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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Affordable Arts Fair 2013: Singapore's Arty Mega-Bonanza!

This Friday was special and a exceptionally busy day for me; having THREE events packed back to back, but charged with a hearty lunch and some pep-talking from Le Boyfriend, I was raring to go. 
(Sorry, needed to disclaimer this in case readers wonder why I'm wearing the same outfit in all three posts!)

I was very glad to be extended an invitation by the Affordable Arts Fair team to have first peeks at the sprawling arts exhibition, the largest one I've been in the whole year! I initially found myself at a loss at where to start. Occupying 2 whole floors, the F1 pit building was the ideal place to house the massive array of art works. Here were some of the highlights from the fair:

The best thing about the Affordable Arts fair is that there is always something for everyone. First up, where some of the more fun-looking, conversation-starter pieces that would add that extra quirkiness and humour to that like-minded collector's home. Perspectives are in play, and each work changes the way you view the world.

Can you believe that this is just a clay sculpture? It looks so REAL. *Not to be eaten*

Closer look at the piece: faceless, homogeneous subjects

I have long been an ardent fan of the water-colour and oil paintings, and these few are both stunning in their simplistic use of strokes and colours. Life in the squatters and the regular cityscapes have never seen a more colourful touch. 

Closer details

Closer details

Arts and politics
have long been like bread and butter; what with the increasing stringent clamp-downs on airing views and hush-hush topics, there is probably no better way to infuse and explore a societal topic into the colourful, innovative creations of artists. Everything from globalization, war and communism are given a novel leash of life in the hands of contemporary artists.

Even Singa the Lion, our unmistakable national courtesy icon is not spared...

"Truth is Freedom".
Truth is said to set us free, but are we really free with the omnipotent surveillance?

Another very popular recurring theme in the works of contemporary artists it seems, was F
ashion and Retro culture. Everything for the blatant to the subtle, luxury brands, famous icons and pop culture are immortalized on canvas and other mediums. As for the retro, it seems like swinging 60s and hippy 70s are eras that have truly struck a chord with artists.

Hello, Andy Warhol.

The irresistible sex siren, Bridget Bardot...
Can you identify who these gentlemen are?

And then of course, there were the slightly weird, sometimes creepy but always interesting series of works that warrants a second look. Invoking food for thought behind each creation, pushing creativity and the boundaries of acceptance.

DBS Lounge allowed visitors to have foot rest, sate growling tummies and have visual reprieve from the huge art exhibition space. We were just in time to catch one of the artists in action, doing a live demonstration to an enthusiastic crowd watching his every brush stroke and move.

Drink partner G.H.MUMM's Artspective Lounge gave art and champagne a whole new perspective at the Affordable Art Fair, Singapore. Featuring a wall dedicated to the Champagne Protocoles de G.H.MUMM and an upside down photo op wall, the lounge was a huge hit with guests throughout the fair.

Wall of mixers for visitors to add a extra dose of special to their drinks!
Another work that caught my eye was the Anatomies of Desire by Lennard Ong .For reasons obvious, the installation stuck out like a sore thumb (in a good way) amidst all the conventional colour portraits and paintings.

Basically how this works is that the artist enters the image idea into the computer program (as seen in picture) and using a algorithm that calculates the points and dimensions of the figure and the marker-fixated mechanism doodles it into the canvas, hence no two portraits are the same. Pretty cool!

Photographs, the perfect capture of a moment in time. Each shot a special moment immortalized onto print, and together with the photographer, the viewer relives it with invoked feelings and wonder.

Intimate, risque or plain vulgar? You decide.

One of the special events of the Art Fair was Cirque du Scent; a inter-sensory, interactive installation which invites visitors to help identify scents picked, which is a curation of the edible aromas that has said to been a source of inspiration to great artists such as Da Vinci and Manet.

The installation also invites visitors to have a whiff of a random concoction to see what the smell reminds them of, then have their thoughts written on a paper slip and archived.

And guess who's the genius behind this: it's Nicola Anthony! I had covered her works earlier in the year at the Minimart 4.0, and was a pleasure to see her again. Cirque du Scent I felt, was very much in the same vein of her past works such as Verse, where there is a level of interactiveness and mystery. Always such a fun way to discover arts!

I found Noma Bar's pieces very fun; underlying the tongue-in-cheek but impactful images. The Israli artist formulates it from the understanding of how the brain processes and understands imagery. Pictograms are manipulated to invite the viewer to take a closer look to see the embedded messages and question the way we usually look/ think on first impressions.

What do you see?
I love this particular collection, while I'm not too sure of the creation technique, I enjoyed looking at how the subject of each picture seems to be 'floating' on the top of its background.

Of course, Affordable Arts Fair is named so for a reason; and visitors who find themselves on a budget can still be spoilt for choices at the "Under $1000" wall. From what I saw, there was around 50 pieces in different styles and genres, providing a very good variety.

My arm was truly cramping by the end of the day, there was just so many! While I didn't get anything from the fair, I sure left with a deeper appreciation and insight into the creative world of artists. How's that for a colossal dose of art, Singapore?

Big thank you to the Edible Art Movement team for the kind invite, till next year!

That's 1 event down, 2 more to go! Up next, G2000's Winter Style Party @ Ion Orchard....stay tuned!

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