2014.01.16 Thu, by Translated by: 路弯弯
Art Stage Singapore – second postcard (for uncle Rudolf)

Art Stage art fair opened Wednesday and first impressions are good. The presentation is airy and sleek—definitely on a par with ArtBasel Hong Kong—and with some 130 exhibitors, there is certainly variety, perhaps sometimes too much. The best is very good, assisted greatly by the special exhibitions dubbed “Platform”, curated by leading regional curators, including from Singapore, China, India, Japan and Australia. One of my favorite works in the Platform exhibits was Chen Qiulan’s “The Hundred Surnames in Tofu” (2004-2014)—even if it did pong a bit. Singapore still has a way to go, though, before it can compete with ArtBasel, and this is evident in some weaker galleries and exhibits. Some gallerists were heard passing snide remarks about this—quibbles, nothing more. The fair overall is highly professional, organizationally exceptional, well attended and, most importantly, showing strong foundations in its fourth year. So it should be expected that the fair will return next year even stronger. In this time of continuing economic uncertainty and in a developing art market no less, that is quite an achievement.

Chen Qiulin

Chen Qiulin “The Hundred Surnames in Tofu” (2004-2014)

The nature of the regional art market was averred to by fair director Lorenzo Rudolf in his speech at the media launch. Asia is still a developing art market. It cannot be simply compared with New York, London and Paris. But at the same time, it is precisely this new territory that makes it so exciting. Of course there is derivative work, clichés and easy forms and at the same time relatively less inscrutably conceptual work. But for those of us who endured abc berlin relentlessness, that’s not a bad thing. A strength Singapore enjoys over Hong Kong is a government totally committed to supporting the development of Singapore as a center of art and culture. For those who would scoff, watch this space. The institutions here are still very young but then again young Singaporean artists and curators are as likely to be found in Berlin, London, Shanghai or New York. And if local collectors are still relatively few, that hardly matters given Singapore’s preeminent role as the regional hub. All of which can sound a bit apologetic. Maybe I am being too generous. To judge that however, we will have to wait and see.

Zhou Wendou “Diamond Dreams 2 – Blue”, 2010, and “Diamond Dreams 1 – Red”, 2010, at de Sarthe Gallery—neon we like.

Chen Wei “Coins” & “A Boy in the Fountain Basin” -at China Platform (Ben Brown Fine Arts)—Ben Brown, who also represents Candida Höfer, continues to explore the young Chinese scene.

Jakki Siributr “Rape and Pillage” 2013 at Yavuz Fine Art—echoing the show at Yavuz that opened for the Biennale.

Li Hongbo “Bust of Young Man” 2013 at Contemporary by Angela Li—Li Hongbo’s solo show just opened at Klein Sun Gallery, New York sold out before the opening.

Keiji Ito “Untitled” 2013 at G/P + g3/gallery—one of a number of new and intriguing painters at the fair.

Heri Dono “Riding a Scapegoat” at Rossi & Rossi Gallery, Art Stage Singpore–one of the best solo-shows at Art Stage Singapore.