Singapore Art Week (SAW), Singapore’s annual festival and the pinnacle of Asia’s visual arts calendar, is set to take over the island when it returns from 22 to 30 January 2021. A joint initiative by the National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), SAW 2021 will celebrate the coming together of our vibrant artist community once again, celebrating their resilience, innovation and solidarity as we have seen in these unprecedented times.
Staying true to SAW’s theme of “Art Takes Over”, SAW 2021 – the ninth edition of SAW – will be presented in a complementary blended format for the very first time, with over 100 programmes threading across both physical and digital platforms, allowing audiences from around the world to discover and experience Southeast Asian art. This year’s edition showcases the largest number of commissioned works to date, with over 40 outstanding Singapore-based projects reflecting the diverse capabilities of Singaporean artists and curators. Going beyond the confines of the physical into the digital space, SAW will bring the visual arts to everyone and everywhere – from arts and cultural institutions such as National Gallery Singapore and arts spaces within Gillman Barracks; to unconventional public spaces and neighbourhoods including Bras Basah Complex, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, national parks, bus stops and more. With over 300 artists from Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, The Netherlands, UK and USA involved this year, a plethora of exciting arts programmes await, with something suitable for arts enthusiasts of all ages.
Signature SAW events and crowd favourites are set to return in January including the well-loved Light to Night Festival 2021 based on the new theme of “_____-In-Progress”; State of Motion 2021: [Alternate/Opt] Realities by Asian Film Archive; ARTWALK at Little India by LASALLE College of the Arts; and S.E.A. Focus 2021 by STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery.
Alongside familiar programmes, festival goers may look forward to new offerings that present a refreshed look at the visual arts, such as Singapore’s very first mall-wide art activation Creative Unions by Neighborhood – an art-meets-retail programme that brings unexpected crossovers by pairing local artists with fashion, food and lifestyle tenants at Funan. They may also dive into experimental art presentations with The Hours After by Ren Zi and Eugene TYZ, an international collaboration across five time zones culminating in an after-hours gallery experience turned art treasure hunt beyond Gillman Barracks; or immerse themselves in Inner Like The OutAR by Reza Hasni and curated by Tulika Ahuja, a first-of-its-kind large scale interdisciplinary installation to use Web AR, or augmented reality via smartphone browsers, to re-create an audio-visual simulation of our natural world.
With the entanglement between online and offline platforms this year as a result of the pandemic, SAW 2021 invites audiences to explore and dissect the impact of digital mediums on human connection through the visual arts.
For more information on SAW 2021 programmes, please refer to artweek.sg.