Culture / Art Republik

Affordable Art Fair Singapore: Top 5 Director’s Picks

With 80 galleries and thousands of art pieces on display, Fair Director Alan Koh picks the top 5 artists to look out for.

Nov 08, 2022 | By Joseph Low

As one of the first international art fairs to return, Affordable Art Fair Singapore promises a wide range of artworks from 80 international and local galleries. Located at the F1 Pit Building, art lovers will be spoilt for choice at the fair as thousands of artworks from over 650 artists will be showcased during the three-day event. With so much to see and do, it will undoubtedly be difficult for anyone to start. To help you plan your trip, we have compiled a list of the top 5 artists to look out for at this year’s fair. 

Affordable Art Fair Singapore, Director’s Picks

Angel Hui

“My works exhume meanings of daily, mundane materials, such as plastic bags, paper clips, facial tissue and rice paper, and re-infuse them with new and unpredictable associations and perceptions,” says the artist. Her collection to be shown at the fair is titled, “Embroidery on the plastic bag — Goldfish”. Working with artisans from Suzhou, China, the goldfish motifs are stitched on transparent plastic bags instead of fabrics. 

The artwork attempts to answer the question of “can new usage be bestowed upon such single-use bags?” And through collaboration, the artist has succeeded in giving new meanings to the originally water-filled bags and broadened our understanding of the definition and social role of mundane objects. In addition, her work also served to create meaningful dialogue between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary art.

Sean Lee-Davies

Aside from being a renowned writer and host, Sean Lee-Davies is also an artist whose works aim to draw attention to causes that he is passionate about like environmental sustainability and conservation. Some of his highlights include photographs featuring endangered animals like lions or capturing special moments such as an elephant sand bathing. These images were shot by Lee-Davies and chronicled the dire states of the animal kingdom.

The photo collection also featured celebrities such as Jennifer Tse, Jocelyn and Anthony Sandstorm, Mia Kiang and others. They were taken up close alongside some of the world’s most magnificent animals. With an aim to redefine the relationship between humans and animals, the captured moments spotlight people not as conquerors of nature, but as conscientious cohabitants. Furthermore, every purchase made through the gallery helps to fund charities such as Africa Parks and World Central Kitchen as well as artists.

Ilana Gal

1056 by Ilana Gal, 2020, Acrylic on Wood, S$10,800, Bruno Art Group (Stand 2B-15).

Israeli artist Ilana Gal has no definite way of creating her artwork. She explains, “Whenever I approach a new canvas, I begin with unguided strokes and allow the composition to simply emerge.” Along her artistic journey, she often questions herself and attempts to reconcile her thoughts with lines and colours. The characters that eventually emerge reflect her thoughts and what she wishes to express. However, artworks are after all subjective and the artist believes one should not dictate how the art is appreciated. Instead, viewers should interpret it through their own subjective and individual experiences.

Sunaina Bhalla

Artist Sunaina Bhalla’s works revolve around the repetitive and ritualistic nature of gestures and their origins. Using different mediums and styles, the artist examines our relationship with time. This is expressed using materials that represent the fragility of our body and then contrasted with natural fabric and embroidery. Aside from being a trained textile artist who specialises in print, Sunaina also explores the use of the traditional Japanese painting style called Nihonga. 

Jiang Wanling

This artist’s choice of medium is unlike any other; she uses indigo-hued denim as her canvas. For many, the western style of painting like Plein Air often gets picked as the primary way of doing artwork. But for Jiang, she decided to use Chinese landscape painting. This ancient art form, also known as Shanshui, goes against what is considered mainstream today. It refutes colour, light and shadow and personal brushwork; it’s a reflection or interpretation of one’s own understanding of the scenery. In a way, melding both denim and Shanshui is telling of Jiang fervent push for bridging traditional art with the contemporary world. 

Taking something so familiar to the people of today like denim and incorporating it with an art form that’s almost forgotten, Jiang is re-envisioning the relationship between the old and new. It helps to draw new perspectives for visitors as they ponder their own links to the past and the future.

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