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The city-state and the Global South are explored in Singapore Art Week exhibitions.

Arts and EntertainmentThe city-state and the Global South are explored in Singapore Art Week exhibitions.

Singapore's place in the world usually begins with its immediate Southeast Asian neighbours and ends with its former colonisers and wider Asian region. The two major exhibitions look at conversations and parallels between Singapore, Southeast Asia and the Global South. The National Gallery Singapore's Tropical explores the history of Southeast Asia and Latin America and challenges their colonial narratives. The show brings together 200 works by over 70 artists and includes uses of textile and embroidered fabric. See Me See You is the second of the series on early regional video art. The event is organised by Zoé and Clara at the invitation of The Institutum, which is a local non-profit. The two exhibitions provide a strong conceptual framework for a particularly lively 12th edition of SAW, centred around the flagship fair Art SG. SAW has a record number of events this year. Focus will be launched in January of this year and will feature a showcase of regional artists, like Yee I-Lann, brought by 22 galleries. The main downtown heritage venue is being reconstructed, while the temporary venue of the Singapore Art Museum is also being renovated. SAM will host a show by the local multimedia star Ho Tze Nyuan with the mid-career survey Time & the Tiger. A number of dealers, curators, collectors, and media from greater China are visiting Singapore for the first time in years to investigate the buzz surrounding the city-state. The Beijing collector Li Fan opened a new private museum in Singapore called the Whale Museum in January. Comma Space is one of a handful of independent and artist-run spaces that have been founded in recent years. Art After Dark returns on 20 and 27 January at Gillman Barracks. There is a political solo show by Htien Lin, who was a political prisoner after opposing his country's military junta, at Richard Koh Fine Art. The Singapore Art Gallery Association has been working to strengthen co-ordination of SAW and learning from other art weeks around Asia. There have been great engagements around town, with collaborations with entities like the Soho House. Singapore will always be a place with an interesting mix of quality international expatriates who are keen and earnest about cultural exchange and interactions, and I have been impressed by the growing collector scene here.

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