Time Out Singapore: Guide to Art Week 2015

There’s a whole calendar of events lined up as Art Week returns with a flourish. Gwen Pew puts together a guide – artistically, of course – to cover all your bases

'What Happens When Nothing Happens' by Chun Kai Feng at Art Stage 2014

‘What Happens When Nothing Happens’ by Chun Kai Feng at Art Stage 2014

5 Jan 2015: Are you looking for a work of art to spruce up your wall? Or is one of your resolutions to become more of a culture vulture (we’re glaring at the 72 percent of the respondents of the recent National Arts Council’s survey who ‘don’t care for or are not interested in’ the arts)? Or are you simply looking for something to wash away the depressing shades of post-Christmas blues? No matter what your reason is, there is so much happening during Singapore Art Week that you’re bound to find something to suit your fancy.

Making the most of the increased traffic brought in by the fair, many of the galleries and art groups around town have banded together to come up with their own events. From guided tours to talks to festivals, we’ve put together a list of the 14 best ones to visit. And because we’re nice, we’ve even thrown in a bunch of fun facts at no extra charge – including some of the most controversial artworks shown in Singapore, tips on what not to say when admiring a piece of work, and even a mini-dictionary to translate the ‘artspeak’ we came across this month into English.

And if all that still isn’t enough for you, then flick to our Art section to find out about even more exhibitions that are worth checking out while you’re out and about. Read on, and get stuck in!

Four Special Exhibitions to look out for at Art Stage 2015

'Transformation' by Andrey Gorbunov

‘Transformation’ by Andrey Gorbunov

Four Special Exhibitions make their debuts at Art Stage this year for visitors to better understand art from a specific region, medium or period. The works are displayed in a museum layout, and guided tours and talks are held at each if you’re interested to find out more about the pieces on show.


Curated by Olga Sviblova, director of Multimedia Museum Moscow, the showcase features a collection from the emerging contemporary art scene in Russia, such as the work of Andrey Gorbunov. Participating galleries include Shtager Gallery, Triumph Gallery, 11.12 Gallery and Savina Gallery.


Find out the significance of the Modern art movement in the emergence and rise of the contemporary art scene in Asia at this exhibition. Works by masters such as Akbar Padamsee, SH Raza, FN Souza, and Zao Wou-Ki are displayed, with special attention paid to French artist André Masson.


The exhibition is dedicated to the works of 16 Malaysian artists, who collaborate in a collective called TheFKlub. They specialise in figurative art, with each artist contributing a two-by-twometre portrait to form a single image.


A survey of the history of video art and an exhibition of current examples, this platform is curated by Paul Greenaway of Australia’s GAGPROJECTS. It presents about 40 video works from around the world – artists to look out for include Angela Tiatia (New Zealand), Ivan Navarro (Chile/USA), Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba (Vietnam/Japan) and Myriam Mechita (France).

Interview: Khim Ong on her Southeast Asia Platform at Art Stage

Khim Ong

How many artists and works will be shown at the Platform?        

The Platform will feature more than 50 works by about 30 artists.

How did you decide whom to feature?

I’m drawn to artists whose practices have developed in interesting ways and/or have demonstrated consistently strong conceptual or material sensibilities.

Who are some of the artists we can expect, and what’s special about them?

Audiences can look forward to works that employ very diverse media and methodologies. Many works are also conceived specially for or are making their debut at the Platform. Among them are works by Gary-Ross Pastrana and Hoang Duong Cam, as well as a performanceinstallation by Zaki Razak.

All these works, as with many other works in the Platform, exhibit a sensitivity towards contemporary society and its development, but adopt different approaches in their engagement with the topic.

What do you hope viewers can learn from the works?

The exhibition provides a snapshot of artistic practices in the region and it is my hope Walking the Wall by Angela Tiatia Exponential Taxonomies Specimen by Chong Weixin Transformation by Andrey Gorbunov that audiences, through looking at these individual practices, will walk away with a deeper appreciation of artistic processes and hopefully also gain their own insight into the development of arts in the region.

