If you haven’t been to the Singapore Art Museum in a while, it’s high time you make plans for another visit. This February, the city’s premier contemporary art museum will play host to a series of fascinating exhibitions and programmes. Because where else would you go for an affordable arts fix?
Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia
From now till 18 March 2018, the Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia exhibition is featuring films, animation, and experiential audio-visual installations that examine identity, politics, and the future of cinema.
Highlights include AK-47 vs. M16, a fascinating artwork by The Propeller Group (Vietnam/USA) that offers an interpretation of war with two bullets colliding into and against each other – as conflicting ideologies do. There is Malaysian artist Hayati Mokhtar’s Falim House: Observations, an immersive ten-channel video that depicts an abandoned mansion in Ipoh that previously belonged to one of Malaya’s wealthiest tin tycoons in the 20th century. See the left-behind furniture, antiques, documents, as well as the ever-so-slight stirs and shifts as life goes on around it.
From the Philippines, Victor Balanon’s The Man Who is a video and wall painting work that combines a series of animation techniques (including time-lapse, live footage, and intertitles) to reflect his own experience in a Japanese film company when he was amongst the many anonymous artists slogging away. Closer to home, we have Sarah Choo Jing and her piece, Wear You All Night – a two-channel video shot like a luxury brand commercial, juxtaposed against a soundtrack derived from war zones, with clamorous gunfire and artillery elevating the emotional textures of the narrative to melodramatic proportions.
Plus, here’s one for the stop animation junkies. If you’ve always wanted to find out how your favourite filmmakers – think Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, and Ray Harryhausen – create their work, sign yourself up for the exclusive Basic of Stop Motion Animation workshop happening on 24 February!
When: Now to 25 March 2018
SAM Late Nights
Spend a night at the museum with the latest edition of #SAMLateNights on 9 February and 9 March, where you can look forward to free entry to all the exhibitions (yes, including Cinerama), meet-the-curator sessions, and an indulgent picnic with food, craft beer, and wine by Standing Sushi Bar – all under the museum canopy. Of course, every good event needs good music, which brings us to a dizzying electronic sets by Amon Wong ft. Ffion Williams and Canvas Conversations, linked to video loops and live projections at the 8Q Plaza.
When: 9 February & 9 March 2018, 6pm – 10.30pm
Chinese New Year Open House and Koh Nguang How Archive Collection
There’s no escaping Chinese New Year in Singapore, especially not when you’ve got the exciting Chinese New Year Open House happening while everywhere else is closed. On the 17th of February, come experience the museum and Cinerama artworks in a new and novel way – with festive lion dance performances and family-friendly art and craft workshops. Plus, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations by calligraphy enthusiast Malik Mazlan proves one stroke at a time that you don’t need to be Chinese to appreciate the art form.
While you’re there, take a look at On the Cusp: Early Contemporary Art Activities in Singapore, which runs at SAM Curve now to 18 March too. Curated from the perspective of Singaporean artist and archivist Koh Nguang How, the archival presentation broadly gathers into view the events, people, and activities that leaned towards the ‘contemporary’ during his time as Assistant Curator at the National Museum Art Gallery from 1985 to 1992.
Chinese New Year Open House: Saturday, 17 February 2018, 10am – 7pm
On the Cusp Archival Exhibition: Now to 18 March 2017
Singapore Art Museum is located at 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535, p. +65 6589 9550. Open Sat-Thu 10am – 7pm, Fri 10am – 9pm.