The Australian art world had a great year in the 2013: London’s Royal Academy presented the exhibition “Australia”, exposing Australian contemporary artists to a European audience, and the nation inaugurated its first international art fair, Sydney Contemporary. Top Australian artists Dale Frank, Ben Quilty, Bill Henson, and Tracey Moffatt were celebrated in successful solo exhibitions and the next set of artists to watch emerged, including Daniel Crooks, Brendan Huntley, and Nell. 2014 seems to be promising as well, with much anticipation for the 19th edition of the Biennale of Sydney, which has been moved to March in order to coincide with other major art world events.
Curated by Aaron Seeto, director and curator at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, the Australian platform at Art Stage Singapore focuses on six artists based in six different Australian cities. Seeto notes, “this selection is not directed by a theme per se, but really an attitude—that art has an important social role to play, that we understand our contemporary condition when we delve into the complexities and totality of our social and historical experiences.” This diverse group of artists and their viewpoints results in a dialogue on local, national, and transnational contemporary issues, including Australia’s colonial and migrant history, geographic and climate-related challenges, and international relations.
Platform highlights include: Juz Kitson’s large-scale installation assemblage Changing Skin, a sculptural cascade of porcelain, fabric, and hair; and Khaled Sabsabi’s two-channel video Syria, inventive, abstract, and geometric images created from the synthesis of the artist’s footage from Damascus since 2004.