Young local artists at Art Stage

'Le metamorphose du hero' by Wong Lip Chin. Photo: Michael Janssen Singapore/Cher Him

‘Le metamorphose du hero’ by Wong Lip Chin. Photo: Michael Janssen Singapore/Cher Him

Wong Lip Chin, Galerie Michael Janssen

Wong’s practice spans several media, including printmaking, drawing, painting, performance and sculpture. The 27-year-old Lasalle grad draws inspiration from both his life and socio-political issues, accompanying them with a sharp dose of wit and humour. It’s no coincidence that the figure in La metamorphose du hero resembles a macho version of Astro Boy.

Melissa Tan, Richard Koh Fine Art

Originally trained as a painter, the 25-year-old branched out to work with other materials – including paper and porcelain – after a stint at Lasalle. The beauty of the transient is a theme commonly found in her work.

Hilmi Johandi, Galerie Steph

Fascinated by both painting and film, Johandi often toys with the relationship between the two media – his videos reference certain qualities found in paintings, while his paintings are informed by elements of cinema. New montages were specially commissioned for the fair; in them, the 27-year-old sources images from local post-war films and photo archives to use as starting points. See them at the Southest Asia Platform.

Henry Lee, Galerie Sogan & Art

He may have a degree in chemical engineering, but 33-year-old Lee later pursued his interest in art by enrolling into NAFA’s Diploma in Fine Art programme in 2010. Graduating with the school’s President’s Award, he is known for his intricate, fantastical large-scale charcoal drawings.

Five tips to make the most of Art Stage

Lorenzo Rudolf. Photo: Art Stage Singapore

Lorenzo Rudolf. Photo: Art Stage Singapore

At the heart of Art Week is the event that pretty much everything else revolves around – Art Stage. Founded by Lorenzo Rudolf in 2011, the annual art fair is known for being particularly Asia-centric – with a focus on South-East Asia – and has grown to become one of the biggest in the region. This year, it’s back with 145 galleries from all over the world, several curated platforms and special exhibitions, and public art pieces that will be displayed around the fair.

But at a sprawling 17,190 square metres, Art Stage is no easy terrain to navigate. So we asked Rudolf for a few tips on how to make the most of your time there.

  1. Check out the four Special Exhibitions, which are dedicated to modern art, video works, and art by Russian and Malaysian artists.
  2. Take part in the Southeast Asia Platform tour to learn more about the story behind the pieces on show. They will be conducted throughout the fair.
  3. See public artworks. We’ll show pieces by British art duo George & Gilbert, local artist Suzann Victor and locally based Taiwanese-American artist Mike Chang, the latter of whom has his work displayed at the entrance.
  4. Listen to an art talk. Art Stage partners with ARTnews magazine to host a series of talks, including one about owning an art collection (Jan 22, 3pm; Level 4, Sands Convention Centre), and another discussing ‘Why cities need museums’ (Jan 24, 3pm; Level 4 Sands Convention Centre).
  5. Discover cutting-edge art by emerging artists. Chat with the curators of both the special exhibitions and individual galleries – you never know, you could be looking at the next Picasso of our generation.

Controversial fine art in our Fine City

'Eville' by Vertical Submarine

‘Eville’ by Vertical Submarine

‘Welcome to the Hotel Munber’ by Simon Fujiwara

At the Singapore Biennale 2011, the British – Japanese artist set up an installation that looked like a regular Spanish bar. But peer closer and you’d have found items that reference homosexuality – such as pages from gay porno magazines. The Singapore Art Museum had the offending images removed without informing the artist, and Fujiwara closed the exhibition, stating that without them, ‘the work failed to convey the necessary meaning’.

Untitled performance by T Venkanna

A few months after the Fujiwara incident, the Indian artist presented a performance piece where he sat naked on a bench in front of a replica of Frida Kahlo’s painting, ‘The Two Frida’. People could fork out $250 to sit next to him and pose for a photo. This took place behind a black curtain and only those above 21 could enter, but the artist subsequently cancelled his remaining appearance after being questioned by the police for public nudity.

‘Eville’ by Vertical Submarine

Anger erupted after a flyer urging people to ‘kill stray cats’ was passed around a few months back. But they were actually part of a project, Eville, by local art collective Vertical Submarine. The artists later stated, ‘We do not advocate or condone the killing of stray cats. On the contrary, we are pleased that the issue of cat abuse is highlighted.’ Clearly, the logo on the flyer that reads ‘Red Herring Conservation Society’, wasn’t enough of a hint.

