Singapore art-related news that I read in the last 24 hours:
1. "Nude artist taking a break" (The Straits Times) --- An artist from India who presented himself in the nude in a booth, as part of his performance at the inaugural Art Stage Singapore (for which he received the appropriate public entertainment permits from the censorship folks at the Media Development Authority), ceased the performance as of Friday, apparently because the gallery owner was asked to do so. By whom, it is not clear.
Art Stage Singapore is the very glammed-up, hyped-up "premier international event" (see its first press release [PDF]), brought to Singapore by Lorenzo Rudolf, whose touted credentials are that he is the former director of Art Basel, inventor of Art Basel Miami Beach and co-creator of Shanghai Contemporary. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
2. "Gillman Village takes a break" (The Straits Times) (aside: what is with all the "take a break" headlines?)--- The delightful restaurant/bar/furniture store enclave at Gillman Village is being broken up by landlords the Singapore Land Authority, because the land "has been earmarked by the Economic Development Board (EDB) for redevelopment into a premier location for art and creative businesses." Notwithstanding the fact that I'm going to miss Handle Bar, it must be incredibly frustrating for both business owners and customers who just wanted a place for a damn beer, to find out that the space they invested so much time, community and money in, back when it was hardly hip, is now being whisked away just like that.
So the Singapore state wants art. And artists (but not naked, thoughtful ones). And people who will come to Singapore to spend money --- on art, and artists (and perhaps other sanctioned or at least quietly condoned forms of nudity).
And it wants to be able to do all that, by simply adding water and stirring. Who has time for the sweat, toil, thoughtful, unhurried growth, experimentation and exploration, that would let ideas, art practices, artists, their friends and their foes, tug and pull at each other in a rainforest-like tangle?
Labels: Singapore stories