In collaboration with international contemporary arts portal and platform Ocula, Gillman Barracks has launched an all new contemporary art publication collecting interviews with and essays from some of the foremost contemporary artists in the region, and who’ve all of course, been involved with Gillman Barracks at some point.
The publication may see a little daunting at first for the lay reader, but don’t worry, it’s hip enough to include some names you’ve probably heard at least on social media and who’re still quite active in the local art scene, such as Robert Zhao Renhui, who was last seen putting up an exhibition at SIFA 2017, or Instagram darling Nguan with his dreamy photo aesthetic. As only 2,000 copies have been printed, Ocula and Gillman Barracks do intend to make the publication available online eventually, but for now, interested readers can sign up to receive the 7 supplementary online newsletters, which will be sent out bimonthly, here
NAC Deputy CEO Mr Paul Tan, who helped come up with the name of the publication, opened the launch on Friday, speaking of the role of Gillman Barracks as an essential element of the local visual arts scene.With 5 years under its belt, there’ve no doubt been both ups and downs, but above all, stressed the barracks’ importance in connecting the public to art, creating conversations and helping the layman understand contemporary art.
Hong Kong based Ocula contributor Elliat Albrecht then proceeded to host the main conversation of the evening, moderating a panel of speakers consisting of interviewees and contributors from Art-In-Sight, namely Nathaniel Gunawan, Fyerool Darma and Anca Rujoiu. Albrecht teased out answers to questions such as the use of poetics in writing for Art In Sight by Anca Rujoiu (who contributed a conversation with Robert Zhao), as well as issues of cosmopolitanism and storytelling, which artist Fyerool Darma responded to, speaking of his own newfound global experiences and expanded worldview after studying in Goldsmiths in London.
Perhaps it was art collector Nathaniel Gunawan that summed up Art In Sight and Gillman Barracks’ role best. In any art community, an artist cannot simply focus on honing his practice alone, but also become part of and establish his presence within the greater art community. Gillman Barracks goes beyond the role of a typical art institution in Singapore, in that it is an arts enclave where artists can gather and build up that sense of community, exchanging ideas and forging relationships when engaging other artists and members of the public in order to nurture (over time) a thriving, ever growing arts landscape.
Beyond big, mainstream mega exhibitions such as the National Gallery’s recent Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, Gunawan believes that there is plenty of room for the art that Gillman Barracks espouses as well, which the discerning audience (of which there are plenty) will be able to appreciate and enjoy for the genuine sincerity.
Perhaps, given time, Gillman Barracks will continue to grow in such a way over the next five years and come its 10th anniversary, will have an even greater celebration of all that it represents and contributes to the local arts scene. But for now, one can see the first steps it’s taken towards making that difference in compilations like Art In Sight, or the numerous, multidisciplinary and international ongoing exhibitions at the various galleries available at the precinct.
We’re giving away ONE physical copy of Art-In-Sight to a lucky reader! All you have to do is:
Winners will be contacted via Facebook.