Tag Archives: exhibition

Tang Kok Soo, 'Elephants Crossing the Water', mixed media

UOB presents first solo exhibition by Tang Kok Soo, ‘Tang and Tranquility’ at UOB Art Gallery

Tang Kok Soo, 'Elephants Crossing the Water', mixed media

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Elephants Crossing the Water’, mixed media

The first element that strikes viewers looking at Tang Kok Soo’s painting ‘Elephants Crossing the Water’, is the unusual placement of bodiless ‘eyes’, taking the form of small black dots dispersed throughout the painting. A signature feature in his ‘Stone’ series, as are the whimsical specks of colour on the canvas, these ‘eyes’ direct ours to different elements in the painting and foreground the coming together of individual lives in a community.

Conveying a sense of resilience and groundedness of its mammal subjects in the face of a challenge, Tang’s painting won the 2016 United Overseas Bank (UOB) Painting of the Year (POY), Singapore (Established Category Gold award). Artists and gallerists in the nation would undoubtedly know of the competition, established by UOB in Singapore back in 1982. Conceptualised with the vision of supporting rising talents in the local art scene, the award has proven a prestigious title for local artists to aspire to. Cultural Medallion recipients Anthony Poon and Chua Ek Kay are but part of its illustrious alumni.

Clinching one of the top prizes in the competition that recognised these artists who made a mark on Singapore’s art history is a testament to Tang’s meticulous technique and creativity. Charcoal, watercolour and Chinese ink, three of his choice materials, are skilfully applied on the canvas. For the dry and wet materials to co-exist, the painting must have been done layer by layer, lending an undoubted sense of materiality to the final piece. Lines and shapes tease elephant figures, but distinct outlines ultimately elude the viewer, who is left content to address the painting as a cross between figurative painting and Russian abstraction art.

For the Johore-born Tang, the road to practising art and winning the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore (Established Category Gold Award) was a winding one. Exposed to watercolour and oil painting techniques at around age 11, Tang uncovered a deep longing for making art. The age of 38, however, saw Tang as an engineer, who decided then to dedicate his time to making art full-time instead. Clinching the award was one of the ways in which his decision bore fruit.

Tang Kok Soo, 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore (Established Category — Gold Award) Winner

Tang Kok Soo, 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore (Established Category — Gold Award) Winner

Another way in which this decision is proven a favourable change, of course, is Tang’s first solo exhibition, ‘Tang and Tranquility’, showing at the UOB Art Gallery from April 12 to May 19. Entering into Tang’s world, the viewer straddles between cityscape paintings bathed in yellow, with streaks of light rendered so realistic that the streets in these paintings might just be alive, to the skilful use of grey to create the illusion of texture in his ‘Stone’ series. The occasional vibrant red and blue hues play an important role of imbuing the paintings with perspective and a sense of life.

Tang Kok Soo shares the motivations behind his practice, and how winning the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore (Established Category — Gold Award) has shaped his path as an artist.

You are a firm believer that moral character and qualities shape the art you create. How do your values influence your work?

My life as an artist is meaningful as long as I know that my artworks contribute to the betterment of society. I believe that even if art does not contribute to society, it should not harm or negatively influence society.

There is no one standard for art. However, the artist’s state of mind and intentions should be sincere and pure, as they come through to the viewers who appreciate their artworks. That should be the ultimate aspiration of an artist  to have an unwavering conviction to create art that aligns with the artist’s inner-self and purity of heart.

I draw inspiration from the Confucian saying, “In the Classic Poetry or Book of Song, or 诗经 in Chinese, are three hundred pieces, but the design of all of them may be embraced in one sentence ‘Having no depraved thoughts’”.

As an artist, I strive to uphold a high standard of conduct and morals, so that my paintings will embody a positive message.

You believe that art has the power to leave a positive mark on society. In what way do you think your art will leave a legacy?

I believe that artworks give viewers a glimpse into the inner world of the artist. I try to channel positive energy and compassion through my artworks with the hopes that it will have a positive impact on the art community and society.

Tang Kok Soo, 'One Heart', mixed media

Tang Kok Soo, ‘One Heart’, mixed media

Who has helped you or made an impact on you along the way to making art achieve the purpose you would like it to achieve?

My wife has been a true pillar of support in my journey to become a full-time artist. She is my mirror and a beacon for me to look up to. Her sincerity and compassion never fail to shine through no matter how difficult our journey is.

I also have an artist friend whom I consider to be a true confidante. He knows my artistic ambitions, what inspires me, and my passion.

Mindfulness and positivity characterise your work. Why is it so important to be positive? Why must you develop your art in that direction?

Art is about reaching a common level with the viewer, to be able to move them subtly and gently. As a full-time artist, I paint daily for eight to 10 hours, if not more. I am usually alone when I paint, and this gives me the opportunity to get in touch with my inner voice. As I do not have many opportunities to interact with people, I hope to impart positive messages through my artworks. I believe that true creativity stems from one’s heart and inner self.

You use mixed media and watercolour in your paintings. Why? What made you decide that the materials and medium you used was necessary to express what you want to express?

There is no fixed form or framework for creating good works of art, so I try not to restrict myself to any specific technique.

From a commercial perspective, recreating popular artworks with the similar techniques and styles may help to boost sales. However, being too entrenched in a singular concept or technique may block the artist’s creativity and hinder the evolution of their artworks in the long term.

Tang Kok Soo, 'Cattle Stockmen', mixed media

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Cattle Stockmen’, mixed media

You were born in Malaysia, spent your childhood in Brunei, then came to Singapore in 1986 and discovered painting and art. How have these places influenced your paintings?

I spent my growing years in Brunei, where I learnt to live simply with a contented heart.

I have spent the past 31 years in Singapore, where I built my career and started my family. Singapore is where I belong. It is in Singapore where I built my vision, honed my outlook in life and developed my passion for the arts.

