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Art of 2018

I say this every year but how is it the end of 2018?? I don’t want to leave December as I feel like I don’t want to put 2018 down just yet, but time is moving ahead!

2018 has been my full year back in Singapore since moving back, and at first, I thought there was less happenings in art here. After a while, things have picked up, but there have been many exhibitions and events that I didn’t choose to post in detail on this blog – lack of time is always a major reason for my lack of updates! So, I thought it would be nice to look back at all of the art exhibitions and events I went to this year!

Asian Civilisations Museum – Permanent Galleries

Tang Shipwreck at Asian Civilisations Museum

I started off 2018 with a visit to ACM to see their permanent galleries. I really loved seeing Tang Shipwreck with all of those painted bowls and those acorn-shaped game pieces (for gambling)!

ACM has just opened their new Christian and Islamic art galleries this month, so that’s something I’m definitely going to check out in 2019.

ArtScience Museum – Treasures of the Natural World

Treasures of the Natural World at ArtScience Museum

I went to see both ‘Treasures of the Natural World’ and ‘Art from the Streets’ at ArtScience Museum on the same day (double exhibition tickets are so worth it!). ArtScience Museum continues to be my favourite museum in Singapore as they have the best exhibitions.

I was surprised to find out that I really enjoyed seeing exhibits of preserved stuffed animals that look so life-like! All of the exhibits were on loan from Natural History Museum in London, which of course, I’m now planning to visit when I get myself to London!

National Museum of Singapore – The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030

The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030 at National Museum of Singapore

Peranakan Museum – Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography

Sarah Choo Jing and Larry Kwa, We Stop to Watch the World Go By, 2018

There was then ‘The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030’ at National Museum of Singapore, a simple exhibition talking about styles and models of playgrounds in Singapore. Basically, Singapore wins at urban planning, I have to say!

I also revisited Peranakan Museum for the first time in probably 10 years to see ‘Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography’. Sticking to the museum’s specialised theme of Peranakan culture, the Amek Gambar – meaning to take pictures – exhibition shows a range of black and white photographs of Peranakans and old cameras. The exhibition is on till February 3rd, 2019.

National Gallery Singapore – Rirkrit Tiravanija

Rirkrit Tiravanija, untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), 2018

I always visit National Gallery Singapore for exhibitions or events or just to bum at their Gallery & Co cafe. My first visit of the year was to see the new site-specific commissioned work of Rirkrit Tiravanija at NGS’ rooftop. It’s a large-scale bamboo structure with a pathway that you can walk through from one end to the other, and there’s also a Japanese teahouse in the centre, though it was too hot that day for me to join in in the tea ceremony events they were holding at the time.

Singapore Philatelic Museum – The Little Prince: Behind the Story

The Little Prince: Behind the Story at Singapore Philatelic Museum

I like to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum (or the “Stamp Museum”) every once in a while to see their exhibitions that somehow always manage to incorporate stamps! It was nice to re-see Arnaud Nazare-Aga’s Little Prince sculptures at the ‘The Little Prince: Behind the Story’ exhibition. I had first seen them in Hong Kong in 2015 during the Christmas and New Year season – see the post here!

National Gallery Singapore – Children’s Festival

Mark Justiniani, Passages and Bridges – Evolution of Firewalk: A Bridge of Embers, 2018

It’s always so fun at Children’s Festival at National Gallery Singapore seeing everyone, kids and adults, having fun playing with the artworks! The first one pictured is all kitchen sponges and for the second artwork, you could throw those triangle-shaped pieces and they would stick on the patterned wall.

I’m also very proud to say that I managed to speed-walk across Justiniani’s bridge in one piece this time round, HAHAHA! For last year’s edition, I was so scared of the never-ending depths of the illusionistic effect of the bridge that I actually paused while walking across it. I’m still kinda terrified of this kind of things, but clearly it’s only me, since all of the other kids were happily examining the details in the bridge.

National Library Singapore (Central) – Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore

Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore at National Library Singapore

‘Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore’ is a very well-researched and very big exhibition on advertisements in Singapore from the 1830s to the 1960s. I really recommend reading all of the details in the didactics for the exhibits, as they are all so interesting! This was probably the longest time I spent at an exhibition though, about 2 hours? The exhibition is on till 24th February 2019.

National Gallery Singapore – (Re)collect

Lee Lim, (clockwise from left) Morning Chores, 1945; [Not titled], c. 1970; Morning on River Bank, c. 1970, all gelatin silver print on paper

I shared a mini review of ‘(Re)collect’ at National Gallery Singapore on my Instastories, now saved in my highlights, to try out a new format of sharing about exhibitions! That was really fun, but I also wanted to share Lee Lim’s composite photographs on a bigger screen, so that it would be clearer to see. His photographs appear like Chinese ink paintings, especially with their Chinese inscriptions and his seal on the sides of the paintings. It’s fascinating to see how photographs can also look like paintings in a way.

The Cathay – Whatshisname x Mighty Jaxx

Whatshisname x Mighty Jaxx, POPIKI Dogs, HAPPY POPek (left) and POPek (right), 2018

The first time I saw these dogs, I was walking towards The Cathay from YMCA. From afar, I thought could this possibly be Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog I’m about to see?? Well, turns out these weren’t Koons’ sculptures, but Whatshisname’s pooping dogs are humorous in their own way, yes? A total of 4 dogs were commissioned for The Cathay, and they are still on show!

