Knockout shows at Singapore Art Gallery Weekend

Helmi Yusof, The Business Times, September 7, 2023

The annual event features over 30 art spaces showcasing their most exciting artists.




Hiroshi Senju's "Waterfall on Colors" will be displayed at Sundaram Tagore, one of six galleries that BT readers will visit on the exclusive Canvas & Cabernet art and wine crawl.

MARQUEE names and young hotshots dominate the roster for this year’s Singapore Art Gallery Weekend, set to be the biggest and most immersive edition yet. Running from Sep 15 to Oct 1, the event features more than 30 art spaces showcasing some of their best artists and curators working across various disciplines.


Organised by Art Galleries Association Singapore (AGAS), the annual event is intended as a reminder of Singapore’s vibrant art gallery scene, one that comes alive not just in January during Singapore Art Week, but throughout the year and across the island.


Kumari Nahappan’s Anahata installation of sago seeds from Singapore Biennale 2013 is being reprised at The Private Museum.  PHOTO: KUMARI NAHAPPAN


AGAS’ new president Audrey Yeo, founder of the hip and experimental gallery Yeo Workshop, says: “With the Gallery Weekend, I’d like to encourage a healthy, sustainable habit of patronage and art collecting in Singapore, as well as a broader viewership for our art.


“We have a small community of art lovers and collectors here, who are wonderful supporters of the scene; but we’d like to build on that and expand audiences and patronage to new demographics.”


One of the new features this year is the VIP Patron’s Pass. For a reasonable price of S$125, one gets access into the homes of private art collectors, a breakfast and art tour at the Mondrian Hotel, a private wine crawl at Gillman Barracks, luxury concierge service with Quintessentially, discounts at several dining establishments, and other perks.


Hazel Lim’s tactile art at Art Porters, which is one of over 30 art spaces taking part in Singapore Art Gallery Weekend. PHOTO: ART PORTERS


There is also a separate offering for The Business Times (BT) readers, who’ll get access to the art and wine crawl at Gillman Barracks, with a selection of wine provided by The Straits Wine Company. Yeo says: “Our little island is full of opportunities to interact with art in fresh, unexpected ways. More people should be engaged with these offerings.”


Here are our top seven picks of the festival:


Canvas & Cabernet: A Toast to Wine & Art (for BT readers)

BT readers are invited to this exclusive event combining two delectable things: art and wine. They will be taken to six galleries in Gillman Barracks – Yeo Workshop, Fost, Ota Fine Art, Sundaram Tagore, Mizuma and Richard Koh Fine Art – where they’ll be introduced to the art by an expert guide from Friends of the Museums.


At each stop, they’ll also have an opportunity to sip curated wines provided by The Straits Wine Company. The art tour will take place from 4 pm to 6.30 pm on Sep 30. More information will be published in BT in the coming week.


Filipino artists at Gajah

Eleven beloved Filipino artists, including Leslie de Chavez, Geraldine Javier, Annie Cabigting, Marina Cruz and Mark Justiniani, are coming together for a group exhibition at Gajah Gallery in Tanjong Pagar Distripark. Curated by the well-regarded Joyce Toh, the works examine the culture of excess in modern society, revelling in both its drive to take human experience and expression to a higher level, and the waste it generates. Regardless of the theme, these artists can always be counted on to deliver.


Cheong Soo Pieng by artcommune

Untitled (1974), a mixed-media-and-oil work on canvas by Cheong Soo Pieng, at artcommune’s upcoming show. PHOTO: CHEONG SOO PIENG ESTATE


If you’re visiting Gajah, don’t forget to drop by at Artspace @ Helutrans in the same building. It is where artcommune gallery has assembled a large body of ink work by pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng from local collectors. This landmark survey tracks his output from the 1940s right up to his final works in the 1980s, from his participation in the Nanyang art movement of the 1950s to his European travels in subsequent years. 


Kumari Nahappan by The Private Museum

The Private Museum recently found a new home in the beautiful villa at 11 Upper Wilkie Road. Its opening show is a three-decade retrospective of the art of Kumari Nahappan, a significant figure whose sculptures can be found all across the island.


On display here are 50 works which include large-scale site-specific installations, paintings and sculptures, some of which are re-creations of older works that have not been viewed publicly since the 1990s.


Brandon Tay at Yeo Workshop

The high-end arts cluster Gillman Barracks will certainly have its share of knockout shows during the festival. 


A must-visit is Brandon Tay’s solo at Yeo Workshop. For several years now, he has been steadily creating provocative work in the genres of digital media, mediated sculpture and moving image. His future-ready art typically blurs the line between what’s real and virtual, what’s obviously beautiful and seemingly unprepossessing.


Brandon Tay’s 3D printed resin with embedded electronics at Yeo Workshop.



Natee Utarit at Richard Koh Fine Art

Next door to Yeo Workshop is a solo show featuring Thai superstar Natee Utarit. It showcases his latest collection of 24 paintings, each telling the story of his artistic evolution across the years. These paintings draw inspiration from different chapters of his life, spanning from his explorations of second-hand art book stores to his initial encounters with legendary figures such as Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell. As always, Utarit’s brilliance lies in his ability to meticulously and precisely convey his artistic vision.


Israfil Ridhwan at Cuturi Gallery

Israfil Ridhwan is one of the best young figurative painters to emerge in recent years. His narrative paintings have a life of their own, beckoning the audience to delve deeper into the intricate details and hidden stories within. His use of bold, vibrant colours to depict warm, earthy landscapes and young, strapping figures is often reminiscent of Mexican muralism. But their expressions of complex desires and open sensualities set them apart.


Israfil Ridhwan’s If Touch Is What I Desire, Cut It Off (2023) at Cuturi Gallery.

For more information on Singapore Art Gallery Weekend, visit



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