There’s plenty to do in August, what with the Rio Olympics, National Day feasting and plethora of concerts and shows to choose from. But if you need your artistic fix, we’ve got you covered too. This month, the art scene in Singapore is about quirky art across various mediums. From playful monkeys to ethereal human forms and eye motifs on repeat, check out these 5 exhibitions and let your imagination run free.
Monkey Business invites more than just an appreciation of ink paintings, it challenges the viewer to think about the way we evaluate art. It pays homage to prominent art figure Chen Wen Hsi’s famous Gibbon series, which has been subject to a torrent of skilful forgery in recent years. Artists Justin Loke and Samuel Chen believe that in spite of the commercial motivation behind the fakes, the paintings deserve to be evaluated as “excellent works of art in their own right.”
Their tongue-in-cheek approach to provoke discussion on this topic has resulted in this double negative act of copying the art of copying. Running for a total of only two weeks, their exhibition of playful monkeys in ink is not to be missed.
When: Until 14 August 2016
Chan Hampe Galleries, 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade, #01-21, Singapore 188719, +65 6338 1962, www.chanhampegalleries.com
The Orbits of Colour
In his latest series, US-trained artist Wong Keen draws on his decades of immersion in colour-field painting and Chinese ink washes. While he extends his canvas across mediums like rice paper, archive paper and collage, he remains focussed on exploring form and gesture through his art.
The 20 pieces use layered colour zones, bold splashes of acrylic paint and dynamic strokes to push the boundaries of conventional Chinese brushwork. The standout painting on show spans three metres in length, and is quite the mesmerising sight.
When: Until 17 August 2016
Art Commune Gallery, 231 Bain Street, Bras Basah Camplex, #02-43, Singapore 180231, +65 9747 9046, www.wongkeen.com
A portrayal of social issues, dreams and memories of Singapore, this series of multimedia artwork examines the uncertainty of rapid change in the nation. Presented by five emerging contemporary artists, it aims to represent the rhythm and holistic identity of Singapore.
Look out for Lavender Chang’s photographs, which deal with the subjects of ephemerality and immortality. Captured overnight in domestic spaces here, Unsconscious: Consciousness investigates the passage of time during the unsconscious state and questions our existence within that period.
When: Until 31 August 2016
Mizuma Gallery, 22 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-34, Singapore 108939, www.mizuma.sg
Anatomy of Performance
Tan Ngiap Heng’s first foray into the arts may only have been in his 20s, but he has since become the resident photographer for the Singapore Dance Theatre, published an independent photobook, and won a One Life: International Photography award.
Catch a rare glimpse behind the scenes of local dance and theatre productions at Tan’s Anatomy of Performance exhibition. His photographs capture the people who put each performance together, and take you through the rehearsals that go on before the curtains open.
When: 11 August – 4 September 2016
The Arts House, Gallery I, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore, 179429, www.theartshouse.sg
Yayoi Kusama: Prints
For close to 70 years, avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has honed, evolved and accelerated her own style — one that is now instantly recognisable by many. Featuring repetitive and accumulative motifs in paintings, sculptures and installations, her vivid images have captivated people around the world.
This solo exhibition displays a range of prints that Kusama created between 2011 and 2012. Making heavy use of motifs of eyes, women’s profiles and dotted organisms, the vibrant colours and strong lines project a sense of humour, but also of sensibility.
When: Until 10 September 2016
OTA Fine Arts, 7 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks, #02-13, Singapore 108935, www.gillmanbarracks.com