Singapore Night Festival 2018

FierS à Cheval by Compagnie des Quidams
Galina Mihaleva, Life Pulse (Biological Micro-universe), 2017, lycra, felt, polyester
Chen Yangjingting, The Floating, 2015, acrylic glass

For this year’s Singapore Night Festival, I was excited to see FierS à Cheval by Compagnie des Quidams after seeing photos of their performance at the opening of Tai Kwun in Hong Kong (which I must visit!). Horses are my favourite animals, and the performers really captured the elegant movements of horses. Funnily enough, this performance was made for the Year of the Horse in 2014, but it’s been so popular that the company has continued to perform this show until now!

I also went to see the dress exhibits from World of WearableArt (WOW), which holds an annual award competition for fashion designers from all over the world to present their avant-garde designs. These two dresses were my favourite!

STPI – Handmade Readymades

Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections on Minerva, 1990, lithograph, screenprint, relief print and metalised PVC collage with embossing
Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections on Brushstrokes, 1990, lithograph, screenprint, relief print and metalised PVC collage with embossing

These two prints by Lichtenstein were shown at STPI’s exhibition ‘Handmade Readymades’. The exhibition featured the prints of four 20th century American artists, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Roy Lichtenstein, but I only took a liking to Lichtenstein’s prints. The first time I visited STPI in 2015, I think, I also remember seeing and liking Lichtenstein’s prints. That aside, STPI always has top-notch exhibitions so I always like to visit. I’m looking forward to their Cheong Soo Pieng exhibition opening in January 2019!

Gardens by the Bay – Mid-autumn Celebrations

Gardens by the Bay had such a lovely display for the Mid-Autumn celebrations! The giant lanterns also gave me Story of Yanxi Palace vibes, which was everyone’s favourite drama of the year, right?? YASSS.

National Museum of Singapore – In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology

David Hockney, Untitled (Charlie + Tom L.A.) June 1986, 1986, Polaroid SX-70 Composite
Auke Bergsma, Woman Walking, 1981, Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero film
Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan, 1978, 1978, C-Print on Fujiflex paper
Oliviero Toscani, Andy Warhol with Polaroid camera, 1974, tableau of six images printed in 1978

‘In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology’, a travelling exhibition that has made its stop at the National Museum of Singapore, was not what I was expecting at all!

The beginning of the exhibition charts out the history of the Polaroid, starting from its invention by Edwin Land, who was inspired by his daughter when she questioned on a holiday trip, why can’t we have our photographs printed out instantaneously, instead of going through the long process of developing film.

Most of the exhibition features artistic Polaroids following a few themes, but my favourites are these more contemporary shots captured on Polaroids. I didn’t realise that so many prominent artists and photographers had worked with Polaroid! The exhibition is on till 31st March 2019.

Affordable Art Fair Singapore 2018

I went for a quick walk through Affordable Art Fair in November, and all of my photos can be seen in my Instastories highlights! It was my first time attending it in Singapore and I found it much livelier that my experience at AAF in Hong Kong in 2015.

I found the paintings of those curly haired little, hmm, midgets by a Japanese artist (in the first two photos) really cute! There were also many South Korean galleries at the fair, and I really liked the style of these works by Korean artists (latter two photos).

ArtScience Museum – Future World (Revamped!)

teamLab, Transcending Boundaries

This year was really the year of teamLab for me, seeing their works across ArtScience Museum, National Gallery Singapore and Marina Bay Sands. See my posts on teamLab – Part I and Part II!

I’d shared about ‘Future World’ at ArtScience Museum before it closed for revamp, and I was debating if I should visit the revamped exhibition… Guess what, I did! I bought a bundle ticket to see the new Future World and the Minimalism exhibition across ArtScience Museum and National Gallery Singapore, and I’m glad I did because I like the revamped exhibition even more! Also, I’m definitely going to do up posts on the ‘Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.’ exhibition(s) because I have so much opinions on it, so I would leave my comments for those upcoming posts.


Summer and Winter Wonderland made out of desserts at Muji!
My favourite Christmas tree at Plaza Singapura

We have reached Christmastime, the best time of the year!! This year’s theme of Disney Magical Moments for the Orchard Road Christmas decorations were so fun! I grew up on Disney, so this is definitely a special year!

Ion Art Gallery – Virtually Versailles

My last exhibition of the year was ‘Virtually Versailles’ at the Ion Art Gallery and Ion Sky, all the way up on the 55th floor of Ion Orchard. I already know that Versailles is on my travel wishlist, and this exhibition gave a taste of the Palace of Versailles’s architecture, decor and extensive art collection.

It’s mostly made up of a lot of videos, so I didn’t really capture many good photos of it. There are many interactive elements though, like biking around different parts of the palace (actual biking, virtual tour of palace), and having your face superimposed on royal portraits, which was really fun!! This free exhibition is on till 6th January 2019.

The last photo was a candid shot of me taken by my sister looking at the collection in the Palace, and it just seems like such a nice reminder to keep looking at all the art around us! Here’s to 2019!

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