With Singapore Art Week taking place from 17 – 28 January and an exciting line-up of artsy activities all around town; here are some suggestions on how we can all make sense of the beauty.
Ever found yourself standing before an artwork larger than life, in a gallery so silent you can hear your heartbeat as you struggle for words to convey your thoughts? We have.
These 5 tips from CapitaLand’s art management unit will help you navigate your next art adventure.
1. Talk about the artist
The first step to holding a conversation about the artwork before you: find out the name of the artist.
How old was the artist when he or she created the piece? What about his or her nationality? Did they grow up in a period of war or revolution? Having the answers to these questions will help paint (pardon the pun) a clearer picture when talking about the artists’ identities and it will also help you understand the causes they believe in.
There is a message encrypted in every canvas. Understand the artist, uncover the message then wax lyrical about it.
CLICK HERE for a chance to win exclusive VIP passes to ART STAGE Singapore!
2. Understand the inspiration
Born in Grenoble, France in 1952, Etienne has a degree in plastic arts and his works strike an organic balance between mass and space. The voids and use of ‘empty spaces’ is iconic-Etienne. He initially worked with marble, stone and wood but subsequently used bronze for his sculptures, allowing him to create solids and hollows better.
Titled La Conversation, the men in this sculpture have masks as faces. The artist is reminding viewers that humans may all don masks and put on façades even when we engage in intimate conversations.
The contrast of the polished and shiny parts is created by the interaction between acid and flame during the process of patination, bringing out the subtle nuances of brown.
On display in Capital Tower, here’s the sculpture against the backdrop of a glorious setting sun.
If you come across an art piece which catches your eye, stop to read the info panel next to it. Pick up a copy of the brochure when you’re at the museum. Search for more information about the artist online. Feed your curiosity and find out more about their background to understand their work better.
3. Beauty is in the process
The process is just as significant as the final work. Check out the photos and videos of artists-at-work online. You may be surprised by the amount of hard work, sweat and time poured into these art pieces.
Here is Singapore’s Cultural Medallion recipient, Han Sai Por, working hard to hammer and bend and the steel plates and metal rods in place for her sculpture.
It is back-breaking labour and definitely no easy feat, especially for a senior artist like Han, who is 75 years young!
And the final product – Flight & Forest – a series of 22 stainless steel, high-gloss sculptures suggesting a bird in mid-flight and at other times, a growing plant. Shimmering under the sunlight and glowing magically atop the ambient pool lights at night, Han’s work now adorns our newly opened Suzhou Center, where another Singaporean artist also has his work on display.
Here’s another piece from Han at Capital Tower, Singapore – aptly namedShimmering Pearls.
4. Get your hands dirty
Don’t stop at viewing or understanding art; start making your own! It’s therapeutic for some and cathartic for others. If you want to get started without splurging on the tools, then head to Arteastiq at Plaza Singapura for an art jamming session. The best part – it comes with a complimentary drink so you can thoroughly enjoy your creative process!
Inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition in Singapore last year, we held a Kusama-themed art jamming session for CapitaLand staff. Our colleagues had to ‘obliterate’ a cardboard-constructed mini-room, a take on the ‘infinity mirror rooms’ that the Japanese artist is known for. Using just coloured markers, pens and a piece of carboard; this can also be a fun family stay-in weekend activity!
5. Simply... have fun!
Much as art is about the artists, a large part of art is also about the lens of the viewer. There is no singular way to interpret an artwork.
Immerse yourself in the context of the artists’ lives and their journeys in creating these works.
The beauty of art is in the conversations it inspires. Allow yourself to experience the work and think about how it relates to your life and relationships.
Antony Gormley - widely acclaimed for using his installations to transform a site of subjective experience into one collective projection, British sculptor Gormley has taken his practice beyond the gallery to involve active participation. His works confronts the viewers to think about the relation between human beings, nature and the cosmos.
Gormley created two Carrara marble figures for a three-dimensional stereometry, emphasising the lack of uniqueness and the relation between the virtual and the real. Located in the lobby of CapitaGreen, the marble pieces are TWINS, interacting with the general space, other art installations and the passers-by, creating an unexpected dimension of poetry and human touch.