This post could just as well be titled: Art Appreciation for Bimbos.
First off, I’m no art expert. My meager collection consists of a pair of tiny watercolor scenes of San Gimignano by Gino Corsi, bought when I went on a road trip through Tuscany with my aunt; and a silkscreen of a Singapore heritage building by Safaruddin Bin Abdul Hamid (aka Dyn), commissioned by IKEA for its democratic art campaign. I once had a Gabriel Barredo candlestand, which the reclusive sculptor gifted when I interviewed him about his home, but I left it in Manila, and I don’t know what’s become of it.
Secondly, my philosophy on art is this simple: whatever makes you smile. So whatever the pedigree of the artist or the provenance of the work, if it brings a smile to your face, it’s good art. The ballerinas of Edgar Degas make me smile; his other stuff, not so much. Joan Miro always makes me smile, and dream, and remember — that, to me, is fantastic art. It was nice to see some Miro paintings at Art Stage Singapore.
For the most part, this edition of Art Stage Singapore made me smile. It didn’t blow me away as in previous years, but I enjoyed it. So seeing art that made me smile, and not, taught me a few things about myself on the Saturday afternoon I spent at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center.
1) I’m a magpie. I was enchanted by Iranian artist Reza Derakshani’s party-inspired pieces. They had glitter.
2) I love, love, love color. And geometry, apparently. Like Israel-born artist Yaacov Agam’s polymorphic works, and Singaporean artist Jane Lee’s tiles.
3) I generally like art about urban design, architecture and furniture. Like Australian artist Joanna Lamb’s light sculptures, Singaporean artist Michael Lee’s treehouse piece, and this voyeuristic apartment building that I couldn’t identify.
4) I really like Japanese artist Fumihiro Takemura’s acrylic three-dimensional maps and table settings, and someday I hope to own one of his works.
5) I generally don’t like art that makes you think about the sadder things in life. A lot of works (by Asian artists) are socio-political by nature (others like to deal with disembodied guts, for whatever reason — I don’t care about those works). Some pieces, like the Mark Justiniani installation exhibited at the Southeast Asia platform in Art Stage, are so pleasantly done however, that the somewhat-depressing subject matter can be forgiven.
Here are a few more scenes from Art Stage Singapore 2014. It ends today (January 19); luckily the bigger galleries have their own space at Gillman Barracks (and the really big galleries at Ion Orchard), and hopefully they’ll have some of the Art Stage pieces there.
(So much fun to caption some of these photos: Shine bright like a diamond, Cake decorating is an art, I don’t understand this too, Is the wolf really humping R2D2? (Yes, the name of this sculpture by Norwegian artist Dolk is “Puppy love”), etc.)