Art & Design / Inspiring / Updates

Singapore’s Latest Art Haunt – Gillman Barracks Opening Night

Hi lovelies!

A few weeks back, Gillman Barracks had its opening night and as part of the Transmission Lab 2012 apprenticeship programme, we were invited down for the event.

My friend and fellow Trans Lab apprentice, Wanqi designed the typography for Gillman Barrack’s identity! (: We also attended the event together because we were the only ones who could make it. The rest either had stuff on or had to OT. ):

For the unknowing, here’s information about Gillman Barracks from their website so you have a better idea of what it’s all about:

Gillman Barracks (GB) is Asia’s up-and-coming destination for contemporary art. It will be distinguished as a vibrant centre in Asia for the creation, exhibition and discussion of contemporary art.

Named after British general Sir Webb Gillman, GB is set amid lush greenery and was once a stronghold to the First Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. The conserved colonial barracks now houses galleries and creative businesses, as well as the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) that will open in 2013.

The international galleries features diverse and ever-changing contemporary art exhibitions, while the CCA will bolster the region’s visual arts landscape through its international artist residency, research and exhibition programmes. By fostering cultural exchange and creation, showcasing the best and most innovative art of our times, as well as generate discourse and research, the CCA will establish Singapore as an important centre for contemporary art in Asia.

And from Artinfo (which is probably from GB’s press release):

Part of the vision to make Singapore a “global city,” the new art enclave is a 15-minute drive from the central business district and is housed in refurbished buildings nestled amid lush greenery that were formerly military barracks and date from the 1930s. The entire development, which cost a little under S$10 million, will ultimately provide about 4,200 sqm for art galleries when completed, along with another 4,800 sqm of space dedicated to arts-related activities, such as artist studios, an art research center and food and beverage outlets. It officially opens with the first 13 galleries pulling out all the stops with their opening shows. Two more galleries will open next year.

Frankly, GB is a huge undertaking that was planned for years but executed in months. We are all pretty amazed and awed by what we saw that night and I truly hope that this major undertaking will continue to take flight in the hands of CCA when it opens in 2013.

Side tracking a little, I must confess that I have not assumed a blogger personality that I would prepare pro/semi-pro camera (I do have a handheld canon ixus my sister gifted me) for outdoor events. Which explains poor quality and or lack of photos. I try to, and sometimes I bring the camera out but I usually just end up snapping on the go with my trusty iPhone. It’s so much more convenient plus I can just Instagram / tweet / facebook when I want to! Many friends have commented that my iPhone has better camera quality, which I don’t deny. I am blessed. ^^

You know what? The next best invention would be a handy, lightweight camera with awesome visuals, built in filter, cute deco AND Instagram, Twitter, Facebook publishing function. Who wants to build and create this camera with me?! I won’t ask for much, just 1 camera for my own blog, 9 more for giveaways on this blog and perhaps a negotiable % life-long royalty for consultancy fees. 😉

OK SO. Enough of side-tracking. Back to topic, I must admit I didn’t go through all 13 galleries at the Gillman Barracks opening, and so that means that I should go back another time to check out the ones I’ve missed.

Nonetheless, I think I have visited about half of them, and here are some of my favourite galleries and artworks!

PARTNERS & MUCCIACCIA

Partners & Mucciaccia opens in Singapore with a bang, to an exhibition titled “From Picasso to the New Roman School”. This exhibition winds along the masterpieces of some of the greatest contemporary artists of the XX (read: 20th) Century – featuring the works of artists including Picasso, Lucio Fontana, Cristiano Pintaldi and many more acclaimed Italian artists (feel free to google them yourself ^^).

I am in love with the gallery. It’s filled with all these fascinating, contemporary artworks. I love contemporary fashion, art, news, basically most contemporary stuff. But what’s really cool about this gallery is that it has all these artworks dating decades back in the 60s but they are still avant garde and contemporary. Specifically I refer to the slashed canvases by Lucio Fontana.

This is NOT the one at the gallery. But it’s very similar. 4 strokes but in slightly different places.The one we saw at the gallery is titled

Lucio Fontana
Spatial Concept, Waiting
1968
Water based paint on canvas
81×65 cm

I mean check that out! It’s created in the late 60’s some almost 50 years ago and it still conveys the same angst humans experience today. Angst whether historical or contemporary is still angst. Contemporary art created decades ago people!

