Category: Visual Arts

1:54 Contemporary Art Fair 2014, Somerset House

Oct 18, 2014
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1:54 Contemporary Art Fair 2014, Somerset House

If you want to get a really good insight into the burgeoning contemporary African art scene, I hope you had a chance to see 1:54. With more than 27 galleries participating, Somerset House was a great exhibition space to bring this show together as it provided the perfect and intimate setting to observe and study the diverse but very solid output of these African artists. Compared to the frenetic Frieze Art fair, 1:54 is much more subdued which gave viewers the time to absorb every piece of artwork.

Galleries had also been quite selective as they focussed on a few artists and a few pieces here and there rather than bombard the public with a whole bonanza. Read More »

Highlights from Masterpiece London 2014

Jul 22, 2014
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Highlights from Masterpiece London 2014

Masterpiece London 2014 was a unique experience for a first-time visitor like me. Happened weeks ago but still very vivid as it featured all kinds of flashy and interesting artefacts and everything you can imagine - from fine arts, applied arts, decorative arts, jewels, watches even high-end vehicles! In some way, it was like walking through history but with a bit more of a upscale shopping mall experience. From Greek pottery, Roman mosaics, Renaissance paintings, collector items such as Da Vinci's signed books up to modern-day jewellery pieces, it's all breathtaking and all pretty, except that Masterpiece is really for those who have money to spare to add to their collection.

Despite this great shortcoming from my end, that didn't really stop me from hunting down some art pieces that I haven't seen before. Here they are: (sorry I didn't take pictures of the vehicles!) Read More »

11 Best of START Art Fair – Saatchi Gallery

Jul 7, 2014
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11 Best of START Art Fair – Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi gallery scores again with last week's START Art Fair. For me, Pangaea was interesting but Start Art Fair was exciting, especially as its a product of the highly successful Global EYE Programme which produced Korean Eye and the Indonesian Art Fair - both of which exhibited at Saatchi. Since 2009, the Global EYE Programme has been organising exhibitions about Asian contemporary art so I only expect that Asian artists will be well-represented in this show. I am a big fan of Asian art, and personally I feel that it has reached its zenith as more and more Asian artists are breaking new grounds in international art in the truest sense of the word, without resorting to hype, shock appeal which some of their European counterparts often do.

Judging from the great turnout during the private view Read More »

Ai Weiwei – Lisson Gallery 2014

Jun 10, 2014
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Ai Weiwei – Lisson Gallery 2014

I've been up to date with Ai Weiwei's career since the time of his arrest years ago and have also been following him in Instagram. The only artist of his calibre to harness the powers of social media, his ingenious selfies on Instagram and daily snapshots of the people around him  - including pictures of his very own son - all seem jovial and humorous and do not reflect his current situation as a political dissident.  Yes, he's been posting pictures of his bike with flowers as a protest against the travel restrictions imposed on him by his government, but his real political/social activism continues not through social media but through his art.

It is then a privilege for me to see his works at the Lisson gallery knowing that he is able to produce his art under these circumstances. And while it is easy to be mesmerised about the legend than his actual produce, this exhibition reminds me of Read More »

Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America (Until Nov 2014)

Jun 2, 2014
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Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America (Until Nov 2014)

Featuring bonafide and emerging artists from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi's exhibition Pangaea, which opened two months ago is a real attempt to consolidate eclectic art into one package and present it as ONE movement of sorts. The only drawback is that Africa and Latin America are just two super continents by themselves, both marred by different social and historical upheavals too complex and vast to summarise in one solid piece or international trend.

For me, having this kind of mini art-fairs, however, is a step in the right direction especially for those who are interested to see other than the usual fare of retrospectives and one-man exhibitions dominated by major artists. For one, it gives me a snack-able version of big art fairs with a million things to see to something more manageable. Read More »

Phyllida Barlow – Tate Britain Commission 2014

Apr 26, 2014
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Phyllida Barlow – Tate Britain Commission 2014

Phyllida Barlow's new commission at the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain is large, messy, unstable and chaotic. But despite the disarray and all the cardboard, timber and rope hanging about on top of me, it gives a sense that it's all contained chaos. The premise of it all is to address space and how I and the rest of the visitors - who are as perplexed as I was - would interact and get our heads around what's hanging about us.

Where does one start? There is no chronological narrative in this pandemonium and there is nothing beautiful about this monumental sculpture. It's a miss-mash of bricolage, a factory of unfinished or abandoned collage slapped all together in one set by pure chance and without actual intent Read More »

16 of the Best artworks from Art14 London

Mar 4, 2014
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16 of the Best artworks from Art14 London

I was very excited to see Art 14 and had great expectations that this one will top last year's fair. I enjoyed last year's exhibition and with the number of international galleries exhibiting, it  helped piqued my interest again in Asian art which I didn't have a lot of access to - living in London and Europe for almost 13 years.  Thank God for this kind of art fair, I am able to see galleries that I normally won't be able to see here in London. 

This year, Art14 seems to be going on the same momentum with a lot of varied art works from all over the world. There are some   that I've recently seen at the London Art Fair a few weeks ago and a few other artists and artworks that were already featured last year. Kind of disappointed with that but I don't undermine that these are interesting artworks. Nonetheless, I'm glad I went because I have discovered artists that I haven't known before or haven't known as painters. Read More »