In the past, many of us turn to the arts to get through difficult times, so perhaps it’s been hard to grapple with social distancing, cancelled events and the closure of venues during these challenging times.
Fortunately, artists are nothing if not adaptable, especially when facing challenges. It has been heartening to see how quickly artists and arts organisations have turned their cancelled events into digital events. And one such key event for this region that has successfully adapted in this manner is the on-going Singapore Art Week 2021 (SAW 2021).
Staying true to SAW’s theme of ‘Art Takes Over’, the ninth edition of the festival is being presented in a complementary blended format for the very first time, with over 100 programmes threading across both physical and digital platforms, allowing audiences from around the world to discover and experience South-East Asian art.
This annual visual arts season, which runs from until 30 January, unfolds across the island with a dynamic line-up of art and interventions in unexpected places, everywhere from public places like bus stops and car parks, to the digital realm. And especially for the benefit of many of us who are staying home to weather the pandemic storm, here’s a list of the key digital offerings that are accessible from the comforts of home this weekend.
Until 31 January
Take a virtual adventure around Singapore’s Civic District and its historic buildings, including the Asian Civilisations Museum, and Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, through online art workshops, livestreamed talks and other exciting events. Organised by National Gallery Singapore, this year’s festival will follow the theme “________-in-Progress”, inspired by artists who continue to create and adapt to these strange times.
Until 30 January
Get creative (and even a little ridiculous) at this one-of-a-kind exhibit, where 30 artists have designed a collection of fun stickers that will help you level up your Instagram game. Choose from an array of GIFs featuring slime, eyes, flashing lights and buzzing objects to add a touch of weirdness to your own photos and videos. Tag @eyeyahmag and your creation may even be featured in the exhibition’s online site!
Until 5 March
Regulars to Singapore will definitely know about Kampong Glam, a cultural precinct in Singapore steeped in history. But for those who are unfamiliar with this much-celebrated area on the island, this virtual exhibition provides behind-the-scenes videos and digital performances to start one‘s exploration of the streets of one of Singapore’s most vibrant enclaves, and discover the hidden street art and age-old stories as told by the artists, musicians, dancers and thespians who call this neighbourhood home.
Until 31 January
This actually returns for its fourth edition, but this time in a completely online format. With the theme ‘Leap of Faith’, six private collectors from Singapore, Indonesia, India and Switzerland will open their homes and offices to provide rare public access to site-specific works and other parts of their collections. Peek behind the curtain and hear the stories of some never-before-seen masterpieces. In the process, learn about the motivations of people who go above and beyond in pursuit of their passion for art.
Until 31 January
Singapore has long provided creatives from South-East Asia a platform to showcase their works to international audiences. As such, this exhibition continues this tradition by bringing together some of the finest artists and galleries from across the region through a blend of digital and in-person art experiences. One must-see highlight is S.E.A. Focus Digital, an online platform staged by global fine art marketplace Artsy, giving avid art collectors a seamless discovery-to-purchase experience and access to works that meld the ancient cultures of this region with unique modern aesthetics.
Until 31 January 2021
COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected everyone in ways big and small. So, with #NEVERBEFORESG, the National Museum of Singapore attempts to document the impact of the pandemic through a vast collection of video essays, drawings, photography, poetry and digital games. Discover how Singapore grappled with the crisis at the country’s first and largest online art showcase, which features the works of 87 creatives curated by fashion designer and multi-disciplinary artist Yang Derong.