Singapore: In the Thick of the Pause
By Louis Ho
After trundling along listlessly for months in 2020, battered from the effects of a Covid-19 circuit breaker, a faltering economy, and the recent loss of a number of institutions and spaces, the Year of the Ox started off with a bang for Singapore’s otherwise enervated visual arts community. The ninth edition of the annual Singapore Art Week (1/22–30), coinciding with the initiation of a nation-wide vaccination program, featured a deluge of exhibitions and events. Highlights included “Singapore Ceramics Now” (1/20–2/13), curated by artist Jason Lim, a show that inflected the titular medium with sound, installation, and performativity; “ON/OFF/SCREEN” (1/21–2/18) by the Moving Picture Experiment Group (MPEG) at DECK, which expanded the possibilities of the moving image; and “Baroque Archipelago” (1/22–3/7) at Mizuma Gallery, where curator Tan Siuli juxtaposed the syntaxes of fashion and fine art, an increasingly visible trajectory.