5 Best Asian Artists To Watch
Singapore Contemporary Show Director Douwe Cramer tells us about his favourites.
With the number of art-related activity that has spawned as a result of the Singapore Art Week, the city state has in recent years become the arts hub for Southeast Asia. But unlike other art fairs around the world, the artists put under the spotlight here aren’t the greats or even the likes of Koons and Botero. Singapore Art Week’s focus is talent from the Asia Pacific region.
The latest art fair to join the fray is Singapore Contemporary. Here Douwe Cramer, Singapore Contemporary’s show director, picked of five contemporary artists from the region that deserve some recognition.
Aleah Angeles, Philippines
Her works have been described as “lyrical compositions with a warm romantic flair.” At just 26 years of age, she is one of the youngest artists to have had her work included in the Christie’s auction of Asian Contemporary Art.
Parallel Botany by Aleah Angeles, 2013, 183 x 152 cm (72 x 60 inches), Oil on Canvas
Kwon Kisoo, South Korea
Even though Kwon has a background in classical Korean painting from Hongik University, he creates graphic fantasies comprising technicolor wands of bamboo, popping plum blossoms, and expanses of brilliant monochrome. He has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Busan Biennale; and the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.
River by Kwon Kisoo, 2014, 162.1 x 227.3 cm, Acrylic on Canvas on Board
Dedy Sufriadi, Indonesia
In 1998, Sufriadi was honoured as a Finalist in the Winsor & Newton Art Competition, followed by a Nokia Art Award in 1999. In 2000, he was presented the prestigious Philip Morris Indonesia Art Award.
Salam by Dedy Sufriadi, 2014, 200 x 200 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas
San Zi, China
The artist is known for his mastery of deploying a combination of techniques, including Western painting, traditional Chinese ink painting, metalwork and woodwork. Heavily influenced by Taoism, the artist often signs his works with “Sanzi” (散子), which has the metaphysical meaning of “floating”, “freedom” and “humility.” He was also commissioned to create a background painting for the China Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.
Persimmon Harvest by San Zi, 2013, 160 x 180 cm, Oil on Canvas
Simon Wee, Singapore
Most of Wee’s works are painted on rice paper with white, black and gold, which are his “primary colours.” British Airways recently added his work to their collection, and now showcases it in a permanent installation at Changi International Airport in Singapore.
Projection by Simon Wee, 2010, 152 x 122 cm, Acrylic on Canvas
Works from these artists are available at the fair and on the Asia Contemporary website. The Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong occurs twice a year and is now in its 8th edition. This year was the first time Asia Contemporary held Singapore Contemporary and it is scheduled to return in January 2017.
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