This post indeed comes a little later than I’d like – especially as we are celebrating the first day of the Chinese New Year already! 2021 was such a strange year as if I couldn’t really put a handle on it, but when I try to sum up some of the art I saw in the whole year, it was actually quite an interesting mix. I’ve posted about some great exhibitions, like the ones on Georgette Chen, Dale Chihuly and Life in Edo, but I also re-discovered some of the permanent galleries in the museums here, and spotted art and other fun stuff along the way too!
We are barrelling towards the end of 2021! What a feeling~ To wrap up 2021 (before I finally put my Art of 2021 post together), I’d like to do this exhibition review of Orchestral Manoeuvres: See Sound. Feel Sound. Be Sound at ArtScience Museum! This was definitely one of my exhibition highlights of the year because I was a plus-one to my sister’s invited press trip to Marina Bay Sands (with staycation to boot!!), and we got to see a preview of the Orchestral Manoeuvres exhibition before it opened in late August.
I like to say that in my ‘previous life’, i.e. before I discovered art history, I used to play music, picking up varying instruments at different times in life with the piano, saxophone (school band days) and guitar. I don’t think I ever did get accustomed to the discipline that regular musical practice requires, or learned how to play music ‘for fun’ or for myself — but I would say that music and songs are still very present in my everyday!
This exhibition Modern Women of The Republic: Fashion and Change in China and Singapore was ongoing at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall since June this year, and I just managed to visit in its closing week! It ended recently two weeks ago, but I wanted to share some highlights from the exhibition because I found it such a nicely put-together display of fashion and photographs from twentieth-century Singapore and China!
Whew, this post on Asian Civilisations Museum’s extensive exhibition Life in Edo has been a long time coming! I first visited in May this year, and a second time in July when there was a second rotation of woodblock prints. I loved seeing so many exemplary works of ukiyo-e prints and paintings from Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868) and seeing these pictures of daily life in old Edo (Tokyo today).
I spent some time in my undergraduate days studying art in Japan and ukiyo-e prints (and the topic of Japanese art was definitely very popular among Hong Kong students), but never had the chance to see them in person before. So Life in Edo was a real treat for me being able to view so many of them at one go, and by many masters of the genre too!
In such (COVID-y) times like this, I feel like going to see art is one of the most peaceful things I can do. Even better when I can wander around Gardens by the Bay and explore it a bit more! I find it very fitting that Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures (a new discovery for me!) inspired by nature are now being exhibited around Gardens by the Bay until its extended date of 3 October 2021, adding something fresh and new to the landscape.
The exhibition is split into three main sections: The Flower Dome & Cloud Forest conservatories, the Outdoor Gardens and Gallery, and the free (!) public exhibits. I chose to skip the conservatories because I thought the price for that was too steep… There are varying admission rates for visiting the different sections, but I paid $16 to see the exhibits in the Outdoor Gardens and Gallery, and went to hunt down the public exhibits too!