Arts Preview Singapore

Preview: Art After Dark – Gillman Barracks Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary!

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Interestingly enough, in the five years that arts cluster Gillman Barracks has been set up, we’ve never actually set food into it till just a few days ago. But that’s precisely why this Friday would be the perfect day and time to come and down and check it out as they celebrate their 5th anniversary with Art After Dark! 

On 22nd September from 7pm till late, Gillman Barracks will be holding an all night party to commemorate their 5th birthday. Throughout the precinct, there’ll be a variety of art activities for visitors from all walks of life, presented in the form of a mega carnival complete with food stalls, live music and of course, art exhibitions galore.

Gillman Barracks has collaborated with contemporary arts platform Ocula to publish an all new informative bound book. Titled Art-In-Sight, the tome has received only a limited print run of 2000 copies and contains interviews with some of the most eminent figures who’ve worked with Gillman Barracks, including artists such as Michael Lee and Robert Zhao, as well as collectors and gallerists. In addition, the book contains plenty of essays about Singapore’s visual arts cluster, and will be officially launched this Friday at 6pm with a panel discussion from contributors to the volume as well as a Q&A session. Don’t fret; even if you miss out, we hear that they’ll be making the contents available as a downloadable version.

Still from Ho Tzu Nyen’s The Name, presented at Ghosts and Spectres

The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) will be presenting Exhibition (de)Tour: Flowers from our Bloodlines, a lecture performance by Zarina Muhammad in collaboration with choreographer Stefania Rossetti, exploring the concept of metamorphosis and shapeshifting at 7.30pm, as part of newly opened exhibition Ghosts and Spectres, a show that features artists as varied as Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and homegrown artist Ho Tzu Nyen. Guests will also be given an opportunity to get to know some of NTU CCA’s artists-in-residence better as well, and check out their studios and works-in-progress up close and personal as they open it up to the public.

Virtual Reality Reality 2
Photo Credit: Ryder Ripps 

We also know that no matter how many times you’ve encountered it, virtual reality (VR)  remains a thoroughly fascinating leap in technology. I mean, just look at the recent Black Mirror episode San Junipero, that just recently walked away with two Emmy awards. Jumping onto the VR train, Gillman Barracks has invited down New-York based artist Ryder Ripps to present a new solo exhibition titled Diventare Schiavo, a two-part multimedia installation work featuring an interactive VR experience: “Virtual Reality Reality and a sound installation, “Voice of God”, fresh from its premiere at the Venice Biennale. Sounds intriguing? You’ve got to come on down to put on those VR goggles and check out what the fuss is all about!

The Ryan Foundation (with support from ShangART Gallery), will also be presenting their first EVER collectors’ show at Gillman Barracks, and feature the private collections from FIVE Singapore-based collectors. Titled Re|Collecting Asia, the exhibition is a rare chance to see some of the most eclectic art works from all over the world.

Birth Chart
Birth Chart by Antonio Puri Photo Credit: Antonio Puri

Appropriately enough, a total of five new exhibitions will also be opening around the precinct in conjunction with the 5th Anniversary Celebrations. FOST Gallery will present Adeel Uz-Zafar’s Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, based off Dante’s The Divine Comedy while the Mizuma Gallery will present Indonesian artist Angki Purbandono’s If You Give Me Lemon, I’ll Make Lemonade, an exhibition that explores differing views of both the actual and urban jungles of the world.  The Sundaram Tagore Gallery will present a selection of large-scale abstract paintings by Bogota-based aritst Antonio Puri, Element Art Space will present a homage to first generation Singapore artist Chen Wen Hsi, and Chan + Hori Contemporary will be presenting a long-duration multi-disciplinary performance by arts collective Kaizen M.D., co-directed by Myanmese artist Aung Ko.

Stool Kit_Ishinomaki Lab
Photo Credit: Supermama

Finally, Gillman Barracks will also be welcoming back the Supermama Porcelain & Craft Festival for its second edition, which will focus on how common materials are given new life through solid workmanship and design, elevating them beyond their ‘common’ status. Supermama will also be collaborating with Ishinomaki Laboratory, to present Stories, Through Furniture, a furniture exhibition showcasing the stories behind Ishinomaki Laboratory’s innovative furniture designs.

Photo Credit: Bird Bird

For the people who haven’t the faintest idea about anything to do with visual arts, this is the perfect opportunity to come on down and get yourself acquainted with the local scene. Beyond being perfectly accessible, the anniversary celebrations will also be featuring plenty of the usual carnival fare, such as live music performances from local artists such as Linying and Disco Hue, and food stalls such as Bird Bird and even Keong Saik Street’s modern, urban izakaya Neon Pigeon.


Gillman Barracks is more than just a visual arts cluster. Nestled in an unassuming part of Singapore amongst lush greenery, it’s an arts hub that anyone, arts enthusiast or newbie, will be able to appreciate for the sheer amount of creativity and talent that lies in here, growing and sprouting in such fertile ground. Beyond the galleries, the space also acts as a means to reach out to and commune with international arts institutions, and offer educational programmes to anyone interested in getting to know the arts scene better.

Said NAC assistant CEO Low Eng Teong: “Gillman Barracks is an arts platform, acting as a facilitator to provide opportunities for regional artists, especially young artists to have a space to present, some for the very first time. Beyond visiting the mainstream visual art institutions such as SAM and the National Gallery, those still interested might be going ‘What else is there’? and Gillman Barracks could be the answer to that.” You heard the man. If you’re interested in finding out just why we fell in love with this place, then come on down this Friday to join in the festivities and lose yourself in all the activities GB has to offer you, as they invite you in and bring you on an unforgettable, immersive art experience.

Art After Dark takes place on 22nd September from 7pm onwards at Gillman Barracks. Entry is free to all. For updates and more details, follow them on their Facebook Page here

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