There’s an attempt of explanation in the guide I picked up at the gallery, let’s see if it makes any sense:

Another limit surpassed by the informal painting is the idea of space in painting. Lucio Fontana explored the possibility of giving the third dimension by cutting the surfaces of his works. The space is “here”, where we are, and it is “there”; the work becomes a stargate, an open passage towards the beauty conceived as waiting for the unknown. The achievements of this pioneer of contemporary art are represented by this works Spatial Concept, Waiting (1960s).

What do you think? Obviously after reading the above explanation, mine’s completely refuted. But it still makes sense isnt’ it? HAHA. Which explanation do you prefer?

Cristiano Pintaldi
Blond Girl
2012

Who shapes our perception of reality and how? Pintaldi’s work questions the misleading “truth” conveyed by the systems of power through mass media. The artist’s paintings reproduce the same tripartite decomposition of TV and computer monitor. When viewed up close, it’s made up of small pellets / blocks of overlapping colours that come together when viewed from afar, simply fascinating.

Check out a teaser video I found on youtube, for his exhibition presented at Venice Biennale last year 2011. (Side track, VENICE BIENNALE!!! It’s like the mecca of all contemporary artists. I often daydream, as in seriously I do, of going back for Venice Biennale. Was there on an school art trip while I was studying art in SAJC  in 2007 and it was A-MA-ZING. I hope and plan to make it for 2013. Oh yes I must.)

Pablo Picasso
The Artist and his Model
1964
Oil on Canvas
97x130cm

Unfortunately, I cannot find the photo online. It’s not a spectacular piece coming from Picasso, as in I’m guessing it’s probably one of the less known / work in progress piece. But it’s a masterpiece nonetheless. Like how many people on earth can attest that they’ve seen a Picasso masterpiece in real life?

If you are wondering why Pablo Picasso is so famous, it’s because he has been widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement with  Georges Braque. He is one (out of a grand total of 53) of the major world artists which I studied for A levels. Quite unfortunately I have returned my knowledge to the books and can’t recall what I’ve read/memorized of him. Nonetheless, blogging about this exhibition is a great opportunity to refresh my memory of this great artist and his work. Arguably, Picasso’s most famous work is Guernica – his depiction of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It’s choke-ful of symbolisms which we as art students had to read, understand, analyze and critique. It’s a powerful painting and statement for speaking against the cruelty of war and bombings. That, my friends, is perhaps the reason why Picasso is so famous because he was an intellectual that used his fame for a greater cause.

I am seriously side tracking a lot in this post, but I must say, war and bombings are so lame and retarded! At the heart of it all are selfish motivations (of egotistical leaders) that ruins lives. People, please never ever support war and bombings okay?! 

MIZUMA GALLERY

CROSSING GAZES

Now – 18 Nov

Solo exhibition of the newest pieces in Korean artist Hyung Koo Kang’s series of overwhelmingly bigger-than-life portraits.

Hyung Koo Kang’s works are AMAZING, especially those that were created on metal. That’s right, you didn’t read wrong, METAL. He actually carved those fine hair lines you see on the above Monroe image out and mind you, these works are some 4m high! @-@ This is another case of you simply have to see it to believe and be astounded by. Seeing it on the photo, doesn’t do his work justice as all, it doesn’t look half as amazing as it is in real life. I just wish he had stronger subjects to work with than just merely famous people.

MICHAEL JANSSEN GALLERY

Peter Zimmerman

Epoxy Resin on canvas. Very pretty, decorative paintings. There was a book on display and his works have also been applied on the floor. Can totally imagine his work in hotel lobbies and applied to interior design.

BLENDED BY DESIRE & STEREOMONGREL

15 Sep – 29 Sep

Blended by Desire 

Four young Indonesian artists — Mushowir Bing, Sanchia Hamidjaja, Ricky “babay” Janitra and POPO — from Jakarta will present video works, installations and wall paintings that reflect how contemporary urban society has been increasingly influenced by a pop culture globalized by technology and mass media. The artists, whose practices blend street art, cartoon and illustration, use the exhibition to articulate themselves amid the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.

Their works are super cute lah!So relevant. “I hate tagging!”“I’m following you” is both a great news and kinda creepy. LOL.
Finally, I will end off this post with Singaporean artist Donna Ong, who used a yet unallocated gallery space in one of the old military barracks to create “And we dreamt we were birds.”
That’s all for now! Let me know which work is your favourite and why! Or you could also share about your favourite artist and artwork. 🙂
xx
Ena

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