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5 Things To Check Out This Week: New Independent Art Space At Jalan Pemimpin, Nostalgic Singapore Shows On Netflix & More

An edit of things to do in Singapore this week.

1. Take in a special exhibition

Hema Upadhyay, UNIVERSE REVOLVES ON (XVI), 2008. Produced at STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore. Artwork © Hema Upadhyay/STPI. Courtesy of STPI

STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery is unveiling a special exhibition this weekend. Titled Turning the Axis of the World, it’s a group exhibition showcasing works by 15 artists who have previously had residencies at the space. Their aim? To “reflect a desire to start anew and open up new possibilities of coexistence” amidst this head-spinning period – and we can all do with some of that, as old standards of working and living across many industries are now being questioned or crumbling away.

As guest curator Tan Siuli puts it, “the show is also a timely reminder of how art can speak to ideas and emotions that we are sometimes only half-conscious of, and through its myriad expressions, set us off on new ways of thinking about the world.” Come expecting a variety of works that span the mystical, playful, and even grotesque. 

August 15-Sept 13; 41 Robertson Quay

2. Catch one of the year’s best films

Never Rarely Sometimes Never. Photo: Courtesy of The Projector

The quietly powerful coming-of-age drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always finally opens in Singapore this week. We interviewed its 17-year-old lead actress, Talia Ryder, for our April issue and came away impressed by her steely approach to youth activism. The film focuses on the story of a small-town high schooler (Sidney Flanigan) who was forced to travel to the big city to get an abortion; her plucky cousin (Ryder) was her only source of company and support throughout the ordeal.

For the unacquainted, Never Rarely Sometimes Always has been hailed as one of the year’s most moving movies about the realities of modern adolescent life since it debuted at Sundance in January and currently holds a 99 per cent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s showing exclusively at The Projector – so you know where to go.

Ongoing

3. Check out a new independent art space

Comma Space is a new entrant to the small but vibrant group of artist-run experimental art spaces in Singapore. According to Plural Art Mag, Comma Space was opened (and self-funded) earlier this year in an industrial building in Bishan by the artist couple Sai Hua Kuan and Wang Ruobing. It was intended to bolster the independent art scene here – more venues to showcase works (with little or no stipulations) is always a boon.

The ongoing opening show, titled 12 Solo, is a series of mini-exhibitions, with each artist invited to create one artwork and present that work as an entire show. Comma Space is reopening this weekend after the Covid-19 lockdown with Ng Hui Hsien as the next artist in the series to present her work. If you’ve yet to check out this new space, this weekend would be a good time, as the artist will be on hand to guide tours. Details here.

August 15-23; #04-02 51 Jalan Pemimpin

4. Explore a virtual show that’s close to heart

In Female‘s August issue, we tapped three Singapore artists to help us explore the idea of home. Plural Art Mag’s new initiative, Our HeARTlands, works on a similar tangent: they’ve enlisted 100 Singapore artists to interpret the notion of the much-bandied term “the heartland”. The result: 100 new works inspired by places that hold special meaning for each individual artist – from icons such as Changi Airport to the much more personal and intimate, such as a favourite coffee stand at Bras Basah. Here, artist Mojoko pays tribute to Jurong Bird Park. Check out the extensive full list of works and artists here.

Ongoing

5. Catch up on old (and new) school Singapore nostalgia

On social media, we’ve been seeing people starting to post about the nostalgic ’90s and ’00s Singapore TV dramas and films that became available on Netflix earlier this month. But what if you didn’t catch these shows the first time round? Netflix has teamed up with Lasalle College of The Arts to get their design students to interpret these classics through fresh eyes and we must say, it makes for interesting results. Scroll through the Instagram post above to see what happens when ’90s works get reinterpreted through Gen Z perspectives.

Ongoing

Cover Photo Universe Revolves On (XVI), Hema Upadhyay. Courtesy of STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery