From epic industrial landscapes that highlight a changing planet, to refreshing takes on traditional and indigenous arts, the works of established and emerging artists from Singapore and around the world are waiting to be discovered this month. These solo and group exhibitions present five places where you can start.
Edward Burtynsky: Salt Pans, Sundaram Tagore Gallery
He’s known for his large-scale landscapes of industrialised regions around the world. This time, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky travels to the Little Rann of Kutch, a stretch of salt flats in India’s Gujarat, home to more than 100,000 workers extracting salt from the floodwaters of the Arabian Sea. Taking in the view from the top, aboard a helicopter, Burtynsky captures the geometric shapes and grid lines of the shining white salt pans, wells and tyre tracks in breathtaking displays that recall abstract paintings. But behind the beauty lies an unsettling reality—poorly paid workers, receding groundwater levels and declining market values, in what has become a fast-disappearing terrain.
From February 7 to March 29, at Sundaram Tagore Gallery.
Image: Edward Burtynsky
Kiripapuranjuwi (Skilful Hands), ReDot Fine Art Gallery
For the first time in Singapore, ReDot Fine Art Gallery brings together the works of artists from Munupi Arts & Crafts, the acclaimed Tiwi Island community in Australia’s Northern Territory. Featuring 34 recent works by some of the community’s most collectable and emerging talents, including mother-daughter pair Cornelia and Delores Tipuamantumirri, the exhibition offers a contemporary take on indigenous culture through the use of natural ochres combined with synthetic acrylic paints to represent motifs and designs sacred to the Tiwi people.
From February 8 to March 4, at ReDot Fine Art Gallery.
ˈmʌlti, One East Asia
Eight up-and-coming artists from Singapore and across Asia, including Christopherson Ho, Kyung Sun Jun, Martha Chaudhry and Wei Li Leow, explore the relationship between content and form through diverse mediums, both traditional and contemporary. While the materiality of each medium dictates content as much as it is dictated by content, each artist’s practice is underscored by the same desire for self-expression.
From February 13 to March 3, at One East Asia.
In this digital age, our perception of the visual image has changed drastically. With the use of digital imagery on social media, traditional means of image-making have taken a backseat. This results in transient images that may hold trivial meaning. Five emerging contemporary painters from Singapore, Philippines and Japan, including Hilmi Johandi and Kenichiro Fukumoto, relook at the state of image-making and how painting can counterbalance the use of photography, the favoured medium of image production today.
From February 17 to March 4, at iPreciation.
Gallery10, National Museum of Singapore
The next time you are at the National Museum of Singapore, take a step inside Gallery10, but don’t be surprised to find the space devoid of physical artefacts. The museum’s first digital gallery challenges artists to explore the boundaries between art and technology through immersive, multidisciplinary presentations. Take the permanent showcase, Art of the Rehearsal, by multidisciplinary artist Sarah Choo Jing, in collaboration with renowned commercial cinematographer Jeffrey Ang, for example. Visitors are invited into the back lanes of Singapore’s cultural districts through a three-channel video installation that depicts Singaporean dancers across various ethnicities rehearsing before their performance—a testament that traditional arts can be preserved through modern technology. The gallery space will also see several upcoming innovative projects and collaborations.
Image: National Museum of Singapore