Whitestone Gallery’s First Singapore Outpost Aims To Do For Southeast Asia What White Cube Did For London

The Whitestone Gallery Singapore isn’t merely the first in Southeast Asia but also claims the title of the region’s largest gallery.
by Zat Astha
Whitestone Gallery Singapore

Photo: Whitestone Gallery

Tanjong Pagar Distripark (TPD) recently witnessed a landmark moment in Southeast Asia’s burgeoning art community with the grand opening of Whitestone Gallery Singapore and New Art Museum Singapore. This grand inauguration marks an epoch of innovation, creativity, and appreciation in a region steadily emerging as a major global art hub.

Designed by the eminent Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, recognised for his pioneering work in blending nature with modern urban landscapes, the art space is an amalgamation of history, art, and architecture. Esteemed for his philosophy of harmonising structures with their environment, Kuma’s creations stand as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between nature and architecture. His iconic projects, ranging from Tokyo’s Asakusa Culture and Tourist Center to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic National Stadium, exude this ethos.

The journey toward Whitestone Gallery Singapore opening started back in January 2023 during Singapore Art Week, when a glimpse of its artistic marvel was offered. Today, after months of meticulous renovations, the venue stands proudly as a multifunctional beacon of art, housing both a museum and a commercial gallery. The Whitestone Gallery Singapore isn’t merely the first Whitestone Gallery in Southeast Asia but also claims the title of the region’s largest gallery.

Five decades of art

Whitestone Gallery Singapore

Photo: Whitestone Gallery

Originating in Tokyo in 1967, Whitestone Gallery has a legacy of amplifying Japanese post-war art and modern art for over five decades. Since then, Whitestone Gallery has grown to be a beacon in the art world, championing Japanese post-war and contemporary art. Notably, its pioneering role in popularising the avant-garde Gutai movement has left an indelible mark on the global art landscape.

While deeply rooted in Japanese artistry, the gallery embraces diversity, showcasing talents from regions spanning from Asia to Europe. With its ever-expanding presence, from Beijing to Seoul and beyond, Whitestone solidifies its commitment to global art outreach.

Whitestone Gallery Singapore

Photo: Whitestone Gallery

Further accentuating its prominence, the gallery opened the New Art Museum in Karuizawa in 2012, amplifying its platform for artists. This rich heritage and dedication make Whitestone Gallery’s newest Southeast Asian outpost in Singapore a monumental addition to the region’s vibrant art scene.

An Asian tapestry

Japanese artist, Miwa Komatsu. (Photo: Whitestone Gallery)

The inaugural event at the Whitestone Gallery Singapore will shine a spotlight on the profound expressiveness of Japanese artist Miwa Komatsu. Komatsu is a renowned Japanese artist influenced by Shinto beliefs. Her artwork often showcases vibrant mythical creatures and animals, reflecting the spiritual connection between all living things. Alongside her striking visual art, Komatsu is also known for her live painting sessions, where she creates in front of an audience.

Simultaneously, the New Art Museum will pay homage to the brilliance of Filipino artist Ronald Ventura, who brings a rich tapestry of multi-layered narratives to the New Art Museum Singapore. His work, which spans both paintings and sculptures, intertwines hyperrealism, cartoons, and graffiti, creating a complex, textured visual exploration. Ventura navigates through themes reflecting the Philippines’ socio-political climate, historical influences, and cultural identifiers, presenting them with both profundity and innovative style.

Whitestone Gallery Singapore

‘WAVES’ by Ronald Ventura (Photo: Whitestone Gallery)

With an international presence and recognition in the global art scene, Ventura’s pieces have been showcased across Asia, Europe, and the United States. His contributions significantly place him as a pivotal figure in contemporary Southeast Asian art, weaving his distinctive style and deep narratives into each creation, encapsulating reflections on colonial history, consumer culture, and the dynamism of modern society.

Both Komatsu and Ventura encapsulate the essence of Whitestone Gallery and New Art Museum Singapore’s shared vision: to champion diverse, innovative artistry and to serve as a nexus for discourse and appreciation within the art community. For art enthusiasts or those looking to immerse themselves in the world of modern art, this is a destination that promises an unparalleled journey of discovery and inspiration. https://www.whitestone-gallery.com

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

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