My Highlights from Art Stage Singapore

Zineng Wang
Jan 9, 2014 11:53PM

Since the start, Art Stage Singapore has been great for catching up with what the emerging and newly emergent post-1975 generation artists are doing. I am more familiar with Southeast Asian art than any other categories and it is great to see an ever-increasing number of younger artists of my generation represented in each subsequent edition of the fair. S’pore artists seem to have gained better representation in the 2014 edition, and I’m looking forward to seeing the works in person at the fair. 

My selection spans the old and the new in Southeast Asian art, with a focus on the 1980s-born artists and underlines how they interpret and visualise landscape

My Selection:

Ng Joon Kiat, Green Series 1, 2012, at Space Cottonseed

The conceptual expressionist abstraction of Ng Joon Kiat underlines some of the most inventive cartography-inspired works I have seen. I cannot understand Joon Kiat’s sense of development as an artist but his paintings are wonderful in how they are lush, direct and seemingly unmediated.

Zao Wou-Ki, 04 02 88, at Opera Gallery

Of all the ZWK’s in this edition of the fair, 04.02.88 gets my vote for its Turner-esque colour palette and sweeping misty desolation.

Lim Tze Peng, Black and White Shop House, 2013, at Ode to Art

One has to salute Lim Tze Peng for his unflinching memory of old S’pore, and specifically, the Chinatown that was lost to young adults of my generation due to the urban regeneration policy of the 1980s S’pore government. Black and White Shop House unabashedly takes one down memory lane; colours may have fled, but the nostalgic aftertaste remains.

Donna Ong, And We Were Like Those Who Dream (Cocoon ♯5), 2012-2013, at Primo Marella Gallery

It isn’t just a sense of pride that a fellow S’porean can conceive of such a delicate, other-worldly alternate reality but my vote goes to Donna Ong for her persistent vision and dedication to craft.

Heri Dono, The Big Brother, 2011, at Rossi & Rossi

It is such a pleasure to see Heri Dono, one of the most accomplished but market underrated Indonesian contemporary artists invigorated with this solo booth at Rossi & Rossi. A definite highlight of the fair for me.

Lampu Kansanoh, The Spiciest in the World, 2012, at Yavuz Fine Art

Lampu Kansanoh is probably the most exciting figurative painter in Thailand today. Her big head paintings follow on that trajectory set by the first generation Chinese contemporary artists but she has no qualms taking on her seniors on with aplomb. Just pure unadulterated pleasure in painting...

Eko Nugroho, Replacing Myself 5, 2013, at Singapore Tyler Print Institute

Eko Nugroho draws on familiar structures and icons as primary imageries upon which he applies the liberated and daring vision we know him to twist them into a particular Eko icon; a little like the morbid fantastical world of Tetsuya Ishida transplanted in Java.

Chun Kai Feng, Nowhere To Go, 2013, at Fost Gallery

All clear on the horizon, but nowhere to go ... For me, Chun Kai Feng’s works perfectly epitomise the sense of ennui of contemporary life where one is perpetually linked in, but starts to find each cumulative experience attenuating.

Robert Zhao Renhhui, Animals of the Dutch Colony, 2013, at 2902 Gallery

Robert has consistently produced extremely original and compelling whole fictional situations along the line of how humans and animals co-exist and interact. He takes it further with each new series and I get a real thrill following his works and the scope of his imagination. He’s definitely one from my generation—the 80s generation—to look out for.

Yunizar, Veteran Bintang, 2014, at Gajah Gallery

It is a real delight for me to see Veteran Bintang, Yunizar’s newest work. This is his first true foray into creating 3D works and a revealing account of where the roots of his work lie in drawing. The work reminds me of his early to mid-2000s figurative paintings, charged with soul and spontaneity.

Explore Art Stage Singapore 2014 on Artsy.

Zineng Wang
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019