Tag Archives: Arts Exhibitions

Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors

The Singapore Biennale 2016, with the theme “An Atlas of Mirrors”, was recently concluded on the 26th February 2017, having started on 27th October 2016. This was the fifth edition of the Singapore Biennale and I am glad that I managed to visit most of the artwork exhibitions present at Singapore Biennale 2016 before it ended. Looking back at my own personal Singapore Biennale visits, I covered four out of five editions, starting from year 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016, with photographs that I took during my visits to Singapore Biennale curated and consolidated inside this Flickr collection.

The theme “An Atlas of Mirrors” for Singapore Biennale 2016, was on the instruments of vision and navigation to explore around the world used by the human race. The atlas was used by the human race to explore and venture all around the world, to discover the unknown and open up new chapters in history and time, not just in terms of landing on a new country, it’s also about the cultural, sociological and psychological revolution and evolution. As the human race used atlas and maps over centuries of exploration, scientific development and technology growth, coupled with more rapid and intense human movement around the world.

Do we know, how and where we see ourselves, see the world, see the future, from we we are right now? With the growth and boom of information technology, internet and social media, are we even learning more about each other from different parts of the world? Or have we retreated into mountains and caves, becoming even more isolated than the industrial revolution era? Do we need the mirror to constantly look at ourselves and ask ourselves questions?

Over my four visits to Singapore Biennale, from 2008 to 2016, they had always been an eye opener for me, not just for my eyes, also for my heart, mind and soul. There were times when some of the artworks by the artists were too deep and complex for me to understand and relate. There were also some artworks that clicked immediately with my mind, heart and soul. The Singapore Biennale is one mega arts event that allow me to explore and learn more about contemporary art in Singapore, the region and around the world.

Couple an atlas and mirror together, that’s the theme for Singapore Biennale 2016 “An Atlas of Mirrors”. While I can’t say that I have every answer to the things I said in my earlier paragraphs, at the very least, it pushed me to think beyond the views and experiences that I have inside me currently, in the business world, in my photography and in life.

Due to personal situations that happened in the last quarter of 2016 and early 2017, I wasn’t able to split my time and visit the Singapore Biennale 2016 a few times, to slowly absorb and understand the artists abstract artworks and the meanings behind them. I only managed to visit them just four days before her closing day. Nevertheless, I am very glad that I did it, feeding my my mind, heart and soul with contemporary art from Singapore Biennale.

Some of the artworks at Singapore Biennale 2016 connected with me in some ways or another, here are some of them

  • There are those who stay / There are those who go
  • The Great East Indiaman
  • Cooking the World
  • “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”
  • Black Forest 2016
  • History Repeats Itself
  • One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End
  • The Covenant
  • Melampaul Batas (Beyond Boundaries)
  • SONICreflection

Do visit my Flickr folder – Singapore Biennale 2016 and view more photographs that I took during my exploration and adventure of the contemporary art festival!

I leave you with this short video recording (that I did with the Canon EOS M5 review camera unit that I was reviewing during the time when I was at Singapore Biennale 2016) on the artwork produced by Melissa Tan from Singapore, titled “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”

As the Singapore Biennale 2016 concluded her fifth edition, have you ask yourself, from where you are right now, how do you visualise the world, and see for yourself where you are right now and into the future?

Created with flickr slideshow.

Common Grounds – Gallery Open House @ National Gallery Singapore

The National Gallery Singapore upsized weekend festival Common Grounds took place on 11th and 12th June 2016. This was a festival packed with many different types of fun interactive activities for all visitors to participate and enjoy.

What were some of the fun and exciting programmes that were held during the Common Grounds weekend festival? Let me bring you there with my stories and photos ~

Art Alive

There were a number of 3D photo backdrops and floor vinyl located across different segments of National Gallery Singapore, bringing the artworks from the exhibitions to life. Art Alive was popular with the visitors there, it was really interesting and funny to see how they strike funny body poses and faces when they were at the various 3D photo backdrops.