Three places to learn art in Singapore

Where you can continue your exploration of the art world after Art Week 2015

An outreach programme at Singapore Art Museum

An outreach programme at Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum

SAM often runs an Appreciating Art Lecture Series to complement its exhibitions, with curators or artists discussing the topics and themes found in works on show. The museum also hosts a free event on one Friday each month called Creative Mornings. Each session is themed and features a speaker giving a 20-minute lecture – oh, and there’s free coffee.

71 Bras Basah Rd (6589 9580; www.singaporeartmuseum.sg). Appreciating Art Lecture Series: $12.

Arnoldii Arts Club

Founded by Yeo Workshop’s head honcho Audrey Yeo, this course-based arts club offers regular classes to the public. Each three-hour session, held twice a year, is themed around ‘the art market’, ‘art history’ or ‘art production’, and features local and international art experts as presenters. Arnoldii also runs bespoke tours at several art fairs around the world, including Art Stage in Singapore, Frieze Art Fair in London and the Venice Biennale.

1 Lock Rd (6734 5168; www.arnoldiiartsclub.com). $170/class; $6,500/six-week course.

Art Outreach

The non-profit organisation specialises in working with schools to bring art into the classroom, and they also run three tours that are open to the general public. One is the Marina Bay Sands Art Path, which takes participants around the hotel to highlight its overlooked pieces of art. The other two are part of the two-hour Art-in-Transit tours, essentially a jaunt around the art-ridden North East and Circle MRT stations. But if you’d rather just walk (or train) around solo, download the brochure from the Art Outreach website and be on your merry way.

Various venues (6873 9505; www.artoutreachsingapore.org). $10.



A curated selection of the most poetic phrases we came across this month, decoded

Lens-based media: ‘I am a photographer.’

Re-situate: ‘I moved things around a bit.’

Beautification: ‘I made it look really pretty.’

Vastness of foliage: ‘It’s a frickin’ huge jungle.’

The artist consummately paints impossible, absurd stories: ‘I imagine things, and then I paint them. BTW, I paint passionately.’

His artworks confound and intrigue the viewer: ‘This will blow. Your. Mind. *KABOOM*’

Monolithic and declamatory intensity: ‘This is, like, intense… times three.’

Time Out Singapore: Essential Guide to Seminyak & Petitenget, Bali

With two public holidays coming up this month right before Bali’s rainy season officially starts, there’s no better time to pay the Island of the Gods a visit, says Gwen Pew.

Seminyak & Petitenget

14 Oct 2014: Kuta has long been known as the party and tourist central of Bali, but for those looking for somewhere more luxurious and away from the backpacking crowd, we’d suggest that you visit its northern sibling, Seminyak.

The area is known for its upmarket lifestyle, and has no shortage of fashionable boutiques, chic restaurants and Instagram- worthy cafés. And should you find yourself tired, there are plenty of spas and bars to rest your tired feet – not to mention the fact that the sunsets along its fine grey beach are truly magical.

But if you want to stay ahead of the curve, then venture even further north to Petitenget, home to some fantastic hang-out spots. We’ve trawled through the streets of both districts to revisit some time-honoured institutions and hunt down cool new establishments, so whether you’re a first timer or an annual visitor to the area, we’ve got you sorted.

Where to eat

You’ve probably worked hard to get the perfect beach bod prior to your trip, but we’re telling you right now that the real reason you got fit before arriving is so you can guiltlessly enjoy all the food that this place has to offer. The first street you’ll hear about for good grub is Jalan Oberoi (also known as JalanLaksamana and Jalan Kayu Aya; the streets here tend to have several names, so be aware of that).

There are a few cafés and brunch places on the stretch, such as Anomali Coffee (Jln Oberoi No 7B, +62 361 736687), the über-hipster Revolver (Gang 51, Jln Oberoi No 3, +62 361 7884968) and the gorgeous, brand-new Corner House (Jln Oberoi No 10A, +62 361  730276).

Fancy foodies can head to Ku De Ta’s sophisticated dinner spot Mejekawi (Jln Oberoi No 9, +62 361 736969) or Urchin (Jln Oberoi No 22, +62 361 732413), a new Aussie-style raw bar and grill. But otherwise, we’d advise you to make the walk to Jalan Petitenget.

