Art Stage Singapore is returning for its sixth edition from 21-24 January at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. With 143 galleries from 32 different countries exhibiting, this year’s spectacle is sure to engage everyone, with or without an art background, in a dialogue with contemporary art and its role in Southeast Asia.

Alongside 76 new galleries, Art Stage is also introducing the Southeast Asia Forum- a two-part experience comprising of an exhibition and a talk series focusing on the theme of urbanization. Just as urban planners and designers explore the infrastructural construction of a city, artists explore the philosophical depths of the human experience of inhabiting cities. Entitled Seismograph: Sensing the City – Art in the Urban Age, this forum aims to explore the role of the artist as a seismograph of the society’s pulse, reflecting the effects of living in a rapidly urbanizing region.

Here we chart what we’re looking forward to seeing at Art Stage Singapore 2016

David Chan

david chan aries art stage
Photo: Courtesy of Art Seasons

Singaporean artist David Chan uses animals to explore the ways in which humans behave and interact with one another. In ‘Aries’, the artist cages sculptures of animals inside an irregular case, intentionally leaving the case slightly ajar forcing the audience to ‘investigate’ what lies inside. The work acts as a kind of thought experiment to learn how we perceive information given to us, and how different vantage points affect our understanding of what we see.

Featured Artwork
Highly polished stainless steel and rubber animals
52 x 32 x 42 cm

Nguyen Thai Tuan

nguyen thai tuan art stage
Photo: Courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery

Nguyen traverses memories of war in his jarring almost surreal paintings. Having grown up during the Vietnam War, his work is often informed by atrocities he witnessed. Nguyen creates a sense of brooding unease, and in doing so he subtly examines and questions the state of governance in Vietnam today.

Featured Artwork
Black Painting No 56
Oil on Canvas

Ren Ri

ren ri art stage
Photo: Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries

Part-organic, part-intentional, Ren Ri’s sculptures made out of beeswax explore natural versus man-made processes of structural formations. Combining his knowledge and interest in beekeeping and visual art, the artist uses beeswax to manipulate the ways in which the beehives are formed. His works explore the intricate relationship between humans and bees, and on a larger scale, between humans and nature.

Featured Artwork
Yuansu Series II #6-30
Acrylic box, natural beeswax
40 x 40 x 40 cm

Aliansyah Caniago

aliansyah caniago art stage
Photo: Courtesy of the Artist

Exhibited as part of the Southeast Asia Forum, Caniago’s Titik Balik is a project which the artists intiated in 2012 as a response to the environmental damage he witnessed in the Indonesian lakeside town of Situ Ciburuy. Seeing abandoned fishing boats as a symbol of a lost and decaying cultural heritage, Caniago aims to recuperate tradition. During the project, Caniago invited viewers to pull the fishing boats out of the water and into the land to give them a new life. At the exhibition, he will be displaying one such fishing boat, along with film documenting the process behind the project.

Featured Artwork
Titik Balik 
Performance, Installation
Dimensions variable

Norberto Roldan

norberto roldan art stage
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and TAKSU

Lamenting the loss of quant bungalows to make way for urban townhouses, Roldan explores misguided notions of progress in the Philippines. His artworks are made of debris from the destroyed colonial bungalows in the town of Kamuning, readily available in second-hand shops as a result of their rapid deconstruction. His artwork is presented as part of the Southeast Asian Forum Exhibition.

Featured Artwork
100 Altars
Wall assemblage with architectural debris from demolished old houses
Dimensions variable

Sherman Ong

sherman ong art stage
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and IKKAN Gallery

This multimedia installation on display at the Southeast Asia Forum Exhibition by Singaporean artist Sherman Ong explores the role of migration in the development of transcultural diasporic identities in the region. Using the documentary form, Ong explores the lives of characters caught in between cultural identities and social customs. At the same time, his documentary films are essentially fictive reenactments based on real stories, highlighting the blurry boundary between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’ that all stories inevitably grapple with.

Featured Artwork
NUSANTARA: the seas will sing and the wind will carry us
Multimedia installation
Dimensions variable
2011 –

By Tanvi Rajvanshi