Asian Art Platform opened its doors in January 2015 with a mission to provide a platform for artists and collectors to meet. Asian Art Platform provides 1-to-1 consultancy services, whilst also running regular exhibitions in Singapore, showcasing Chinese artists to an international audience.
The gallery is primarily focused on the post-80s generation in China, those born and raised during 1981 – 1989. This group is incredibly interesting because they are the first generation post the Cultural Revolution, which was a hugely turbulent and contentious period in recent Chinese history. After its conclusion, China saw major reforms, including the introduction of a free, 9-year compulsory education program and the well-publicized ‘one child policy’ that has vastly altered the social and cultural landscape of modern China.
They are a generation that has grown up in a wildly different situation to their grandparents and parents – who just a few years earlier were suffering great financial hardship in the grips of the Cultural Revolution. The post-80s generation in the meantime took advantage of free education, connection to the outside world and was the first group to enjoy widespread access to digital media and electronic products.
Coupling all these factors together has also driven a huge focus on academic achievement, which in the arts space has created a large pool of artists who are technically brilliant, many boasting masters degrees from the esteemed Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (CAFA). The gallery’s focus is on identifying those artists with the right passion, mindset, technique and ‘unique identity’ to become a future master.
Focus on Cai Jun
One of Asian Art Platform’s favourite artists is Cai Jun who was born in Chengdu, 1981 and currently works in Beijing. Cai Jun produces works by combining his love of ‘people watching’ and his imagination to produce humorous and playful characters and scenes.
When asked recently about his views and experiences of being a post-80s child, he said “I definitely consider myself lucky for being part of the post-80s generation, having witnessed the transition into a new era. When it came to art, China, after its reform imported a large number of quality animations from other countries. Those animations are now precious memories for me, having sparked my interest in art and laid the foundation for my artistic developments.”
Focus on Zhao Xiaodan
Born in 1986, Zhao Xiaodan provides a very different artistic output to that of Cai Jun. Her paintings are deceptively cheerful in their imagery and colors, but beneath their childlike, almost cartoon-like simplicity, the works look critically at the Chinese education system.
In her work, she questions her experience as a child of the most benefited generation, subtly revealing how China’s strong rooted communism and socialism is wiping away children’s individualities.
Focus on Sun Shang
Sun Shang epitomizes the excellent caliber of arts education within China, and the huge focus on mastering technique first and foremost. Born in 1985, he graduated from CAFA with a master’s degree in sculpting in 2014. He said of his time there “We advocate mastery in skill/technique, we believe to have good skill is the first step to producing good art. Technique training was crucially strict in the art academy, which I think has benefitted me the most in my work.”
His skill and technique shines through in his works. He has a gift for breathing life into wood, a material that seems hard and lifeless to most of us. His wooden sculptures of people are flawlessly life-like; as if they are minutes from a slice of life, frozen for pause and contemplation.
Event: Affordable Art Fair Singapore, Level 2 in paddock 3 at 2C-04
Venue: F1 Pit Building, No.1 Republic Boulevard, Singapore 038975
Dates: 12 November: 12 pm – 8 pm
13 November: 12 pm – 10 pm
14 November: 11 am – 7 pm
15 November: 11 am – 6 pm
Telephone: 6636 9744 or 8333 0262