The start of the area is marked by the synonymously named Petitenget Café (Jln Petitenget No 40X, +62 361 4733054), which is chilled out during the day and welcoming at night, while tea lovers should definitely check out Biku (Jln Petitenget No 888, +62 361 8570888), which is owned by the Australian princess of Ubud and boasts a fantastic collection of tea from India – and you can even book a tarot card reading session here.

The Potato Head Beach Club (Jln Petitenget No 51B, +62 361 4737979), whose fine dining French restaurant, Tapping Shoes, has just been revamped as a bistro, is worth a visit, but for some delectable fine dining, you should book a table at the recently opened Bambu (Jln Petitenget No 198, +62 361 8469797). Their chefs, including several 60-plus-year-old aunties, come from all over Indonesia and their food is authentic and superb.

Further into Petitenget, Barbacoa (Jln Petitenget No 14, +62 361 739233) is a great Argentinian place, Naughty Nuri’s (Jln Batu Belig No 41, +62 361 8476722) does excellent pork ribs, and Warung Eropa (Jln Petitenget No 98, +62 361 4732480) will satisfy your strongest crispy duck cravings.

Where to drink and party

While it’s not as intense as Kuta, the nightlife scene in Seminyak is certainly alive and well. The biggest parties of the year usually happen in August at Ku De TaPotato Head and W Hotel (Jln Petitenget, +62 361 4738106), but the brand new Jenja (Jln Nakula No 532XX, +62 361 8827711) will call to your inner party animal. It’s known for its hip hop Wednesdays and house/techno Fridays, although we’ve heard that Monday nights are surprisingly fun, too.

Jalan Oberoi is home to several newish places that opened last year for good drinks and better times: Red Carpet Champagne Bar (Jln Oberoi No 42C, +62 361 737889) is a fun, classy affair and claims to be ‘home to Indonesia’s largest champagne collection’, while La Favela (Jln Oberoi No 177X, +62 361 730603) also hosts great parties.

And if you’re further up on Jalan Petitenget, pop into Hu’u Bar (Jln Petitenget, +62 036 14736576), which has been around since 2001 and has hosted a range of celeb DJs. For something a bit different, head on to Salty Seagull (Jln Petitenget No 999, +62 361 8497588), where crab racing takes place every Thursday night. And if it’s gay bars that you’re after, then head right on to Jalan Camplung Tanduk – you won’t miss them.

Where to shop

As one hotel manager wisely advised the men, ‘Seminyak is a woman’s shopping paradise, so just give her the credit card and give up’. He was right. You can still find touristy knick-knacks, but the boutique shops here are generally classier – and pricier. There are three main shopping streets in the area: Jalan Raya Seminyak, and the aforementioned Jalan Oberoi and Jalan Petitenget.

Ladies can treat themselves to something pretty at Biasa (Jln Raya Seminyak No 36, +62 361 730308), Innuendo (Jln Oberoi No 117, +62 361 841 0751) and Magali Pascal (Jln Petitenget No 900, +62 361 8469794), which are all founded by European designers based there.

Those looking for something more hip and casual for both genders, head over to Somewhere (Jln Oberoi No 52, +62 361 9262981) and This is a Love Song (Jln Oberoi No 3, +62 361 9130713), or else pop over toSimpleKonsepStore (Jln Oberoi No 40, +62 361 730393), which stocks apparel as well as quirky accessories and designs.

For non-fashion goods, Bathe (Jln Raya Batu Belig No. 88, +62 361 792 9779) has wonderful bath products, and if you forget to bring a book for the beach, the biggest local bookshop Periplus (Jln Kayu Aya No 1, Seminyak Square, +62 361 736851) will have you covered.

What to do

Get your culture fix by paying the little beach-side temple, Pura Petitenget, a visit. It’s right by the beach and holds some beautiful ceremonies, but do be respectful of local culture as these rituals are sacred to the Balinese (a sarong is required for the ladies and any revealing clothing should be avoided, and be courteous when you’re taking photos).

If you prefer something a bit more active, you – or your kids – can learn to surf at Rip Curl Surf School (Jln Arjuna, +62 361 735858), or else indulge in a massage. Many hotels have pampering five-star spas, but Body Works (Jln Kayu Jati No 2, +62 361 733317) has been around for 20 years and offers relaxing treatments without breaking the bank. And Think Pink Nails (Jln Batu Belig No 108, +62 361 9188116) is great for a mani-pedi – they even have a car that picks up and drops off customers staying in the area.

