ART SG 2024
About the fair
19-21 January, 2024
Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Sands Expo & Convention Centre
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Singapore—Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to participate in the second edition of ART SG, Southeast Asia’s largest global art fair. On view is a selection of artworks by a wide range of artists from China, Nigeria, Slovakia, the UK, and USA, showcasing the breadth of the gallery’s aesthetics. Exhibiting artists include Alimi Adewale (b. 1974, Nigeria), Samson Akinnire (b. 1986, Nigeria), Jana Benitez (b. 1985, USA), Mr Doodle (b. 1994, UK), Michal Korman (b. 1987, Slovakia), David LaChapelle (b. 1963, USA), Antony Micallef (b. 1975, UK), Babajide Olatunji (b. 1989, Nigeria), Anya Paintsil (b. 1993, UK), Qiu Deshu (1948–2020, China), Qin Yufen (b. 1954, China), Deborah Segun (b. 1994, Nigeria), Su Xiaobai (b. 1949, China), Zhang Jianjun (b. 1955, China), Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954, China), and Zhu Peihong (b. 1987, China).
Alimi Adewale, a Nigerian artist, embarks on a creative journey that revolves around unravelling the profound beauty and cultural tapestry that defines the African experience. On view is his latest series titled Figurative Fusion, which is an exploration of the intersection between traditional realism and contemporary abstraction in the realm of figurative painting. It is a testament to the artist’s ability to harmonise diverse artistic elements, offering a fresh perspective on the expressive potential of the human figure in contemporary art.
Offering a subliminal glimpse of the unseen through the interplay of waste and wealth, the art of multi-disciplinary contemporary artist Samson Akinnire combines dimensionality, space, and beauty to evoke a timeless sense of constraint and boundlessness. Drawing viewers into the process of creation, Akinnire’s work encompasses abstraction, realism, portraiture, post-impressionism, and installation, employing techniques such as modelling, casting, painting, sewing, and more. His prolific artistic production spans a variety of styles, captivating viewers with its transformative power.
Art SG 2024 gives occasion for a sudden plot twist in the 25 years of Jana Benitez’s art-making. Known for capturing the human body’s vitality through gestural abstraction and representational portraiture, here Benitez chooses an unexpected subject matter: flowers. Or, to be more specific, one single flower rendered twice: Dahlia 1 and Dahlia 2. Composed more like portraits than still life, these close-up depictions celebrate the singularity of their subject. They are larger-than-life, blown up at least ten times
the size of the actual flower. The angle of the snapshot is intimate, almost coy. They invite the viewer to get very near the dahlia as if to breathe in its fragrance. Individual petals are delicately described; their angles are traced with a painted line, and their folds are depicted through light and shadow.
Over the years, Mickey and other Disney characters have seen some remarkable changes in their evolution. Mr Doodle has taken inspiration from the countless subtle changes and created a collaborative series, Disney Doodles, to pay tribute to the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary that perfectly captures the essence of each scene while incorporating his own unique, quirky drawing style. He replaces the traditionally flat, blocky colours with various mini doodles in his otherwise accurate reinterpretations.
For a few years now, Michal Korman has dedicated his focus and found inspiration in the world of plants. The beauty of flowers, gardens, and the surrounding nature fills him with happiness, which he translates onto the canvas using flat solid oil paint chunks. These chunks serve as both ornaments and motifs, enhancing and disrupting their presence within the composition. What matters most to him is capturing the excitement in the viewer’s eye. The artist currently lives and works in Paris.
While pursuing a career in photography in the late 1980s, LaChapelle was offered his first job by Andy Warhol to shoot for Interview Magazine at the age of 17, which exposed him to international publications and personalities. As one of a few who can balance editorial and fine art photography as a language of self-expression, LaChapelle revolutionises the art form by attempting a holistic rendering of personage, religion, and social environmentalism through bold, vibrant, of-the-moment stylistic palettes and inventiveness. Largely inspired by art histories and pop culture, parts of LaChapelle’s work evoke classical motifs and contemporary art to provide alternative readings of iconic images.
