Culture / Art Republik

Singapore Art Book Fair 2018: ‘Publishing as Discourse’

NTU CCA and SGABF collaborate to explore publishing as a discursive space

Jun 26, 2018 | By Mary Ann Lim

SGABF 2018 Brochure and Bookmark

Following NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore’s (NTU CCA Singapore) 2014 curatorial programme, ‘Publishing as Expanded Form’ and its continued research into the field of publishing, the Centre is collaborating with Singapore Art Book Fair 2018 (SGABF) for its sixth iteration. The fair, which features a prolific collection of art books, zines, and other printed ephemera, will run from 29 June to 1 July.

Exhibition view of SGABF 2014

SGABF is set to present several highlights this year for audiences to enjoy. The partnership between the Centre and SGABF will see the fruition of ‘Publishing as Discourse’, the fair’s programme as curated by NTU CCA Singapore, which delves into the media of publishing as a discursive space. Crafted as a series of conversations, presentations and workshops, the programme brings together international publishers, writers, and art practitioners who predominantly use the field of publishing as a medium to critically engage with the arts. Showcasing over 60 local and international exhibitors, the festival’s exploration of printed matter vis-à-vis art will be further complemented by a range of art-related fringe activities.This year’s fair will also witness the debut of a dedicated Zine Room curated by Squelch Zines. 16 local zine-makers who represent the best in small-scale self-publishing will be featured in the Zine Room, alongside an assemblage of local and international self-published zines in the Zine Library.

Exhibition view of SGABF 2017

With a myriad of art festivals dotting the landscape in Singapore in recent years, SGABF and its dedication to the contemporary art book stands out as the only one of its kind. In particular, it is only within this space that the small-scale self-published zine is placed democratically alongside established publishers from across the globe, unified largely by their print-related enterprises that contribute to discourses in publishing. Speaking ahead of the fair, Festival Director Reneé Ting comments on the purpose SGABF serves, “The Singapore Art Book Fair allows fairgoers to browse and be exposed to a wide variety of printed matter, and for exhibitors to meet like-minded individuals to exchange ideas or initiate creative collaborations. The fair also plays host to international exhibitors from around the world, hopefully creating opportunities for local artists and publishers.”

Exhibition view of SGABF 2017

When asked about the kinds of conversations she hopes the fair will spark amongst audiences, she replied, “I would hope for the fair this year to bring about a deeper understanding of art, art books and the creative culture in Singapore, to invoke a sense of critical thinking that allows viewers to start their own discourses about art and printed matter. Whether or not they love it, hate it, or don’t know what to think about it, the aim is for them to at least have differing opinions.” Furnished with a colourful array of events daily, including case study presentations on artist-book projects, SGABF is a space where the publishing of art and the art of publishing converge serendipitously to engage with audiences of all backgrounds.

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