Walking TOWARDS the frame, you’ll find the buildings – and the intricately drawn windows! – enlarging right before your eyes.
Mineral Miracles by Chung Tai Fu @ Gallery Sun
This section's photographs are by Athena.
Mineral Miracles is not the official name of his series.
I went back to ART STAGE on 26 January for its official opening day, and met a talented artist by the name of Chung Tai Fu. He paints with silver-coloured minerals as his base, and uses organic materials to tease out colour and create his masterpieces. For example, cobalt for blue.
For more information: click here.
Bears and Ice Cream by Byun Dae Yong
We couldn’t bear artist Byun Dae Yong’s work – remarkably adorable yet very, very elegant sculptures of polar bears – all with some form of ice cream attached to them. We were told by the exhibitor/representative that Byun Dae Yong had approached the issue of ‘global warming’ – where polar bears and other animals living on the icy lands are in danger due to large chunks of their land melting from the increased global warming – with an air of optimism. ‘A Bear Eating Ice Cream’ exhibit presents the Bears carrying ice cream cutely.
More information here.
Oasis in the Desert by Minsong Kim
Minsong Kim’s work features night-time as a constant element. When we asked her representative/Exhibitor why, the answer shows Minsong’s passionate nature about bringing things to life:
“When she was travelling – she has a painting of her travels in Morocco here – she expected the night-times in these new overseas environments to be filled with energy and life. She didn’t experience that during her time spent travelling, and painted these to bring warmth and energy to the time usually perceived as cold and unfriendly – night-time.”
More information: https://www.artsy.net/artist/minsong-kim
Live Painting by Verapong Sritrakulkitjakarn @ S.A.C Gallery (Bangkok)
The artist seems like a magician – fusing numerous faces, creatures, historical periods and symbols together within a frame. “He lives it open to your interpretation”, the curator explains. “What he does it gather pictures – references – of things he would liek to add to the painting, and then he paints it in. But what he also does is bring people, places and time together, quite literally, as you can see from the painting.”
More information here.
Choy Chun Wei’s version of Status Quo & Identities @ Wei Ling Gallery
Noel, a curator for Wei Ling Gallery, told us about Choy Chun Wei’s work regarding identity. The many geometrical shapes represent urbanisation, and the way they are framed over faceless silhouettes imply that we are all constantly “trapped” in our devices – our phones, our tablets – which are in these regular rectangular or square shapes.
More Information here.
Action Painting @ Marc Straus Gallery
Video by Trevor. Featuring the work of JINSU HAN.
“You know how usually we show paintings…conveying some sense of emotion?
The machine is painting. It is just a machine. There are no feelings. However, it is making art.”
ART STAGE 2018’s theme was Interactions. The line that best reflects this in their Press Release was said by Lorenzo Rudolf, the president of ART STAGE:
“One of the main goals of ART STAGE is to promote the Southeast Asian art world, and to matchmake and bring these national art scenes closer to each other as well as to the international world.”
As for our verdict on ART STAGE’s presentation of the theme Interactions, we would say that such a theme has been exemplified at ART STAGE Singapore 2018, with the many galleries and curated visuals insinuating exactly what Interactions can be formed from the juxtaposition of back alleys from Hong Kong and a few hundred knots of a dictionary mounted in a frame: Bring cultures together.
Interactions bring diverse bodies together, and it’s wonderful.
Special thanks to ART STAGE SG 2018 team for enabling Carpe Bloom to have the wonderful opportunity of attending ART STAGE,
and Olivia and Phoebe for the warm welcome at the dinner!
FEATURED IMAGE: Interactive Art Session Exhibit/Session at the Front of Hall at ART STAGE 2018. Taken by Trevor Wee, photographer for Carpe Bloom.
More information on ART STAGE:
Written by Athena Tan, Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Carpe Bloom. Thank you for reading, and look AHEAD for the release of Issue 4: 3^2 UP, in THREE DAYS!