Pearl Lam opens a new site in Singapore

Pearl Lam Galleries is opening a new space in Singapore’s new luxury district Dempsey Hill. As an established player on the contemporary Asian and Western art scene for over twenty years, Pearl Lam Galleries – with three other galleries in Hong Kong and Shanghai – aims to abolish hierarchies between different artistic disciplines and to promote intercultural exchanges. Pearl Lam defends Chinese artists such as Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai while introducing Western artists including Jenny Holzer, Leonardo Drew and Carlos Rolón/Dzine onto the Chinese market. By opening this new space, Pearl Lam shows its commitment to Singapore where it was already present, forming links between different generations of collectors while raising the awareness of a new public. On 24 November, a solo exhibition by artist Su Xiaobai inaugurated the...

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Singapore pavilion entrusted to artist Zai Kuning

Artist Zai Kuning will be representing Singapore under exhibition curator June Yap at the 57th Venice Biennale, to be held from 13 May to 26 November 2017. Their proposal alludes to over 30 years of research by the artist into Malaysian history and culture in Southeast Asia. Born in Singapore in 1964, Zai’s work has been shown in a number of major group exhibitions, including “Who interprets the world?” at the Kanazawa Contemporary Art Museum in Japan, and “Secret Archipelago” (2015) at the Palais de Tokyo in...

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Singapore, a dull El Dorado?

The Singaporean art market is going through tough times. But despite difficulties, experts express optimism and see a market grounded on healthy foundations that should enable it to ride through this period of disturbance by strengthening its connectivity. There are some signs that don’t lie. Just look at the closure of several museums in the country including the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris and the departure of a few galleries, matched with lower museum visits and morose sales figures — that namely triggered the cancellation of the Singapore Art Fair and the Milan Image Art & Design Fair Singapore despite the great success of their inaugural editions. While the market’s global economic value has increased in the last decade, going up from $340.3 million to $528.7 million in 2013, the last two years have seen a correction of the market. The Singaporean art market is relatively young at around fifty years old. Bala Starr, director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, makes the following observation: “The art scene here needs to be connected to the world. Commerce occurs in the context of the wider scene. The biggest advantage for Singapore is to form a positive and consistent reputation as a backer of the arts in Asia. That Singapore is a young market is a benefit to us because it gives us the opportunity to convert people into art...

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The Pinacothèque de Paris in Singapore is also closing

The Pinacothèque de Paris in Singapore will be closing due to inadequate visitor numbers and a lawsuit with the Arthemisia group that organised one of the institution’s last exhibitions. Following the closure of the Pinacothèque de Paris in February this year, the museum’s Singapore site is now being forced to close, around one year after its opening. The company Art Heritage France that managed the Paris site has gone into receivership while Art Heritage Singapore is in the midst of legal proceedings with the Arthemisia group placed in charge of organising the Pinacothèque de Paris’s inaugural exhibition in Singapore, “The Myth of Cleopatra” in May last year. Arthemisia launched proceedings for default of payment to the value of €435,000 while Art Heritage Singapore has retaliated by claiming that the Italian firm did not respect its obligations in the context of the contract signed by both parties. Difficulties are accumulating for Marc Restellini’s private museum that is closing its second site in the space of a few...

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The 5th edition of the Singapore Biennale takes shape

The 5th edition of the Singapore Biennale will be taking place from 28 October to 26 February 2017, and will be titled “An Atlas of Mirrors”. The title refers to the theme of exploring the unknown. While the atlas maps out territories, the mirror reflects and hence multiplies perspectives. Both instruments thus open up to a terra incognita that it is as vast as it is deep. A horizontal and vertical exploration to open up our perception through artistic viewpoints from different Asian regions. Four curators from four countries will be guiding this project: Suman Gopinath (India), Nur Hanim Khairuddin (Malaysia), Michael Lee (Singapore) and Xiang Liping...

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