Singapore was where you learnt watercolour and oil painting, and fell in love with art. For many years, you treated art as a hobby. What made you leave your job in engineering in 2013 to become a full-time artist? What were the thoughts going through your mind? Was the switch a drastic or gradual process?

In 2009, I crossed paths with two artist friends, Tay Bak Chiang and Ng Woon Lam, whom I knew during my younger days when I used to spend time at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and the Federation of Art Societies Singapore.

I learnt about their success as artists, after which I reflected on what had I been doing over the past decade. I felt that I had wasted valuable opportunities by discontinuing my practice of fine art, and was filled with a sense of emptiness. Thereafter, I picked up my paintbrush again and started painting during my free time.

In 2013, at the age of 38, I realised that was nearing my golden age and did not want to look back on life with regrets. With the invaluable support of my wife, I gave up my stable career in engineering to practice fine art full-time.

To quote Confucius, “At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at 70, I could follow my heart’s desire without transgressing the norm”. Today, as I reflect upon this sentence I regret not pursuing art from the age of 15. At my current age of 41, I hope to remain firm in my goal and make up for lost time by working on my art every day.

Tang Kok Soo, 'Thriving', mixed media

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Thriving’, mixed media

Where did you learn painting in Singapore? Were you influenced by other artists of that time?

I am a self-taught artist; my passion and enthusiasm for art drive me to learn as much as I can. I read a lot of art-related books and I spend a lot of time in museums and art galleries.

I am inspired and influenced by artists such as Chen Chong Swee, Gog Sing Hooi, John Singer Sargent, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and the Russian Masters. I also enjoy studying the works of Wu Guanzhong, Chua Ek Kay, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Cheong Soo Pieng, Pieter Bruegel, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.

We often start off doing something without recognising ourselves as a person who is competent at it. At what point did you realise you were not just a person making art, but you were an artist?

When I decided to become a full-time artist in 2013, it was with the clarity of mind that I wanted to create art that would contribute to society. It was also spurred by my desire to work hard as an artist to make up for lost time.

Tang Kok Soo, 'Joyfulness', mixed media. 'Joyfulness' has been sold at Art Stage Singapore 2017

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Joyfulness’, mixed media. ‘Joyfulness’ has been sold at Art Stage Singapore 2017

You won the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year (POY), Singapore (Established Category Gold Award). Why did you choose to join the competition? What does this recognition mean to you as an artist?

When I became a full-time artist at 38 years old, I was not well known in the art community. Winning the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year (POY), Singapore (Established Category Gold Award) boosted my confidence in my artistic abilities and affirmed my decision to pursue art as a career.

The UOB Group Strategic Communications and Customer Advocacy (GSCCA) team engaged me shortly after the win to organise my solo exhibition at the UOB Art Gallery. They worked closely with me to curate the artworks for the exhibition and select the exhibition theme, and to organise media interviews, a gallery tour and photography to profile my exhibition to UOB employees and the public. The entire process was new to me.

My winning artwork was selected as the inspiration for the design of the 2016 UOB Annual Report. I was honoured and pleasantly surprised that my artwork was selected due to the positive message behind my work.

I appreciate the efforts of the UOB GSCCA team, who worked tirelessly to make all the arrangements for my first solo exhibition; from the design and printing of the exhibition catalogue to giving me an enormous push to promote my works to the public through the Bank’s regional network.

Going forward, I hope to continue creating art with a sincere and pure heart and to explore new painting techniques.

Tang Kok Soo, 'Tenacious Wish', mixed media

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Tenacious Wish’, mixed media

Has winning the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore (Established Category Gold Award) paved the way for more exhibition opportunities?

Yes, definitely! With the UOB Painting of the Year (POY) competition, I was able to showcase my artworks on a regional level, and network with UOB POY artists from around across the region.

Since winning the 2016 UOB POY competition, I have broadened my clientele base to a wider audience which I normally would not be able to market to. This includes regional art collectors and new collectors.

I have exhibited my artworks at the UOB Art Space @ Art Stage Singapore 2017 alongside 14 other UOB POY artists from around Southeast Asia. I am honoured to host my first solo exhibition at the UOB Art Gallery. I sincerely thank UOB, especially the UOB GSCCA team, for giving me the chance to launch my first solo art exhibition at UOB’s headquarters in Raffles Place, Singapore.

Tang Kok Soo, 'Memories #3'

Tang Kok Soo, ‘Memories #3’

We would like to thank UOB for relaying the questions to the artist in Chinese, and transcribing and translating the interview as shown above.

4 design exhibitions in Paris, France: Beyond Maison & Objet fair for our fix on interior design

Maison & Objet Paris is underway and brings us some of the finest that the world of interior design and decor have to offer. We take a look at four design-related exhibitions outside of the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre.

“Imparfait – Nobody’s Perfect” through February 4, 2017, Merci

Concept store Merci is celebrating the broken, the irregular, the flawed and the wonky, embracing a trend that rejects the smooth, the perfect and the artificial. “Imparfait – Nobody’s Perfect” presents a series of objects damaged in accidents or featuring manufacturing faults, with objects that are broken, worn, holey, burned and torn. The exhibition also highlights how they can be patched up for a second life, notably with the Japanese ceramics technique “Kintsugi” or “Be Ga” for textiles. Design fans will recognize the iconic “Le Parfait” jar, distorted by artist Nadia Gallardo, and classic Duralex drinking glasses revisited by designers Loris&Livia.

