8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this January

January is usually a big month for art in Singapore, with annual festivals Art Week and M1 Fringe Festival. But things are especially exciting this time around, with a few new contenders, and some cozy community art events thrown into the mix. Here’s what to look out for before these fairs and performances hit our shores.

M1 Fringe Festival (Jan 13-24)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this JanuaryDoggy Style. Photo credit: Jonas Kambli

Prepare for two weeks of out-there plays, dances and art exhibitions. The theme this year is Art and the Animal, so expect lots of commentary about mankind’s interference with nature. Some interesting shows include The Chronicles of One and Zero: Khancil, which explores how the mousedeer in Malay folktales has to deal with machines destroying its natural habitat. There’s also a cheeky discussion about reclaiming language, “When Bitch Meets Butch”. Read more about it hereVarious venues, includeing the Esplanade Theatre, The Substation, The National Musem

Aliwal Urban Arts Festival (Jan 16)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this January

For the third time, the Aliwal Arts Centre will hold its Urban Art Festival, with cool workshops, local DJs and bands as well as street art showcases.The two workshops are the Creating Beats and Mixing workshop (2pm-4pm), where DJ Koflow shows you how to create beats and mix tracks, and the Cut and Paste Mayhem workshop (5pm till late), a zine-making demonstration. Bands like Dru Chen Trio, Take Two and What is Hip will perform, along with DJs like Fauxe, .Wav(y) and Jaydah, to name a few. The RSCLs street art collective will be doing some live graffiti, while the Asphalt Challenge has skaters pitting their skills against each other. Lastly, the Cannot be Bo(a)rded showcase has 16 artists from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia exhibiting their art on skateboards.

Singapore Art Week (Jan 16-24)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this JanuaryMy Forest Has No Name, Donna Ong

The fourth edition of Singapore Art Week will run from Jan 16-24, with more than 80 art shows and music festivals. This year, lots of local artists are in the spotlight, including pioneer Tang Da Wu, who will be exhibiting his work titled, “Earth Work,” about how a construction site becomes a public housing estate. Sculptor Han Sai Por and Kum Chee-Kiong’s work, “Rising Moon” will pay tribute to the Singapore River at the Esplanade Park, while Donna Ong’s exhitbition, “My Forest Has No Name”, examines how the forest has evolved in colonial times till present day. Various venues, including National Gallery and Gillman Barracks.

Prudential Eye Awards (Jan 16-Mar 27)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this JanuaryView from Ulu Tirum by Robert Zhao Renhui

While it sounds like some stuffy award presentation, this art event is a two-and-a-half month showcase of Asia’s contemporary work at the ArtScience Museum. There are 39 pieces from 15 artists, who are doing some pretty intersting things with video, installation, photography, and of course, painting and sculpture. Local photographer Robert Zhao Renhui is shortlisted in this one.

Singapore Contemporary Art Show (Jan 20-24)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this January

Move by Simon Wee

Coming to Singapore for the first time, concurrent with Art Stage, this new mid-tier show carries work priced from $10,000 to $100,000. So far local artist Simon Wee is on the roster, and apart from showcasing his work, he will be conducting a demonstration painting on canvas and linen. There will also be a series of 16 artist dialogues, including talks from Australian Emma Hack and Italian Australian artist Francesca Gnagnarella. Especially exciting is “China Encounters,” a special spotlight on Chinese artists whose work that will potentially increase in value (Su Xiaobai, Zhang Qing and Wang Min are in this one). Big-deal artist Yayoi Kusama (the Whitney and the Tate Modern have done retrospectives on her work) will be exhibiting here, too. Suntec Convetion and Exhibition Centre.

Art Stage (Jan 20-24)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this JanuaryPhoto credit: Art Stage Singapore

Part of Singapore Art Week, the upcoming Art Stage is worth checking out as it features work from 32 countries and 30 cities. There are 65 galleries exhibiting new work, and 112 exhibitors from all around Asia. There be a Southeast Asia Forum, so get ready as art experts talk about the issues that affect the region. Look out for the installation called Dada on Tour, which  celebrates the 100th aniversary of Dadaism. Marina Bay Sands, Expo & Convention Centre, Level B2, Halls D, E, F

Art Apart Fair (Jan 22-24)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this January

The room of the 14th floor of ParkRoyal on Pickering turn into a giant gallery when the seventh edition of this fair returns, with a huge focus on artists from Southeast Asia: 100 artists and 1,500 pieces. So far, the local artists exhibiting are Tia Boon Sim, Phyllis Chong and Shi Lifeng. Parkroyal on Pickering.

Tanjong Goodman (Jan 23)

, 8 big arts events to look forward to in Singapore this January

The fifth edition of the #TanjongGoodman fest will be showcasing Holycrap’s exhibition, “When Renndom Met Airany”. There’s also a tour of the centre by Sweet Tooth, part of the the outreach arm of CAKE Theatrical Productions, where you’ll learn about the history of the place and resident artists will host open studios. Sound collective  Sa(仨) will lead an open jam while Paper Monkey Theatre will do a puppet-making demo. Here’s the most exciting part: there will also be a Great Singapore Garage Sale to look for cool secondhand stuff and the Goodman Farmer’s Market will have produce from The Indiana Supply Co. and juice from HIC Juice. Goodman Arts Centre