S.E.A. Focus returns for its second edition during Singapore Art Week in January 2020 with 20 leading galleries from Singapore and around the world. Held at Singapore’s visual arts precinct Gillman Barracks, the platform will run from Thursday 16 January until Sunday 19 January, with a VIP preview on Wednesday 15 January.
S.E.A. Focus 2020 builds on its mission to showcase contemporary art from Southeast Asia, providing a platform to foster greater appreciation and engagement with the art and artists from the region. Of the 20 participating galleries, half have gallery spaces in Singapore, with others drawn from galleries based in cities across the wider Southeast Asia region, including Jakarta, Makati City, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hanoi, as well as Beijing, Berlin, Brisbane, New York and Seoul. All will exhibit work by artists based in, or connected to, Southeast Asia.
A cross-section of galleries from Singapore will showcase the strength and vitality of the local art scene. Highlights include a presentation of Singaporean Yanyun Chen’s charcoal drawings by Art Porters Gallery depicting the passage of time through the gradual decay by juxtaposing fake and real flowers. Chan + Hori Contemporary will display the first-ever presentation of drawings by Indonesian artist Lugas Syllabus in conversation with Singapore-based ceramist Ahmad Abu Bakar, while FOST Gallery will exhibit a joint presentation featuring two Singaporean artists: an installation by Grace Tan and new metal paintings by Wyn-Lyn Tan. STPI will present work by Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak and Indonesian-born Melati Suryodarmo, developed at STPI’s workshop and gallery in 2018-2019, showcasing possibilities in the mediums of print and paper. A solo presentation by Luke Heng featuring a new series of paintings commissioned especially for S.E.A. Focus 2020 will take centre stage at Yavuz Gallery’s booth.
Art Seasons, with spaces in Singapore and Beijing, will spotlight Malaysian artist Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail, widely recognised for her ceramic sculptures, and Gajah Gallery, based in Singapore and Yogyakarta, will highlight three young emerging artists: Dini Nur Aghnia (Indonesia), Kara Inez (Malaysia) and Mahalakshmi Kannappan (India). From Singapore, Tokyo and New York, Mizuma Gallery will bring paintings and sculptures made with industrial materials by Singapore-based Ben Loong, while Richard Koh Fine Art, with spaces in Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, will spotlight emerging artists from Malaysia working across painting, drawing and sculpture, as well as Malaysia-based, Taiwanese artist Liu Hsin-Ying and Cambodian artist Pen Robit. Sullivan + Strumpf from Singapore and Sydney will dedicate its booth to sculptures by Singaporean artist Dawn Ng, who immortalises a personal exchange with fossilised sculptures.
Vitamin Creative Space, based in Guangzhou and Beijing, will present work by Danh Vo, the Vietnam-born, Danish artist who often explores the intersection of autobiography and collective memory in his internationally acclaimed conceptual practice. Brisbane-based gallery Jan Manton Art Gallery will bring together a group exhibition of Indonesian artists Dadang Christanto, Heri Dono and Jumaadi, whose work was widely received at the first edition of S.E.A. Focus. ROH Projects Projects from Jakarta celebrates Indonesian artists Nadira Julia, Maruto Ardi and Luqi Lukman, who all create ephemeral work incorporating diverse materials, and from Hanoi, CUC Gallery will display a sculptural installation of natural serpentine stones and gearboxes by Tulip Duong. Berlin’s galerie neugerriemschneider will present work by illustrious Argentinian-born Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose work will also be shown with The Drawing Room from Makati City exhibited alongside a performance piece by the Filipino, Denmark-based artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen. Silverlens Galleries, also from Makati City, will exhibit work by Malaysian-Bornean artist Yee I-Lann and one of the most recognized artists of Thai contemporary art today Mit Jai Inn, whilst Bangkok’s Nova Contemporary showcases the work of three Thai artists: Nim Kruasaeng, Tada Hengsapkul and Latthapon Korkiatarkul. Eisa Jocson (Philippines) will investigate the Filipino service industry and social mobility through a choreographed performance with Seoul’s The Columns Gallery, with Kuala Lumpur-based Wei-Ling Gallery exhibiting an installation by one of Malaysia’s most provocative and courageous contemporary voices, Cheng Yen Pheng. The installation will reflect on an important chapter of the artist’s life through a variety of mediums, including clothing, wheat and grass roots stitched on rice paper and sandpaper.
Underscoring its commitment to fostering greater appreciation for art from Southeast Asia, S.E.A. Focus will present a series of creative talks, under the title SEAspotlight, specially curated by Talks and VIP Programmes Manager Audrey Yeo. These talks, led by artists and the region’s artworld heavyweights, will cast a spotlight on key Southeast Asian countries – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam – and on subjects pertinent to this expansive region. Titled ‘Southeast Asia Art Watch’, this spotlight series features speakers including Zoe Butt, Curator and Artistic Director of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Mella Jaarsma, artist and founder of Cemeti Institute for Art & Society in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Indonesia’s Dr. Oei Hong Djien, founder of OHD Museum in Magelang, Java; and Izan Satrina, founder of Malaysia’s Cultural Economy Development Agency.
Looking beyond countries to the broader and diverse Southeast Asia region, Asia’s renowned curators, museum directors and professionals will lead talks on artist-run spaces, the role of art prizes and understanding Southeast Asia through a global lens. The panels will include the likes of Singaporean artist Robert Zhao, Mae Anderson of IMPART Awards in Singapore and others.
Opening days and hours:
Wednesday 15 January: VIP Preview (by invitation only) 6–9pm
Thursday 16 January 12–7pm
Friday 17 January 12–10pm
Saturday 18 January 12–7pm
Sunday 19 January 12–6pm
Venue: Gillman Barracks, Singapore