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Spectacular large works announced at Art Stage Singapore 2012
Artwork at Art Stage Singapore 2011.

SINGAPORE.- For its sophomore edition, Art Stage Singapore 2012 presents even more significant and stunning large installation works than before. From intricately detailed sculptures to huge paintings, there is a wide spectrum of awe-inspiring pieces to experience at this year’s fair. Here are a few of the highlights that visitors can expect at the fairgrounds:

“Artificial Moon” (2007) by Wang Yuyang (China) Presented by Gallery Yang, Beijing
In a poetic way, the “Artificial Moon” has been described to “draw attention to the collision between the 'natural' and the ‘artificial', commenting on how the timeless phenomena of the stars and the moon are becoming increasingly obscured by the light pollution common in many contemporary cities”. Made from over 4,500 energy-saving bulbs, this stunning installation measures 4m in diameter and its bulbs were strategically designed to mimic the real moon’s craters and surface features. Located in the VIP Lounge of the Art Stage Singapore 2012 fairgrounds, the area surrounding the Artificial Moon was specifically designed around the piece in order to accommodate its sheer beauty. This the second large-scale project for rising, young Chinese new media artist Wang Yuyang , whose practice involves highly conceptual installation, photography and video.

“Daily Incantations” (1996) by the late Chen Zhen (China) Presented by de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong
Chinese artist Chen Zhen was one of the country’s first major installation artists. Trained in Shanghai and Paris, he began creating stunning projects made from everyday objects like beds, cots, mattresses, bowls and other things. Best known for his Taoist meditations on life, he experimented with ideas that questioned the relationship between man and his surrounding objects. Even though he passed away in 2000 after a long bout with cancer, his work lives on. “Daily Incantations” was a sculptural installation inspired by his personal experience in Shanghai during the period of the Cultural Revolution. Made from 101 nightstools (Chinese chamber pots) that the artist and his friends purchased on the streets of Shanghai, the nightstools are suspended from a large structure reminiscent of an ancient Chinese instrument. In its centre is a large globe completely covered with old radios, televisions, telephones, and other debris of electronic communication. All the while, sounds of Chinese women ritually cleaning can be heard from speakers within the work.

“Ghost Transmemoir” (2008) by Bose Krishnamachari (India) Presented by Exhibit 320, New Delhi
Well-known Indian artist Bose Krishnamachari is both an artist and curator whose practice includes bold abstract paintings, figurative drawings, sculpture, photography and multimedia installations. Though his work is often stylistically varied, a common thread throughout is his critique of power structures within the art world and in contemporary society. The large-scale multimedia installation Ghost / Transmemoir 2008 takes a different approach to mapping Mumbai. Designed with 108 used tiffin boxes suspended from a frame and wired with headphones and miniature screens, it focuses on these nondescript boxes. Tiffin boxes play a central role in Indian life, with millions being filled daily by housewives, collected, exchanged, re-exchanged and sorted until the right home-cooked lunch reaches the right office-worker. The installation captures some of the buzz and chaos of Mumbai streets, while the small screens flash man-on-the-street interviews that share people’s thoughts, celebrations, frustrations, religions and emotions, and are a reminder of the individual voices and stories to be found amongst a total of 20.8 million Mumbaikar.

“The Bicyclist” (2008) by Zhu Jinshi (China) Presented by Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Made from bamboo and 16 bicycles, “The Bicyclist” presents bamboo as a traditional water transportation tool by having them tied to the wheels of a bicycle. Though its wheels cannot move while on land, movement is free and focused on water. The particular brand used in the piece is “Yong Jui” (Forever), a bicycle-maker founded in 1949, but gradually lost its value in the 1980s. The irony of its name versus its dissapearance from the consumer’s perspective lends itself to thought and reflection. Born in Beijing in 1954, Zhu spent over a decade living in Berlin, an experience that has left an indelible mark on his work. He’s experimented with numerous media, from photography and video to painting, installations and performance art, but one of his favoured themes is the play between East and West.

“Nothing Lost in Translation”(2008) by Mithu Sen (India) Presented by Nature Morte, New Delhi, Berlin
Intimating her attraction to issues of femininity, interiority, and eroticism, Mithu Sen has drawn sexuality from living and inanimate objects with both sensitivity and political acumen during the first decade of her artistic career. Born in Bengal and educated at Santiniketan and the Glasgow School of Art, she has engaged drawing, sculpture, collage, and installation to flesh out thoughts interlaced with delicate, critical wit. Forming the centrepiece of the exhibition, the series “Nothing Lost in Translation” is the project of Sen’s residency in Japan in 2008. During this time, she made works for the exhibition Emotional Drawing at The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, which then travelled to Kyoto and Seoul. Drawing from local and popular culture, the series confronts the viewer with visceral representations of bodies fused into hybrid creatures.

