As January approaches, our island city will once again come alive with art as the seventh edition of Singapore Art Week (SAW) comes to life and transform the entire country into a city-wide celebration of art!
Themed Art Takes Over, SAW runs for nine exciting days come the new year, where various artists, institutions and collectives come together to bring art to a wider audience through a series of compelling art experiences. For SAW2019, members of the public can not only expect the signature art fairs, gallery openings, exhibitions, public art and lifestyle events, but also art offerings that take on completely new forms, inspired by both tradition and technology as familiar public spaces come alive in a new light.
And we mean this quite literally, as SAW2019 kicks off with the National Gallery’s annual Light to Night Festival, taking place from 18th January to 24th February 2019. Taking on the theme of Traces and Echoes, this special edition of the festival is split into two sections – the SAW edition (18th to 27th January), which takes inspiration from intimate stories, personal histories and private memories. From 28th January to 24th February, the festival will segue into the bicentennial edition, in which site-specific programmes will see responses and reflections on our last 700 years of history, while the Gallery also have extended operating hours over the weekends.
As always, there’ll be plenty of outdoor activities at the festival, which will be headlined by its signature Art Skins on Monuments projection mapping work, where the National Gallery’s facade will become a projection screen for The Odyssey, a new light show that follows the story of an explorer who goes on a journey of dualities and balance. Visitors can also take the time to go around the entire Civic District and explore installations such as audio work Under the Five Trees in Esplanade Park, where with the help of QR codes, visitors can discover the area’s rich history through sound, music and poetry, and Common Life at the Arts House, making the everyday Singaporean neighbourhood new.
Over at the Arts House Lawn, watch Tell Your Children and MESSYMXI change fantasy works into life-sized installations, while Sebastian Chun’s pickup sticks inspired pavilion Sticks, (which come alight at night) will be set up over at the ACM Green. Indoors, besides the ongoing Minimalism mega exhibition, guests can check out the Sensorial Trail, as three artists set up seven stations across the Gallery to get in touch with their senses and become aware of the invisible forces shaping our thoughts and lives.
Also, be sure to look forward to the massive Art X Social night festivities as Empress Lawn and St. Andrews Road gets closed off while guests patronize the many food and craft stalls, over the weekends of 25th – 26th January and 1st to 2nd February. In addition, the Gallery’s Padang Atrium will play host to special performances over both weekends, with Kumar and Hirzi Zulkifle taking to the stage on Comedy Fridays and The Sam Willows and Charlie Lim drawing the crowds on Music Saturdays.
Besides Light to Night, SAW2019 will once again see Art Stage return to the Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall, this time with a country focus on Vietnam, while the all new S.E.A Focus by STPI – Creative Workshop and Gallery will showcase local talents and build appreciation for regional art with a curated boutique art fair at Gillman Barracks, featuring presentations by 25 local and international galleries, including Los Angeles’ Commonwealth and Council,New York’s 47 Canal and Jakarta’s Nadi Gallery. Also making its debut for SAW will be the Frieze Academy with a special talk by international creatives discussing the modern museum landscape, and the responsibilities and roles of public arts.
Gillman Barracks itself will be celebrating with their regular Art After Dark programme, while LASALLE students will get to show off their talent alongside other professional artists such as storytelling by Kamini Ramachandran and performances by Kathak
guru Jyotika Joshi over at the fifth edition of ARTWALK Little India, taking on the theme of Image and Sound of Fragrance. For the kiasu, head on over to the Singapore Art Museum for a special preview of the upcoming Singapore Biennale 2019 in a bazaar like setting.
Other exciting programmes at SAW include public art exhibition Placing Home: Woodlands as part of the National Arts Council’s Arts In Your Neighbourhood initiative, the Asian Film Archive’s State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters as it explores Southeast Asian Horror and invites audiences to embark on spooky tours, and < >, the Sim Lim Square Art Residency exploring the relationship between arts and technology in Singapore’s favourite electronic goods mall. And for the starstruck – Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu will also be showcasing her work with local artist Shubigi Rao in the National Museum exhibition titled Unhomed Belongings, a collaborative piece developed from their interactions as “visual penfriends”, having never met in real life before.
Whether you’re one of the insatiably curious, a veteran art aficionado or a casual onlooker who’s never even stepped foot into a museum, SAW 2019 promises to show you how art is the platform to connect us all, as the island once again becomes awash in creative conversations, exciting exhibitions and new and inspiring ways of experiencing art.
Singapore Art Week 2019 runs from 19th to 27th January 2019 across various locations. For the full line-up of events, visit their website here