SINGAPORE — Days before the start of Art Stage Singapore, many of the galleries at Gillman Barracks worked together to welcome visitors to an opening night with several new exhibitions staged. Fourteen galleries are now up and running in the new art hub so there is plenty to see. Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop has selected her top 5:
Mizuma Gallery: For colorful and unusual furniture and objects, “The Art of Cleto Munari,” presents artistically designed limited-edition hand-made furniture and objects from members of the Transavantgarde movement in collaboration with artist/designer Cleto Murani. This important Italian movement from the 1970s and 80s was a reaction to the dominance of conceptual and minimalist art.
Alfredo and Isabal Aquilizan currently have a solo exhibition at The Drawing Room. “Prototypes” presents their recent works on the exploration on the theme of displacement and mobility such as “Last Flight” – angel wings made of slippers found on the beach. While a previous version was shown at the Singapore Art Museum a few years ago, this work is colorful and visually more striking. Meanwhile, “Transportables” (after in-habit Project Another Country) are large sculptures made of re-used transport palettes and cardboard boxes. A visually engaging show.
Nobuaki Takekawa’s solo show at Ota Fine Arts questions the progress of a Western-originated world especially in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Using engaging maritime mythology, mapping, and boats “We Are Pirates of Unchartered History” raises questions on how technology will be charted in history and how the inventions of tomorrow will give rise to a closer, global society. Seek out “Island of Nuclides,” a sprawling map of a fictitious island mass assembled from unstable chemical elements of the Periodic Table.
Geng Jianyi –The Artist Researcher showing at ShanghART is a large scale exhibition of the avant-garde pioneer-artist Geng Jianyi that features works spanning over 20 years. It includes “The Window of the World” series of black and white photographs which experiment with light and exposure to address issue of personal identity, as well as “Why it is a Classic,” a series of books open on a page where colorful ink has seeped onto the paper.
Tomoko Nagai’s cute works at Tomio Kayama Gallery mix little girls and animals living seemingly peacefully in imaginary forests. Like pages from a children’s book, each work has a theatrical, dreamy setting enhanced by the mix of oil, acrylic, watercolor, color pencils, and pastel. Though the works do not carry any specific narrative, it’s easy to get lost inside them thanks to her great attention to detail.
Also of interest, Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s The Gamelatron Jalan Jiwo at Sundaram Tagore, an impressive kinetic sculpture installation involving 28 bronze and steel Balinese gamelan instruments.
The on-going retrospective of Agostino Bonalumi at Parners & Mucciacia presents a large number of monochrome works ranging from the 1960s to today and is a great opportunity to fully appreciate the experimentation in this Italian master’s raised canvases.