Innovation Beyond Time and Space (Innovation par delà le temps et l’espace): four exhibitions celebrating Japanese design and craftsmanship,through February 4, 2017, L’Atelier Blancs Manteaux

The L’Atelier Blancs Manteaux concept store is celebrating Japanese arts and crafts with four exhibitions presenting the skills of various artisans. “More Than” focuses on a group of Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises and producers who have joined forces to present typically Japanese products and services to foreign markets. “Densan” looks at “Japan Artisan Material,” a collective of creators working with high-quality materials or using unique techniques from various regions of Japan. “Neo Densan” focuses on design duos, pairing Japanese designers with French designers. Finally “Kyoto Contemporary” seeks to bring “Kyo-mono” — quality traditional crafts used for centuries in Japan — to contemporary life.

“L’esprit du Bauhaus” (The Bauhaus spirit), through February 26, 2017, Musée des Arts Décoratifs

From 1919 to 1933, the Bauhaus art schools in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin (Germany) trained a host of students who went on to become major names in the world of design, such as Marcel Breuer, who designed tubular furniture, as well as photographer Florence Henri, who studied under Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky. Bringing together painters, architects, craftspeople, engineers, actors, musicians, photographers and designers, the institution helped reinvent living spaces by combining these disciplines. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is paying homage to this fundamental artistic movement, exploring the periods and forms of art that helped shape the spirit of the Bauhaus — from the Middle Ages to Asian arts — while also presenting historical Bauhaus pieces.

“Jean Nouvel, Mes Meubles d’Architecte” (Jean Nouvel, the furniture of an architect), through February 12, 2017, Musée des Arts Décoratifs

While the architecture of Jean Nouvel is world renowned, his furniture designs are less well-known. However, from 1987 to the present day, the architect has designed more than 100 pieces. These creations will be on show in the Middle Ages, and 17th- and 18th-century collection galleries of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, as well as in the museum’s section dedicated to advertising, designed by Jean Nouvel in 1998.

Japanese artwork in Singapore: Yukiharu Furuno holds solo exhibition at That Spare Room

Marking a milestone in his career as a ceramic artist, Yukiharu Furuno will feature at least 20 artworks in his solo exhibition. Titled “Inspirations from the Blue”, the exhibition will commemorate the 50 years that he has spent crafting ceramic works. Running from March 4 to 14, the exhibition will also be the first time that the artist has exhibited his art in Singapore. To be located at The Spare Room, within close proximity to the Japanese community in Singapore, it will be a chance for fans of Furuno’s to purchase his handiwork.

Through the exhibition, which is an extension of his award-winning Royal Blue series, visitors will be able to learn more about his inspiration and how the pieces were crafted. Furuno will use the exhibition to introduce several new pieces that reflect the various cultures and designs in Singapore. However, we have yet to get a sneak peek at the Singapore-inspired works, to provide you an in-depth description of what is in store.

The materials used in making the glazes for his work, Furuno uses Japanese plant materials that can be found in Hanna in the Osaka prefecture. This allows the artist to bring viewers on a journey deep within the forests and oceans he conjures up with his art. One interesting element that visitors will be able to witness, is the transition of Fururno’s work from featuring yellow ash-glazed ceramics to a distinct new style. While the former had been a signature of his for 35 years, the artist made the switch in 2003 upon the passing of his wife. Along with an exhibition, visitors will be able to meet the artist himself at selected timings and interact with him through tours and sharing sessions.

"Open a Door to Israel"

Exhibition in Singapore: Last chance to catch Open A Door To Israel at Marina Bay Sands

One does not have to hop on a plane and drop some serious dough to travel to a far-flung location. With the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel, those visiting the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Israel through the exhibition “Open A Door To Israel”.

Until Dec 23, guests will be able to explore various aspects of the country with the help of nine ‘Curiosity Doors’. Each with its own theme, the doors represent education, culture, family, heritage, technology, diversity among others and break down barriers that help visitors to see the similarities that Israel has with Singapore. With a duration of 30 minutes for each session, guest will be greeted by an LED screen that features an interactive video, games and interactive library.

Apart from opening doors to the country, the exhibition will allow guests to take part in traditional Israeli events and other interactive experiences. Using two large screens and robotic projectors to feature the stories of Israel, the 10-minute multimedia presentation is the perfect platform for Israel to show off its technological advancements.

Launched last year at the Tel Aviv Port, the exhibition has visited countries such as Poland, Italy, France and Russia. “Our goal is to present Israel’s vibrant society and its core values through the Open a Door exhibition and connect further with our friends from all over the world. By creating this personal hands-on experience, we can showcase the true face of Israel in all its beauty,” said HE Ms Yael Rubinstein, Ambassador of Israel.

Open a Door to Israel, December 9 – 23, Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Hall C, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971

Arthur Streeton, 'Circular Quay,' 1892 at 'Australia's Impressionists' © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Art Exhibitions in 2017: 4 museums Revisiting Major Art Movements in New York and London

Taking a break from the contemporary world, sometimes it is necessary to trace the roots of the modern artworks we know and love, going back to its historical references. With that in mind, refresh your knowledge of some of history’s major art movements in 2017 with these four exhibitions.

“A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde” – December 3, 2016, to March 12, 2017, at MoMA, New York, USA

MoMA is retracing the rise of the Russian avant-garde movement, from the First World War to the end of the first five-year plan of the USSR (the inter-war period). Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it presents the movement’s first experimental projects (paintings, drawings, sculptures, etchings, books, films, etc.)

“Surrealism in Egypt: Art and Liberty 1938-1948” – November 17, 2017, to March 11, 2018, at Tate Liverpool, UK

This is the first comprehensive museum exhibition about the Art and Liberty Group (Art et Liberté -jama’at al-fann wa al-hurriyyah). This collective of politically engaged artists and writers with surrealist leanings lived and worked in Cairo in the late 1930s until the late 1940s. “Surrealism in Egypt: Art and Liberty 1938-1948” shows how the movement, usually associated with European artists, transcended borders, notably thanks to travel and correspondence with artists such as André Breton and Lee Miller.

“Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites” – October 4, 2017, to April 2, 2018, at The National Gallery, London, UK
'The Arnolfini Portrait', 1434, Jan van Eyck at 'Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites' © National Gallery, London

‘The Arnolfini Portrait’, 1434, Jan van Eyck at ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’
© National Gallery, London

The National Gallery is focusing on the painting “Arnolfini Portrait” by Van Eyck, exploring how the work became a beacon by which Pre-Raphaelites forged a new style of painting. The exhibition brings together “Arnolfini Portrait” and other paintings for the first time, highlighting the piece’s influence on the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and William Holman Hunt (1827-1910).

“Australia’s Impressionists” – December 7, 2016, to March 26, 2017, at The National Gallery, London, UK

“Australia’s Impressionists” is the UK’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of Australian impressionists. It presents the movement as a unique artistic current, certainly linked to its French and British counterparts, yet also entirely distinct.

gingerbread city Moa london

Architecture Museum Hosts Gingerbread Exhibition

Gingerbread City is made up of Caramel Wharf, Pancake Rise, Puddington… These are some of the six districts you will have the chance to visit in London this month. And if they do sound like some parts of a city, they are a lot sweeter, though not actually for eating.

These ‘neighborhoods’ are part of Gingerbread City, the latest exhibition hosted by the Museum of Architecture (MoA) and entirely made of sugar. Here you’ll find galleries, small shops, cafés and bars: everything can be eaten – but not yet! All we can say is we hope they’ve figured out how to keep the ants away. They are indeed submissions from some of the UK’s leading architectural schools and firms such 4M Group, Arup, Foster & Partners, Hopkins Architects and spacelab to a great gingerbread structures contest. A total of 64 teams are taking part and will be judged – the story does not say if the judges will be pastry chefs.. or Hansel & Gretel.

Feeling crafty? Workshops will be hosted as well – some might say they are made for families with kids, but no doubt adults with a sweet tooth will be welcome too.

The very sugary event, celebrating of course the British Christmas Spirit, is held as part of the museum’s winter fundraiser. The money raised  (a fee is imposed for a “Plot Passport” on each submission) will be used to to support MoA’s upcoming exhibitions and 2017 program.

Gingerbread City at The Museum of Architecture (MoA) London. From Dec 7 to 22. General public admission: free

Design Miami Features Major Brand Collaborations

Maison Kitsuné – John Alcorn capsule collection

The only collaboration listed here that’s not being shown as part of the Design Collaborations section of the show, this capsule collection with French fashion brand Maison Kitsuné will be featured in the Market program, which presents design-driven retail. This limited-edition mini capsule collection created in partnership with Design Miami features work by the late 1960s American illustrator John Alcorn, whose illustrations are used as the fair’s identity this year. The collection will also be available at The Webster Miami, online at Maison Kitsuné and in stores in Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo and New York.

Airbnb – ‘Sobremesa’

Emerging Mexico City-based design studio Pedro&Juana is behind this exploration of shared space, whose name refers to a Mexican tradition of lingering around the table in conversation after a meal. Inspired by iconic Mexican courtyard spaces, the installation will change throughout the week to represent how people live and participate in Airbnb homes them over time. The exhibition also features a program of meals, cocktails and music.

Dean & DeLuca – ‘Stage’

The New York gourmet market and fine food retailer has partnered with architect Ole Scheeren to create a prototype of his design for a food retail concept titled Stage. The prototype features a “glowing, pristine object in polished stainless steel with the undulating topography of a bespoke, high tech display system.” Stage will operate during the fair as Design Miami’s food partner.

Dean & DeLuca's "Stage" by Ole Scheeren © Buro-OS Design Miami 2016

Dean & DeLuca’s “Stage” by Ole Scheeren
© Buro-OS
Design Miami 2016

Fendi – ‘The Happy Room’

The luxury house is bringing an interpretation of a modular VIP room. With simple volumes and rounded shapes, the room by architect Cristina Celestino makes reference to the arch of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome and features a contrasting play of different types of marble.

Audi – ‘The extra hour’

Luxury car brand Audi will bring a collaboration with LEGO, which takes its inspiration from the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept. Emphasizing the idea that this technology allows the user to control time, the installations features 13 numerals arranged around the vehicle to form a giant clock, with the number 25 included to symbolize the “extra hour” enabled by the driving technology.

Louis Vuitton – ‘Objets Nomades’

This installation will comprise iconic creations from the Objets Nomades furniture collection, including the
Stool by Atelier Oi, the Cocoon by the Campana Brothers, the Bell Lamp by Barber & Osgerby, the
Swing Chair by Patricia Urquiola and the Lounge Chair by Marcel Wanders. Louis Vuitton will also unveil  the Blossom Stool, designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, and the Fur Cocoon by the Campana Brothers.

Design Miami, which runs alongside Art Basel Miami Beach, bills itself as a “global forum for design,” with a focus on collectible design. This year’s fair runs from November 30 through December 4.

NASA – A Human Adventure at ArtScience Museum

NASA – A Human Adventure, which opened November 19 at the Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum, is an exhibition fully dedicated to humankind’s epic journey into the unknown. Part of the museum’s current season, the exhibition also happens to be the largest of its kind to be held in Singapore.

NASA – A Human Adventure offers visitors a chance to be a part of the expeditions beyond our skies and for once, it really is rocket science! More than 200 historically-significant artifacts of space travel will be showcased at the event and are organized in five distinctly-themed galleries.

Dreamers Gallery

Dreamers Gallery

The first gallery, The Dreamers (above), is dedicated to the visionaries who manifested the ideas of space exploration, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Chesley Bonestell and Robert McCall. The next gallery, Go Fever, highlights the important space discovery events throughout history, which started with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957. The third gallery is Pioneers, which pays homage to the rocket scientists and engineers of NASA. The fourth gallery Endurance (below) delves into the hardships of an astronaut’s life (hint: gravity always wins). The final gallery Innovation comes back to the core of space voyages: new ideas and technologies.