Nostalgic Pop Up Market

Reliving the past through the markets, the pop-up street scape at the National Gallery’s basement concourse. Traditional nostalgic games like the chapteh or pick-up sticks proved to be a fun and enjoyable leisure activity for both the young and adults! The Chinese calligraphy writing was popular too, a queue was spotted waiting to meet the Chinese calligraphy master and collecting their beautiful calligraphy artwork! There were also paper cutting and a chance to take a photo with the trishaw too!


Family Fun

There were events for families with children to participate together, through art-making. These art events served as a good bonding time for the whole family and it was ideal for the young children to explore art and craft at a young age.


Fusion Music Performances

At the Padang Atrium, this location is going to transform into a hot spot for watching performances in the future. The talented musicians from various disciplines, from traditional to the contemporary, from jazz to world music, all of them performed a musical feast for the ears at the Padang Atrium, entertaining the visitors with the different types of music.


Kopi Talk

This event Kopi Talk, is an interactive and experiential storytelling activity, with the questions based on hawker food, heritage and related art. This was all about sharing and chatting with strangers in your group, along with a cuppa of kopi or teh. The activity was simple yet very interesting, draw a card from the 2 sets of cards, read out the question to the rest of the group and start sharing away! These topics touched my heart a lot, somehow, I managed to share quite a fair bit there during Kopi Talk with the people inside my small group interaction.


With more interesting and interactive events taking place at National Gallery Singapore, it is slowly building up its presence and branding among the various museums and heritage institutions in Singapore.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Gallery After Hours at National Gallery Singapore

A night at the National Gallery Singapore, the After Hours packed with different interesting events beyond visiting the various art galleries inside there. Gallery After Hours happened on 29th April 2016 and it was a good time to visit the National Gallery Singapore again! I haven’t seen all the art exhibitions inside the various galleries of the National Gallery Singapore yet!


Food, drinks and music performances were the programme highlights of Gallery After Hours, there were French Wine and cheese tasting, I saw them from the outside and didn’t get to try it out at Gallery & Co, located at City Hall Building Level 1. I hope to attend the French Wine and cheese tasting in the future!


The glass enclosure segment that connects the City Hall Building and former Supreme Court, is going to be popular spot for photographers to capture different views of the amazing architectural facades of these two historical and iconic buildings. This is known as the Padang Atrium and during Gallery After Hours, there were electronic music performances held there. Visitors sat on the steps, watching and listening to the electronic music performances. While it is not an official performance ground, I reckon it will be a great outdoor performance area in an indoor enclosure!


On the Gallery After Hours night, I also visited its first international special exhibition, Reframing Modernism, co-curated and co-presented with Centre Pompidou, Paris. This is a very interesting and intriguing arts exhibition, showcasing more than 200 artworks from about 50 artists, with approximately half from Centre Pompidou and the other half from Southeast Asia. This special exhibition is also the inaugural exhibition at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. Reframing Modernism challenges the existing paradigm on the presentation of the modern painting, visitors inside the Reframing Modernism exhibition are invited to connect with the artworks, to draw their own personal connections and conclusions, about the history of modernism and the development of art in Southeast Asia. This unique exhibition, Reframing Modernism, gave me a lot to view, think and connect. It felt mysterious, at times mind blowing, I hope to visit again and re-connect with the artworks again.


Reframing Modernism exhibition will be at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, located at City Hall Building Level 3 until 17th July 2016. Admission charges into Reframing Modernism exhibition are at $15 and $25 for Singaporeans and Non-Singaporeans respectively. For more information, do visit the National Gallery Singapore website! I strongly encourage you to visit Reframing Modernism and the other art galleries as well!

After visiting Reframing Modernism, I went up to the roof top terrace on the 6th floor, namely Padang Deck and Coleman Deck. This two spots had some great views of both modern and historical Singapore. It’s simply amazing, it’s so beautiful. I want to come back again to the Padang Deck and Coleman Deck, to capture the views of modern and historical Singapore at different times of the day, morning, afternoon, evening sunset and night landscapes.


It was a fun night of Gallery After Hours at the National Gallery Singapore. Visiting art galleries, food, drinks and music performances, a fun time for friends to get together, visit National Gallery Singapore and have a fun night! I would plan and visit National Gallery Singapore again, for Reframing Modernism and landscape photography from the Padang and Coleman Decks.

I would like to thank National Gallery Singapore for the invitation to Gallery After Hours!