And then, of course, there’s the beach. Few things are better in life than watching the sun dip into the ocean, so plonk yourself on the colourful beanbags at one of the many lovely beach bars and soak it all in. We especially love La Plancha (Jln Mesari Beach, +62 361 730603) on Double Six Beach.

Getting around

The traffic in Seminyak is notoriously nightmarish, yet the most comfortable way of getting around is still by car. Most resorts can sort you out with a set of wheels and a driver, but taxis are cheap and plentiful, too. Blue Bird is the most trusted cab company in the area, but whichever one you take, be sure you ask the cabbies to run the meter if you don’t want to be ripped off. A few brave souls do choose to take on the locals’ preferred mode of transport: motorcycles. A motorbike taxi will cost around $1 to get you from Seminyak to Petitenget, and for $5 you can rent that baby all day (excluding gas).

But if you’re really skint, just use those legs and walk. Seminyak is not the most pedestrian-friendly of places, and pavements sometimes do just vanish in the middle of the road, but on the whole it’s definitely doable, safe and free.

Rates on Skyscanner for AirAsia direct flights to Bali start from $241 return.

Time Out Singapore: Guide to Art Week 2014

We’ve rounded up the best events and places to be on each day of this year’s art week, giving you ample opportunity to check out the dozens of gallery openings, tours, talks and artist appearances around town.

Yuki Onodera's '12 Speed No.04'. Image courtesy of the artist and 2902 Gallery.

Yuki Onodera’s ’12 Speed No.04′. Image courtesy of the artist and 2902 Gallery.

10 Jan 2014:

10 January

5ive Foot Way: Days We Met
Until 24 Jan
Artist talk : 18 Jan, 2pm
The local art collective shows photos taken from around the world.

Gillman Barracks: 7pm

Stephan Balkenhol
Until 23 Feb
Opening reception: 10 Jan, 6pm
Artist talk: 10 Jan, 6.30pm
The German artist makes his Singapore debut with his latest series of rough-hewn wooden sculptures.

Mizuma Gallery
Until 26 Jan
Opening reception: 10 Jan, 6pm
Expect to see works by Japanese and Indonesian artists here, including Indieguerillas, Tomiyuki Kaneko, Nasirun, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, O Jun, Angki Purbandono and Keiichi Tanaami, as they explore the theme of globalisation.

Charles Lim: Sea State 3 – Inversion
Future Perfect
Until 16 Feb
The local artist continues his exploration into Singapore’s history and geography with the third part of his on-going Sea State series. .

Kiko Escora
The Drawing Room
Until 16 Feb
Hailing from Indonesia, the artist’s paintings and charcoal drawings often chronicle scenes where urban subculture crosses path with high society in the lives of his subjects.

Song-Ming Ang: Logical Progressions
FOST Gallery
Until 2 Mar
Not only did the local artist teach himself the piano – and, by extension, the harpsichord – but he learnt how to play a Bach classic front- and backwards to further his signature themes of music and art.

Shin il Kim: Ready Know
Space Cottonseed
Until 16 Feb
Born in Seoul, Kim’s practice predominantly revolves around his interest in obscuring and pushing the borders of categories set by human senses. In his current show, he focuses on the sense of sight and its relation to the acts of reading and believing.

Jane Lee: 100 Faces
Sundaram Tagore Gallery
Until 2 Mar
Known for her highly-textured acrylics, the local artist introduces three new series of works that challenge the ways that viewers look at paintings.

Titarubi: Reading Shadows
Michael Janssen Gallery
Until 16 Mar
The Indonesian artist shows a series of new works.

Nana Funo: The Fish Glitters as its Scales Tremble
Tomio Koyama Gallery
Until 16 Feb
Enter a world of intricate patterns drawn from the natural world as well as written characters through the acrylic works of the Japanese artist.

11 January

Dawn Ng: Windowshop – A Modern Day Cabinet of Curiosities
Chan Hampe Galleries
Until 9 Feb
Opening reception: 10 Jan, 7pm
Having enjoyed immense success in 2013, the creator behind some of the most well-known contemporary artwork in town (including Walter the bunny) is back with a new series of curious objects – all sourced from junk shops around Singapore.