Space suits in Endurance gallery

Space suits in Endurance gallery

One of the many highlights of the exhibition is a full scale reconstruction of NASA’s iconic Space Shuttle, where space crews spend their time in space. Visitors will be able to view the flight deck and experience the life of an astronaut, vicariously of course.

Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter access hatch (L)and Apollo Lunar Module crew cabin (R)

Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter access hatch (L) and Apollo Lunar Module crew cabin (R)

The ArtScience Museum has also specially commissioned a project from Indonesian artist Venza Christ, titled Indonesia Space Science Society. Featuring a three-meter long sculpture and soundtracks of radio waves from space, the mixed-media installation offers an out-of-this-world experience for the senses.

Indonesia Space Science Society

Indonesia Space Science Society

Other highlights include a 2G force experience with the G-Force Astronaut Trainer ride, a Jupiter nose cone recovered from the ocean, and film shots from Apollo 8, 12 and 17 voyages.

Gemini spacecraft

Gemini spacecraft

“This is truly a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the spacecraft, rockets and technology that changed history and our understanding of our universe. NASA – A Human Adventure is a blockbuster exhibition that brings visitors on an extraordinary journey through 100 years of human space adventure.” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. “To anyone who has ever dreamed of Mars, this season is for you.”

USA flag moncler thom browne

Moncler Opens New York Flagship, Celebrates City with Art

French luxury outdoor apparel brand Moncler, after having imposed its signature down jackets around the world, opened its first American flagship in a city that will definitely enjoy the warmth, the comfort and the style of their products: New York City. Two locations have been announced: Madison Avenue (main venue) and Prince Street, Soho.
Celebrating this grand opening, Moncler wanted to pay tribute to the Big Apple and imagined two art projects that would both enlighten NYC creativity and the brand’s experimental style.


The first part of the tribute has been handed to Thom Browne. The stylist conceived an installation, called “USA Flag”, consisting of 28 special limited editions of the brand’s iconic jackets – same model, different design – all having the American as common theme. The jackets, each of them being unique and numbered, will be assembled to create mosaic decorating the background of the boutique before being sold online to benefit NPO Robin Hood.

Thom Browne also designed a full Special Collection, featuring jackets, cashmere sweaters and other special items, only available at the Madison Avenue boutique – and yes, they will all be Stars and Stripes.

The second part of that Tribute is a unique realization by famous NYC Film Director Spike Lee. His contribution, is a Short Musical Film celebrates the Big Apple’s heat of life and magical atmosphere.

Moncler Tribute to New York spike lee film

Frame from Musical Film “Brave” by Spike Lee for Moncler

The Film, called “Brave” – reference to the lead song, begins with Spike Lee himself reciting The Sonnet “The New Colossus, inscribed on The Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.  “Lady Liberty’s Flame,” concluded Spike Lee, “welcomed millions of people arriving in the United States of America. Their first step onto American soil was in New York City. I hear that in this song, “Brave Suffering Beautiful”, which holds the essence of what it means to be an American in this particular period in time.”

Through Moncler’s tribute to New York, all can see the brand’s love and respect for the Big Apple. Thom Browne and Spike Lee bring their own vision of the common theme, making the project and innovative and exciting demonstration of Moncler’s personality.


Watch the full film below:

Gucci Sponsors Chatsworth House Fashion Exhibition

Gucci Sponsors Chatsworth House Fashion Exhibition

Britain’s Chatsworth House has been revealed as the setting for what is widely expected to be one of 2017’s major fashion exhibitions, sponsored by Gucci.

“House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth” is set to explore the life of the historical Cavendish family and additional famous figures, including Bess of Hardwick, the 18th century “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; Fred Astaire’s sister and dance partner Adele Astaire and Nancy Mitford. Supermodel Stella Tennant will also have a starring role in the show.

Covering art history, fashion, jewelry, design and textiles, the exhibition will tell the story of the Devonshire Collection and the role fashion played in the protagonists’ lives. Curated by International Editor-at-Large at American Vogue Hamish Bowles, it will be set into various rooms of the house and organized by theme, including ‘Coronation Dress’, ‘The Devonshire House Ball’, ‘Bess of Hardwick and the Tudor influence’, ‘The Georgiana Effect’ and ‘Entertaining at Chatsworth’, among others. Highlights include a Givenchy bolero worn on the Duchess of Devonshire’s wedding day, uniforms, coronation robes and fancy-dress costumes, and historic and contemporary couture from Christian Dior, Gucci, Helmut Lang, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Vetements.

“This exhibition proves how much historical objects are an incredible source of inspiration for creating the present,” says Alessandro Michele, Creative Director at Gucci. “Thus far the house has been speaking, now House Style gives a voice to the wardrobes of its inhabitants and guests.

“House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth”, a 200-page survey of fashion at Chatsworth featuring photographs by Mario Testino, Cecil Beaton and Bruce Weber, will also be published to mark the exhibition.

The exhibition will run from March 25 to October 22 2017. For more information, see www.chatsworth.org

pergamon museum

Pergamon Museum Temporary Exhibition Space

Pergamon Museum – Berlin’s biggest and most popular museum, with more than a million visitors every year – has been closed since 2014 and was meant to reopen five years later. The date has been pushed back to 2023, due to major renovation delays and the public might not have access to the full collection before 2025.

Archeology fans can be reassured though, as Berlin’s Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) announced the opening of a temporary exhibition space as early as 2018. A two-story building designed by Berlin-based Spreeformat Architekten is being constructed for the occasion, not far away from the museum itself. It will host various historical art pieces, including parts of the Pergamon Altar, world-famous highlight of the Pergamon Museum collection. This is significant because the Altar was one of the highlights confirmed to be off-limits until the reopening of the museum. The AFP confirms that Telephos Frieze will be on display, alongside a panorama by Yadegar Asisi depicting the ancient metropolis of Pergamon itself.

