Fresh new works from Philippine contemporary visual artists are expected to be highlights of the 8th Art Apart Fair which opens today, June 11, at Singapore’s Isetan Wisma Atria, a shopping haven right at the heart of Orchard Road.
Rosalind Lim, Art Apart Fair’s founder and director, describes Filipino art as “a fusion of Western artistic composition, content, design and technique coupled with the feel of exotic and meticulous Eastern touch.”
Works on exhibit are by Philippine artists Geovanni Abing, Tyago Almario, Cezar Arro, Demetrio dela Cruz, Dennis Francisco, Sam Penaso and CJ Tanedo.
“I am excited to be part of Art Apart Fair because Philippine art has always been great,” Tanedo says. “It’s a privilege to showcase this in other countries.”
“It is very important for Filipino artists to be given an opportunity to showcase their works outside the Philippines,” Arro says. “Mainly because it will greatly improve the state of the art industry for Filipino artists. It will open new doors and more opportunities for artists across the Philippines, especially for artists located in the remote parts of the country where opportunities are quite rare and even nonexistent.”
“Filipinos have always looked up at the success of fellow Filipinos overseas,” says Abing. “[Those who are] able to showcase artworks on a world stage reinforces the fact that Filipino artists are world-class and they become the much-needed fuel for the next generation of talents.”
And these Filipino artists will definitely get to show off at this year’s Art Apart Fair, which will see Isetan Wisma Atria converted into one large art space where collectors will get to mingle with artists and gallery owners.
Isetan Wisma Atria prides itself in being the first Singapore mall to house new-to-market international brands and, in providing approximately 6,000 square feet of space for Art Apart Fair, it becomes the first to hold what is shaping up to be the biggest contemporary art exhibition to be staged in a shopping establishment.
While there will be signature artworks from the artists, some will be installing site-specific pieces including vintage restored furniture incorporating pop and modern art. Industrial furniture designed and juxtaposed with surreal and abstract art create a certain environment for those who would like to see how the pieces would look like in a home setting.
Previous Art Apart Fair editions from Singapore to London have done this, converting hotel rooms and suites and even shipping spaces into a home-like environment, heavily featuring Filipino artists in most cases.
“Incorporating both art and design in Art Apart Fair is crucial and all the artists from the Philippines bring a fresh perspective to this,” Lim says. “They have been carefully selected for their potential to become well-established not just in Singapore but in other countries as well.”
Lim adds that the “white cube” format exhibition booth does not have the inviting feel of a home setting.
As if all of that isn’t enough to entice art lovers around the world to come and visit, the 8th Art Apart will also have a series of workshops and talks ranging from Southeast Asian contemporary art and wine appreciation to collecting vintage furniture, calligraphy, artisanal jewelry, and even regional Myanmar cooking and brewing coffee at home.
“The uniqueness of Art Apart Fair is that it always exhibits fresh, never-before-seen works by artists,” Lim says. “Artists might have the same theme but the content and color used will be different. The Art Apart Fair brand DNA is to curate exhibition in a home-like ambience, creating an intimacy and warmth for visitors to feel welcome.”