13 January

Singapore Biennale
Various venues around Bras Basah, $4-$9
Until 16 Feb
With Art Week yet to fully kick into action, why not take the day to take a look at the Singapore Biennale before it closes on the 14 Feb?

14 January

Yuki Onodera: The Sanctuary of Topsy Turvy
2902 Gallery
Until 28 Feb
Opening reception: 14 Jan, 6.30pm
Enter the playful world of the acclaimed Paris-based Japanese photographer at her first solo show in Singapore.

Zulkifle Mahmod: Sonically Exposed
The Private Museum
Until 9 Mar
Opening reception: 14 Jan, 7pm
Formerly a local sculptor, Mahmod – aka ZUL – now presents an exhibition that merges sound with visuals.

Randy Chan & Philippa Lawrence: Angles of Incidence
Botanic Gardens
Until 23 Mar
Opening reception: 14 Jan, 6.30pm
The third installation of the cross-country residency AiRx brings together the talents of two artists from Singapore and the UK to create a beautiful installation around an 80-year-old tree.

Tan Wee Lit: In the Deadpan Bed Pan
Sculpture Square
Until 29 Jan
Opening reception: 15 Jan, 7pm
Channelling the emotions and thoughts he felt during his mid-life crisis, the local artist makes his solo debut with a collection of sculptural installations that look at life and death.

Han Sai Por: Moving Forest
STPI Gallery
Until 22 Feb
Opening reception: 14 Jan, 6pm
At the age of 70, the Cultural Medallion recipient is still as active as ever, revealing 50 new works created at STPI at this exhibition, examining the themes of nature in richly-coloured paper works.

Tanjong Pagar Distripark: 6pm

Nadiah Bamadhaj: Poised for Degradation
Richard Koh Fine Art
Until 14 Feb
The Indonesia-based Malaysian artist looks at architecture within her adopted country’s social and historical context.

Irene Namok: Puuya Kuntha – Strong Heart
ReDot Fine Art Gallery
Until 1 Mar
All created within the last 18 months, the show presents works by Irene Namok from the Lockhart River Art Community in Australia in her international solo debut.

Neo Folk 2
Ikkan Art Gallery
Until 1 Mar
The group show organised by three galleries from Singapore, Tokyo and Paris features a host of artists working in a range of media – but all of whom incorporate traditional craft elements in their contemporary works.

Sharmistha Ray: Sweet Surrender – Studies in Abstraction
Galerie Steph
Until 1 Mar
Created between 2006 and 2013, the New York-based Indian artist presents a series of rich, colourful abstract paintings that serve as metaphors for different elements of every day life.

FRATERNIZE – Tan Peiling
Artspace @ Helutrans
Until 1 Mar
Young local artist Tan Peiling was given free rein over a gallery space; her resulting site-specific installation, ‘The Blind Witness’, takes viewers through a carefully-constructed environment.

15 January

Marcel Heijnen: Residue
Until 19 Jan
Locally-based Dutch photographer – also the mastermind behind one of the coolest art cafes in town – presents new images from his Residue series to coincide with his newly-published photobook.

Victor Tan: Thoughts from Above – A Ceiling Sculpture Exhibition
F A T Gallery
Until 8 Feb
The new gallery shows off local artist Tan’s sculptures – except this time they’re all presented against the ceiling, and thus physically presenting a different perspective on how to view art.

Chris Levine
Collectors Contemporary
Until 22 Feb
The renowned light artist makes his Singapore debut with a series of light boxes, holographs, laser light installations and more.

16 January

Art Stage 2014
Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre
Until 19 Jan
Back for the fourth year, the event upon which the whole Art Week centres on finally opens. The fair brings together hundreds of galleries from around the world, with the newly-introduced curated Country and Regional Platforms this year serving as an excellent starting point for those hunting for the next big names in the art world. There will also be free daily talks happening for the duration of Art Stage, with topics ranging from ‘Alternative Ways of Resolving Legal Disputes over Western and Asian Art’ (17 Jan, 1pm) to ‘The Art Markets: Hong Kong vs Singapore’ (18 Jan, 1pm). See their website for a full schedule.