More details will be released in 2017. Check Pergamon’s Museum website to learn more about the collection and renovation.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Commissions Grand Opening Works

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and built at a cost of half a billion euros, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature 9,200 square meters (100,000 square feet) of gallery space.

“Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer have worked closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi team to develop sculptures and installations reflecting the universal stories of the museum and in harmony with the iconic building,” said a Sunday statement.

Penone, a member of Italy’s contemporary Arte Povera movement, has created “Germination”, a four-part installation that reveals his fascination with the use of organic materials, such as trees, to highlight the connection between man, nature and art.

Among these installations is “Leaves of Light” – a bronze tree soaring towards the museum’s giant 180-meter dome with mirrors placed on its branches to reflect the “Rain of Light,” the museum statement said.

US conceptual artist Holzer has designed three engraved stone walls of texts from important historical sources from across the world.

The ambitious Louvre Abu Dhabi project, announced with much fanfare nearly a decade ago, has faced repeated delays. The museum was expected to open in December this year but has been postponed until 2017.

Built on the sea, promoters say Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a “museum city” which includes streets, waterways, and plaza with artworks displayed outside as well as inside the galleries.

Many of France’s grand museums, including the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles, will loan art to Abu Dhabi as part of a 30-year collaboration with the emirate worth one billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first museum to open at the Saadiyat Cultural District and will be followed by the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

audemars piguet exhibition shanghai

Audemars Piguet Hosts Ambitious Exhibit In Shanghai

“To break the rules, you must first master them” – the name set the tone. The luxury Swiss watch manufacturer is currently hosting its most ambitious exhibition which brings guests on a journey through its history — in Yuz Museum, Shanghai.

Audemars Piguet appointed French designer Mathieu Lehanneur to conceive a special installation: a large ring, made of 12 rooms – an allusion to a watch dial  – where 200 historical and contemprary timepieces are exposed. “This exhibition is a reflection on time… a dreamy vision of time where each instant differs from the previous one. Here every door opens onto a new story,” Lehanneur said.

audemars piguet exhibition shanghai

the “ring” installation, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

In the middle of the circle stands a huge rock, created from cast replicas of those found in Audemars Piguet’s home in the Vallée de Joux. It is meant to remind the visitors of the brands origins and how far it has come from there. Key artists, as Cheng Ran, Dan Holdsworth and Alexandre Joly, also contributed to the exhibit, showing the brands commitment with the world of contemporary art.

audemars piguet exhibition shanghai

Since 1875, the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families, has proven its expertise in Haute Horlogerie crafting and its capacity to adapt and prosper through the ages. This exhibition, presents the largest collection ever brought outside of its own Museum also explores a selection of horological arts and crafts that the brand has mastered over the centuries.

After Shanghai, the “ring” exhibit will be displayed in severl other art capitals throughout 2017.

“To Break the rules, you must first Master Them” by Audemars Piguet, Yuz Museum, Shanghai. Until November 13th

Natee Utarit

Artist Natee Utarit: Lights Out

“Samlee is a Bangladeshi magician. Formerly known as Kasim, he and his family started coming to my studio, where he modelled for my paintings, since 2014. In fact, Samlee had achieved a certain degree of fame in Thailand as a member of the Philip Magic Troupe some twenty years ago.” So begins the wall text for the sold-out solo exhibition of Thai contemporary artist Natee Utarit’s latest series of artwork at the booth of Richard Koh Fine Art at Art Stage Jakarta 2016. Interestingly, the text is written not by a curator but by the artist himself, who goes on at some length to write about the magician’s unfortunate, premature retirement from his career, and the circumstances that brought Natee to paint him and his family.

Natee Utarit

Natee Utarit, ‘The Magician King’, 2016, oil on canvas,
90.5 x 68.5 cm. Courtesy of Krisada Suvichakonpong and Richard Koh Fine Art.

To tell Samlee’s story, Natee asked the young Thai artist Krisada Suvichakonpong, who had photographed the making of his ‘Illustration of the Crisis’ series earlier in 2013 to photograph the time that the artist spent with Samlee and his family in the studio. “When I decided to paint this magician and his family, I thought that it would be great if I could tell more of the story regarding my painting process to explain how I collaborate with them as models,” says Natee. “The final photos were selected from hundreds of shots showing different moments between the artist and the models during a seven-day period in the studio. For me, it is quite amazing to capture Samlee’s character and his personality and then communicate the whole story with both the paintings and photobook.”lights-out-natee-utarit-3

Beckoning fairgoers to the booth are the words ‘Samlee & Co. The Absolutely Fabulous Show’ in a grand carnival-esque font. The 18 paintings, completed this year, look like prints of charmingly imperfect hand-painted circus posters. While most of the paintings feature Samlee, such as ‘Blue Stripe’ and ‘Pietà’ there are also other subjects, including Samlee’s children in ‘Magician’s Daughter’ and ‘Moody Boy’, as well as Samlee’s props as a magician in ‘George’ and ‘Jog’. The paintings all like posters that might once have been vibrantly coloured but now look smudged and gritty, and feature unsmiling faces, seemingly in reflection of the life story of Samlee, whose 15 minutes of fame ended all too quickly.

Natee Utarit

Natee Utarit, ‘Billie Jean’, 2016, oil on canvas, 90.5 x 68.5 cm. Courtesy of Krisada Suvichakonpong and Richard Koh Fine Art.

The rough-hewn quality of the portraits may seem incongruous with Natee’s signature realist paintings. However, this is not the first time he has produced works that have been purposefully treated to look less than perfect. In ‘Reasons and Monsters Project’, realised in 2001-2002, he stained his paintings based on Old Master paintings from Titian and Caravaggio to question traditional notions of beauty in Western art. He did the same in another series ‘Last Description of the Old Romantic’ in 2005, which featured floral still-lifes taken from classical paintings.