“Drift VIII” (2011) by Antony Gormley (UK) Presented by White Cube, London
British sculptor and one of the world’s critically acclaimed and top international art superstars, Antony Gormley was named an Officer of the British Empire in 1997. Gormley has explored the relationship between the individual and the community in large-scale installations such as Allotment (1995), Domain Field (2003), Another Place (1997) and Inside Australia (2003). This year, he especially created a new work from his “Drift” series for his exhibition at Art Stage Singapore (presented by White Cube of London). Made from 2mm square sections of stainless steel, the intricate sculpture is true Gormley’s style – another one of his works from this same series can also be seen at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel lobby.

“Lost Paradise 1” (2009-2010) and “Lost Paradise 2” (2010-2011) by THEY (China) Presented by PIN Gallery (Beijing)
“THEY” is an artistic team, consisting of two young Chinese artists, Lai Shengyu and Yang Xiaogang, who have been working together since 2006. Known for their dramatic sense of delicacy and fantasy, they named themselves “THEY” in the sense of ‘the others’ as their work is not based on their own personal stories, but a reflection of Contemporary China. Their “Lost Paradise 1” (8m long) and “Lost Paradise 2” (10m long) paintings are both part of their “Cities Trilogy” series featuring Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. They represent scenes of China’s last decade in the process of urbanisation showing the rapid development of the country’s economy in the background. These works encourage people to think about the common and essential problems of human nature, history and the future we all need to face.

“Untitled 2008-2011 (the map of the land of feeling) by Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thailand) Presented by Ikkan Art Gallery (Singapore)
The internationally-renowned New York-based artist Tiravanija was born to Thai parents (his father was a diplomat) in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has lived in cities all over the world. This painting is the chronicle of Tiravanija’s last 20 years, and took him over three years to complete (the painting was finished in April 2011). It features reproductions of the artist’s passport pages that span two decades from 1988 to 2008 covering places he had visited, seen and experienced. The project is a three-part scroll, 3ft (91cm) high and totaling 84ft (2,560 cm) in length, utilising a combination of techniques including screenprint, offset lithography, and inkjet print. The passports run as a central band through each of the three scrolls and underlay or overlap an assortment of images including: City maps, archeological and architectural sites, mazes, timezones, illustrations of urban flow, notebook pages and recipes.

“We are Asia!” (2011) by Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand) Presented by Yavuz Fine Art, Singapore
Thai-based, India-born Rawanchaikul is an internationally recognised artist and even represented Thailand in the 54th Venice Biennale. For Art Stage Singapore 2012, Yavuz Fine Art specially commissioned for exhibition an over 12m movie-style painting featuring the “Who’s Who” of the Asian art scene including significant artists, curators, collectors and other arts professional. Inspired by Art Stage Singapore 2012’s branding and key message of “We Are Asia”, this project is actually based on a similar work featuring the Chinese art scene “Super China!” (2009), which was exhibited at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

“I Still Remember” by Yang Jiechang (China) Presented by Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing
This Canton-born artist studied at the Institute of Popular Art in Foshan and later in Peking. His training was principally in traditional Chinese painting and the ancient technique of collage on paper. One of the artist’s main concerns has always been how to implant Chinese traditional painting, aesthetics and thought into a contemporary context. His unparalleled calligraphy skill is seen in this large six-panel wide (300cm x 173cm each), ink-on-paper work, which narrates in painstaking detail the names of his family, friends and acquaintances.

“Crossings” (2005) by Ranbir Kaleka (India) Presented by Volte Gallery, Mumbai
Innovative contemporary Indian artist Kaleka, whose practice revolves around producing art in an intermediate space between paintings and running visual (video), overlays painting and video projections on a single surface creating an image of an inimitable quality. First shown at the Venice Biennale in the “iCon: India Contemporary” pavilion (2005), “Crossings” is a 15-minute loop of inter-related images that exemplify his confidence in painting’s ability to incorporate, but not be subsumed by, video. The video is based on a script Kaleka wrote about a Sikh man and his turban. The cultural and social symbol of the turban guides the momentum of the narrative as he dyes, ties and finally puts on the turban. Throughout the video, the colour of the turban morphs into vibrant forms; the concern with migration manifests a complex examination of progress and motion as visual qualities wherein the painted portions of the panels are revealed by tonal shifts in the video and by intermittent blank screens.

“World Hug Day” by The Gao Brothers Presented by Vue Privee, Singapore
Hugging in the name of art, “World Hug Day” (WHD) is a public performance initiated by the Gao Brothers in an attempt to bring strangers together. Known for their outspoken artistic expression, brother Zhen and Qiang have been collaborating since the 1980s to create impressive works using multimedia poetics that draw upon diverse languages such as performance, photography, painting and sculpture. The idea of “WHD” public performances is to gather a big group of people together, strangers to each other, and to choose one person at random to hug for a total of 15 minutes then later the whole group joins together to form a giant hugging cluster for an extra five minutes. It started in China in 2000, in the Shandong province, in various public locations all across the country, which later spread to other parts of the world including the USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan and now Singapore – this is happening alongside the fair on 14 Jan 2011 (Saturday), 9am at the Event Plaza at Marina Bay Sands.

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December 20, 2011

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Spectacular large works announced at Art Stage Singapore 2012

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