Zaw Win Pe
Art Season
Until 15 Feb
Opening reception: 16 Jan, 6pm
The Burmese artist emphasises the emotive quality of his oils and acrylics by layering paint directly onto the canvas using a palette knife to explore his country’s diverse socio-cultural environments.

Abstraction and Refinement – Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings
Gajah Gallery
Until 9 Feb
Opening reception: 16 Jan, 7pm
Taking the traditional art form of Chinese ink paintings and giving it a more Westernised treatment, four avant-garde artists from China each give their own interpretations of how landscapes can be represented.

Danny Santos II: Don’t Smile!
tcc – The Gallery
Until 10 Mar
Opening reception: 16 Jan, 6.30pm
The locally-based Filipino photographer picked up the art form as a hobby six years ago and explores who people are underneath their photo-perfect smiles in this show.

17 January

Art Apart Fair
PARKROYAL on Pickering
Until 19 Jan
Had a browse through Art Stage but still haven’t found the perfect piece for your home? Well you’re in luck, as Singapore’s first – and so far only – hotel art fair returns, transforming 33 rooms to mini gallery spaces temporarily. More than 1,500 works from emerging and mid-career artists are expected to be displayed.

Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition
Suntec City
Until 5 Feb
The inaugural award celebrates emerging artistic talents from the greater Asia region, with artists from over 30 countries being nominated by a panel of experts. The shortlisted works are displayed here, and the final winner will be announced on 18 Jan.

Pinaree Sanpitak: Cold Cuts
Yavuz Fine Art
Until 23 Feb
Opening reception: 16 Jan, 7pm
Eight stainless steel sculptures that embody both the female body and the sacred Buddhist form by the renowned Thai artist are displayed alongside five new acrylic paintings.

Art Plural
Until 28 Feb
Opening reception: 16 Jan, 6.30pm
The group show features most of the artists represented by the gallery, including Fabienne Verdier, Ian Davenport and Pablo Reinoso.

Gillman Barracks: 7pm

Tomoko Kashiki
Ota Fine Arts
Until 2 Mar
The first show at Ota Fine Arts’ new space (also at Gillman Barracks) shows new works by the Japanese artist, which show women suspended between dreams and desires.

Maria Taniguchi
Until 23 Feb
The Filipino artist’s exhibition focuses on her interest in organised structures.

Where Does it All Begin? – Contemporary Abstract Art in Asia and the West
Pearl Lam Galleries
Until 28 Feb
The renowned Hong Kong/Shanghai gallery finally opens in Singapore, and makes an ambitious debut with a group show that explores abstract art from around the world, through the decades.

Paradise Lost
Centre for Contemporary Art
Until 30 Mar
Opening reception: 17 Jan, 6.30pm
Presentation: 17 Jan, 4-6pm
Nanyang Technological University’s Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) opens with a three-woman show as the Asian artists, who are all living overseas, reflect on their homeland.

18 January

Art in Motion Bus Tours
Until 19 Jan
Organised by the Art Galleries Association Singapore, the inaugural series of Art in Motion has 13 participating galleries around town. While there are pop-up events happening around town, the highlight is a curated bus tours of all the venues involved. Visitors can choose from three routes that will each be led by volunteer guides from the arts community. And the best part? It’s free!

Aliwal Urban Arts Festival
Aliwal Arts Centre
The one-day festival removes the formalities of high-brow art and engages with the younger arts lovers by bringing a night of awesome music and street art. Expect to see everyone from soul sister Masia One to RSCLS (aka the group that Samantha Lo, the ‘Sticker Lady’, belongs to).

Roots & The B Team: Makanlah Buah-Buahan Tempatan – Singapura
Gillman Barracks Assembly Hall, Blk 28, #01-07
Until 22 Jan
As part of the on-going arts series, The U Factory, local interdisciplinary studio Roots and Malaysia’s The B Team came together to create an art exhibition about national fruits in the context of Singapore. For their full schedule read here

Christopher Thomas: The Synchronised Power of our Mass
Yeo Workshop
Until 16 Mar
Artist talk: 18 Jan, 4pm
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Time Out Singapore: A Quick Guide to Nusa Dua, Bali

Gwen Pew and Berwin Song check out three new properties of note in Bali’s Nusa Dua region.

Photos can do no justice to the stunning Grand Nikko Bali. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Photos can do no justice to the stunning Grand Nikko Bali. Image courtesy of the resort.