The rawness of the paintings in ‘Samlee and Co.’ captures the imperfect humanness of his subjects, and reflect the introspective nature of the work. “They had a very personal touch to them and it wasn’t really about the people he was painting,” says Richard Koh. “Natee, every now and then, does a small body of work that has a very personal narrative to it and most times, it just records his thoughts and emotions at that point in time.”lights-out-natee-utarit-2

Indeed, it appeared that the meeting with Samlee and his family threw up questions for the artist about impermanence in life, as well as the trials and tribulations that everyone inevitably has to go through. “Samlee and his family are very interesting, and they have made me search for an answer for the existence of life in the world today,” says Natee. “His personal character reminds me of old stars who try very hard to make a comeback in the real world. I can see all of this from his family, from his magic objects and props. Everything looks wrong and it’s not easy… really not easy.”lights-out-natee-utarit

A particularly poignant line in the artist’s wall text for the exhibition is “nothing is arbitrary, there are no miracles and there is no magic, and above of all, nothing is unilaterally true”, a rather pragmatic, pessimistic outlook on life as seen through the personal tragedy that Samlee has lived, and one that the artist empathically portrays in this body of work

This article was first published in Art Republik

Tate Modern Hosts Elton John Photo Collection

Sir Elton John’s fans will be soon able to discover one of the English singer and songwriter’s unheralded passions: Modernist photography. Only a few know he started a personal collection in 1991, focusing on artists and pieces disrupting the medium. Since then, he has gathered several thousand of photographs.

After having kept that collection private for years, Sir Elton John agreed to expose a part of it to the public at the Tate Modern, in London, during a special exhibition.

The Radical Eye: modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection” brings together selected pieces taken between 1920 and 1950 by some of the most-known avant-garde artists from the last century.

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John

From documentary photography to portraits and abstract work, John’s collection will document the evolution of photography during the first half of the 20th century.The pieces selected for the exhibition will be flown in from the singer’s multiple properties around the world. In all, over 150 rare and iconic photographs by more than 60 artists will be on show.

Anticipated highlights from the exhibition include portraits of 20th-century icons Georgia O’Keeffe, Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinski, André Breton, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, as well as groundbreaking modernist works by photographers André Kertész, Man Ray, Berenice Abbot, Alexandr Rodchenko, and Edward Steichen.

The Radical Eye collection will be displayed in the Tate Modern, barely six months after the London museum completed its major architectural renovation in June 2016. Those interested in the exhibition are invited to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #RadicalEye.

 “The Radical Eye: modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection“, Tate Modern London, from Nov 10 to May 7, 2017.

Photographer Laxmi Kaul: “Beyond Boundaries”

In her new exhibition “Beyond Boundaries”, hosted at the Leica Gallery located within the iconic Raffles Hotel, photographer Laxmi Kaul presents her journey with the people and nomads of Kashmir. Over a two-year span, the self-taught photographer has been going through the beautiful but dangerous land, talking and bonding with locals to get to know their lives and narrate them through her photographs.

Photographer Laxmi Kaul: "Beyond Boundaries"

Photojournalist Laxmi Kaul

Despite being a heavily militarized zone, the border (more properly the Line of Control) between India and Pakistan is bursting with lively and joyful souls. She has been stunned by their simplicity, serenity and sincerity. “I have discovered there is something special in the everyday; for one, we are alive” said Laxmi Kaul.

Poised nomadic woman prided her way of life, Kashmir, 2015; Laxmi Kaul

Poised nomadic woman who prides her way of life, Kashmir, 2015; Laxmi Kaul

To her, photography “is a quest for capturing the emotion in a moment – silently, spiritually with pride and positive impulsiveness, as if telling a very human story”. “Beyond boundaries” illustrates her vision: the photographs are representations of unplanned yet meaningful moments – every single one of them mirroring Laxmi’s vivid memories of the multifaced territory. 

Guest admiring the works from Beyond Boundaries

Guest admiring the works from Beyond Boundaries

The collaboration with Leica allows the brand to showcase just how well the brand’s cameras capture emotions and passion perfectly — something that they were able to show us personally at the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS as the official photographers. With the Leica Gallery, the brand is able to illustrate its role on the frontline of photojournalism.

The “Beyond Boundaries” exhibition will run at the Leica Gallery till December 5.

Rolex Daytona Exhibition Visits Singapore

The Rolex Daytona Exhibition debuted at VivoCity Central Court B, Singapore in early October, where it thrilled the public for close to a week. The exhibition, presented by watch retailer The Hour Glass and Rolex, attracted more than 5,000 visitors over the course of six days. If you ever wondered why exactly the Rolex Daytona watch is such a big deal with collectors, this was the perfect place to find out.

First off, there’s the name of the famous watch itself, which is not simply the Rolex Daytona, although it has come to be known as the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. For example, the star of the showcase was new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 904L steel fitted with a Monobloc Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic. We first encountered this version of this star timepiece at BaselWorld earlier this year and it was great to see it get its due from the Singapore public as well. Visitors at the exhibition here were able to chart the evolution of the Cosmograph Daytona over the years, through a series of panels and interactive displays.

We’ll get to that history in a moment but first, feast your eyes on one of the world’s most sought-after timepieces, in the flesh, so to speak.


To revisit this history, briefly, the watch made its debut in 1963 to accompany the motor races at Florida’s Daytona Beach; today Rolex is of course the title sponsor of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 24-hour endurance race. When it was introduced, the Cosmograph Daytona was powered by a hand-wound Valjoux movement, which the brand-that-wears-the-crown stuck with until 1988, when it famously opted to introduce Zenith’s El Primero movement (with significant adjustments, as recounted here). Finally, in 2000, the current in-house calibre 4130 debuted and that’s what the current model still uses.