Described as a modern expressionist, Antony Micallef roots his work in social commentary and self-examination. The painting Ava (Flower Painting) is an expansion of his growing interest in looking at the natural world. An evolution of mark making and trying to constantly use oil paint in non-traditional dynamic ways has led him to a creative opening. Influences for these flower paintings come from an amalgamation of sources including Emil Nolde, Vincent Van Gogh, and Chaïm Soutine among other impressionists.
Babajide Olatunji, a self-taught London-based artist originally from Nigeria, will be showcasing his hyperrealist pastel and acrylic portraits from his series called Tribal Marks. This collection delves into the traditional practice of facial scarification, which has been historically used by rural ethnic tribes in Nigeria for identification and caste classification purposes. Although Olatunji’s subjects are fictional, he skilfully combines facial features from various individuals he has encountered in his everyday life.
Anya Paintsil is a London-based textile artist of Welsh and Ghanaian descent. Combining traditional hand rug-making techniques with Afro hairstyling methods, Paintsil’s practice is largely autobiographical, taking inspiration from her childhood, family stories, and Welsh and Ghanaian mythologies, while exploring identity and gendered labour and seeking to promote artistic practices historically devalued due to their associations with femininity and other marginalised groups.
Deeply influenced by Chinese traditional philosophy, Qiu Deshu’s work visualises natural transformation on both macroscopic and microscopic levels. An initial interest in the cracks in the rock slates subsequently led him to become aware of its silent but natural power. Through his use of ink and colour on rice paper, the Fissures series expresses his innermost desire for spiritual balance and self-healing, but it also proposes a dystopic vision of the rapidly changing landscapes of modern China.
Since 1980, Qin Yufen has been developing a minimal style of abstract ink painting that draws on traditional Chinese calligraphy and xie yi(freehand or spontaneous) painting styles. In Fight of Colours, she uses colourful mineral pigments and ink on large-scale rice paper. Her expansive brushstrokes, flowing colours, and surfaces saturated with ink transcend the aesthetic of traditional ink painting using colour, ink, and powder, expanding the horizons of contemporary ink art.
Deborah Segun’s paintings can be described as a fusion of Cubism and abstraction. She embraces a playful and purist approach, prioritising form over intricate details, and explores diverse artistic mediums. Her works primarily revolve around figurative representations, with a particular emphasis on portraiture. The inspiration for her creations derives from her personal experiences as a woman as well as her observations of the spaces she occupies.
Su Xiaobai has developed a sensuous yet rigorous art that defies classification, and yet its own chosen medium, lacquer, is steeped in Chinese history. Su’s works are both hedonistic and mystical, defiantly sculptural while exquisitely painted. Ranging from shell-like finishes to sensuous, curved profiles and abraded textures, they exist entirely on their own terms, possessing their history, character, and independent existence. Rather than depict other objects, his art engages with the idea of being itself. At its centre, Su’s work uses the visual language and context of art to embody issues that are both philosophical and, at an everyday human level, universal.
In the 1980s, Zhang Jianjun embarked on a journey into the realm of abstract painting. He expresses his perspective on humankind and the universe through the integrity of language and constantly explores the existence of the ontological status. His work displays a great sense of belief and understanding of the Oriental style. The First Drop of Water series encapsulates how he imagines the origin of life as an elaborate moment that captures the diverse movements of water. The contrast between a singular drop and a boundless ripple is dramatic yet poetic through the instantaneousness and eternalness of time.
Zhu Jinshi is a pioneer of Chinese abstract art and installation art. Though abstract, his work is rooted in metaphor. Experience—fleeting and internal—is embodied in the inert substance to which it is committed and in which it finds an imaginative and deeply expressive equivalent. On view will be several of Zhu’s signature abstract thick paintings, including Who Is Guan Yunchang. This work is a key piece that takes the classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms as a hidden background to construct an abstract multi-dimensional space.
Zhu Peihong was born in Shanghai in 1987. His work is inspired by his visual memory of the city of Shanghai. Growing focuses on dots, lines, and colour patches with the strokes overlapping and covering each other. The paint slowly drips and spreads, solidifies, and stops, repeatedly until these fragmented traces, reaching an internal order, organically connect and construct the conscious cyberspace perceived by the artist’s mind like a mental landscape of a utopia in between reality and virtuality.