13 Nov 2013: On the east coast of the southern tip of Bali, the district of Nusa Dua is traditionally known as a gated enclave of swanky resorts, home to five-star properties such as the Conrad, Grand Hyatt Bali and the Westin. While there aren’t many sights in the area itself (the bland Bali Collection shopping complex is the only real retail centre in the area), the region is perfect for those looking for a quiet, all-inclusive getaway or resort conference – recently, both the 2013 Miss World competition and the security-heavy APEC summit were held inside the gated region. The district is also seeing increased development in the wide swathes of land outside of the gates, with numerous resorts in the works.

Best for romantic getaways

Grand Nikko Bali

Walking around the sprawling, stunning grounds of Grand Nikko Bali, you wouldn’t think that the resort is about to celebrate its 18th anniversary. Everything is kept in mint condition, the staff members are all friendly and attentive, and the facilities are top notch. The five-star resort was rebranded just a few months ago, following the refurbishment of all 389 guest rooms and the introduction of 19 villas that each boast their own private infinity pool with either an ocean or garden view (there are 17 one-bedroom, one two-bedroom and one threebedroom villa), plus an exclusive villa lounge, a ballroom and an open-air wedding gazebo.

Guests staying at the villas are also welcomed to use the Nikko Club Lounge – a prime location to watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean, enjoy a complimentary a la carte breakfast, or relax over canapés and cocktails at dusk – and get pampered by a range of treatments, such as the recommended two-hour Harmony massage, at the Mandara Spa.

With four restaurants and a bar, as well as a range of other activities (including camel rides) and direct beach access, there is no real need to leave the Grand Nikko if you don’t want to, making it perfect for those who are looking for a truly private romantic getaway.

Guest rooms start from USD350++/ night; villas from USD650++/night. A discount of 33 percent off villas is available until March 2014. Seewww.grandnikkobali.com for details.

Best for beach activites

Chedi Sakala

The third property by luxury hotel group General Hotel Management (GHM) to open in Bali, the Chedi Sakala just started welcoming its first guests at the end of October, and officially opens this month. The resort occupies 2.4 hectares of land and is located right along the well-developed beaches of Tanjung Benoa at the northern end of Nusa Dua (inside the gated enclave), which features numerous water activies and sports. Impressively, all of the 247 guest rooms are suites; there are also 14 private one- and two-bedroom pool villas.

Other facilities at the resort include two swimming pools, a wellness spa, health club, lagoon bar and kid’s club. An all-daydining restaurant serves up an international cuisine, while the Sakala Bali restaurant across the road from the resort provides a more upscale, contemporary French dining option.

Guest rooms start from USD310++/ night; villas from USD800++/night. Seewww.ghmhotels.com/en/thechedi- sakala/home for details.

Best for those on a budget

Mantra Nusa Dua

One of the most affordable options in the area, Mantra Nusa Dua is the brand’s flagship resort outside of Australia (where they have 52 properties). While it doesn’t boast the all-out swankiness of some of the surrounding resorts (such as the ridiculously massive Mulia compound across the street), it’s great for a quiet getaway with wellsized rooms.

There are 172 rooms in three categories, situated in two wings surrounding the centrepiece pool, which runs the length of the hotel (with an overhead walkway creating a few waterfall features that leads to their dining room). All rooms feature a balcony with an outdoor daybed and rain showers in the bathrooms. Superior and Deluxe rooms start at a relatively spacious 51sqm – the difference comes in the form of an extra sofa area or a bathtub, respectively. The top rooms are the suites (24 in total) – all sized at 102sqm and still significantly cheaper than most other resorts in the area.

Though there’s no direct beach access, free shuttles are provided to Geger Beach, which is a threeminute drive away. Here, Mantra has a small area with a few beach chairs reserved specially for their guests.

The resort is also home to the Chakra spa, a first for the Mantra brand, featuring their signature Chakra balancing massage (which involves a Tibetan singing bowl and Indonesian massage). Look out for more as Mantra expands in Asia, with plans for multiple properties across Bali (including their budget hotel Brand Free and the higher-end Peppers, the first of which will be a rebranded property taking over Sentosa Seminyak).

Superior rooms start from USD99/ night; suites start from USD242/ night Seewww.mantranusadua.com for details.