The Hour Glass held a private cocktail reception on October 5, to celebrate the launch of the Rolex Daytona Exhibition. Some 270 guests at the event enjoyed the evening entertainment accompanied by champagne and canapes.

Singapore Watch Club at The Rolex Daytona Exhibition

Singapore Watch Club at The Rolex Daytona Exhibition

Queen in Versailles: Marie-Antoinette Tokyo Exhibit

Versailles will be visiting Tokyo this winter. The exhibition “Marie-Antoinette, a Queen in Versailles” will be running from October 25, 2016, to February 26, 2017 at the Mori Arts Center Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. It will be the first exhibition dedicated to the last queen of France in Japan, where the historical icon is made a household name through a thoroughly Japanese medium, but wholly unexpected anywhere else in the world, the bestselling manga The Rose of Versailles.

The exhibition will provide a look at the life of Marie-Antoinette, who is famous (some say unjustly infamous) for her refined taste in luxury and fashion (which means made-to-order spectacles since this is 18th century France). The works of the queen’s preferred artisans are shown in the exhibition, such as tableware from the Sèvres Royal Porcelain Works.

One of the main highlights will be a reconstruction of the queen’s private apartment in the Palace of Versailles – complete with the bedroom, bathroom, and a majority of the furnishings. Meanwhile, the stucco library is to be reproduced in 3D. That bathroom is particularly notable as the French queen had a proper in-door lavatory, which was unique in Versailles. Thinking on that makes us realize that everyone reading this has access to more luxury than even the richest of the rich in the pre-Industrial era.


“Marie-Antoinette” by the Sèvres Royal Porcelain Works by Louis-Simon Boizot. © Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN/ Christophe Fouin

Visitors will also be able to view a retrospective of Marie-Antoinette’s life: from her wedding to Louis XVI (who was dauphin at the time) to the day she became queen and the birth of her children. Marie-Antoinette’s entourage and fellow members of the French royal family, are featured as well. The showcase also explores the queen’s darker days, such as the infamous Affair of the Necklace, and of course the deadly consequences of the French Revolution for her and her family.

A total of 200 pieces will be showcased at the exhibition, most of them hailing from the Palace of Versailles collections. You can also view similar treasures at the grand museum in Canberra, Australia this season.

Victoria & Albert Museum Hosts Balenciaga Exhibit

Victoria & Albert Museum Hosts Balenciaga Exhibit

2017 is set to be a big year for the fashion house Balenciaga, not least of all because the Victoria & Albert museum will be paying extraordinary tribute to the legacy of the brand. For nine months, starting in May, the Victoria & Albert museum will showcase the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga in an exhibition called “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion”. Featuring his creations in the world of haute couture, the exhibition is the first of its kind in London.

More than 100 garments, 20 hats and numerous sketches, photographs, fabric samples, x-rays, toiles and film will be on display for guests. The items are said to be making an appearance in public for the first time despite there being a museum for Cristobal Balenciaga in Spain since 2011.

The exhibition happens to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the designer’s first fashion house in San Sebastian, Spain. Another milestone celebrated by the brand is the 80th anniversary of Balenciaga’s Paris salon.

Serious Game: Escher’s World of Wonder

“My work is a game, a very serious game.” said M.C. Escher. Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder is the latest exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, Singapore and it makes a literal reality of Escher’s words. The exhibition explores the works of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, who’s renowned for his paradoxical, highly calculated designs. Some 150 of Escher’s works, including pieces owned by private collectors, will be showcased in one of the biggest exhibitions of his work in Asia.

The retrospective narrates Escher’s artistic journey, from his start with Art Nouveau-inspired nature prints in the 1920s, and abstract experimentation in the 1930s. The peak of his artistic career came in the 1970s – his exploration on the concept of infinity, through a juxtaposition of mathematics and art. The exhibition ends with ‘Escher Mania’, which demonstrates the scale of Escher’s influence on pop culture in the 20th and 21st century, such as in Christopher Nolan’s movie Inception.


“More than an art historical presentation of one of the 20th century’s great artists, this exhibition is an immersive, playful, and interactive journey into the poetic worlds that Escher created.” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands. “Alongside his masterpieces, we are presenting large-scale optical illusions, dazzling installations, engaging hands-on learning projects, and games that take us inside Escher’s realm of wonder.”

One of those “playful” bits is the Relativity Room, where you can step in an experience how easy it is to distort reality – well at least our perception of reality. You need three people to get into this properly, or one stranger to hold a camera for you!

Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder exhibition is spread into six zones. The exhibition is open till 2017. Don’t forget to also check out Future Land, if you have the time. 

Zone 1 – Early Work: Art Nouveau and Nature

Escher’s artistic beginnings from 1921 to 1935, featuring realistic drawings of nature.

Zone 2 – Tessellation

The gallery explores Escher’s fascination for tessellations; with an interactive Tessellation Puzzle Activity (below) for visitors. It really is great fun for younger visitors as one can slide off the wall and into a pile of tessellations. 


Zone 3 – Metamorphosis

The sequel of Escher’s tessellations, this time featuring abstract shapes transforming to concrete forms.

Zone 4 – Commercial Works

This gallery features 21 of Escher’s works commissioned by officials and admirers.

Zone 5 – Exploring Infinity

The highlight of Escher’s signature constructive compositions that represents infinity, including Ascending and Descending. This zone also has three interactive activities: The Relativity Room, The Mirror Room (below), and Convex and Concave Sphere


Zone 6 – Escher Mania

The narrative concludes with the works of those who are influenced by Escher, including works from local artists.


“JOURNEY TO INFINITY: ESCHER’S WORLD OF WONDER” till 26 February 2017 – ArtScience Museum Singapore. More info and booking on MBS website