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  • May 10, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: May 10, 2024

Exterior of the Singapore Art Museum at Tanjong Pagar Distripark. Courtesy Singapore Art Museum.

Singapore Art Museum Delays Reopening Again

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has announced that it will remain at Tanjong Pagar Distripark for the foreseeable future. SAM’s previous locations, the old St Joseph’s Institution building and the former Catholic High School building in Queen Street, have been closed since 2019 as a result of a SGD 90 million architectural heritage preservation project. Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced on May 8 that potential uses of St Joseph’s Institution are under evaluation and will be shared at a later date. No immediate plans were announced for the Queen Street building. Whether Tanjong Pagar Distripark will become a permanent location for SAM remains unclear. As the reopening dates for the two buildings were previously pushed back from 2021 to 2023, and now to 2026, the delays, along with little to no evidence of construction at the old St Joseph’s Institution building, have intensified speculation that other museum institutions may take over SAM’s former home.

Exterior view of the inaugural Art Week Tokyo Focus, "Worlds in Balance: Art in Japan from the Postwar to the Present," at the Okura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2023.

Art Week Tokyo Announces Plans for 2024

On May 8, Art Week Tokyo (AWT) announced that its 2024 edition will encompass 52 participants, including 40 galleries and art spaces as well as 12 institutions. Spanning multiple venues, AWT will feature a solo project by multimedia artist Yuko Mohri at Kyobashi’s Artizon Museum as well as a major retrospective of French-American artist Louise Bourgeois’s (1911‒2010) career at Roppongi’s Mori Art Museum. There will also be a retrospective of interdisciplinary artist Keiichi Tanaami, coinciding with performance and media artist Ei Arakawa-Nash’s solo at The National Art Center, Tokyo. The second edition of AWT Focus will invite guest curator Mami Kataoka, director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum and National Center for Art Research, to organize an exhibition of modern and contemporary art from the works of AWT’s participating galleries. In addition, AWT Video has invited New York-based SculptureCenter’s director Sohrab Mohebbi to create a collection of single-channel video works by Japanese and international artists. The event will run from November 7 to 10.

LI YI-FAN received the Golden Harvest Award for Outstanding Short Film. Courtesy Golden Harvest Awards.

Li Yi-Fan Wins Golden Harvest Award

On May 4, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee announced that the Golden Harvest Award for Outstanding Short Film went to Taiwanese new-media artist Li Yi-Fan’s What Is Your Favorite Primitive (2023), the first time an experimental video has received the award. The film, which discusses social and ethical problems of image-generating AI, also received the Audience Choice Award and Special Jury Award. A recipient of the inaugural Taishin Visual Art Award, Li has exhibited his works at Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, the Taipei Biennial in 2023 at the Taipei Fine Art Museum, and SculptureCenter in New York. He will be awarded NTD 5,400,000 (USD 166,000) and a Sony camera.

HAN OK-HEE, Untitled 77-A, 1977, single-channel video with color and sound: 6 mins 26 sec. Courtesy National Asian Culture Center.

M+ Launches Inaugural Asian Avant-Garde Film Festival

Hong Kong’s museum of visual culture, M+, has announced its inaugural Asian Avant-Garde Film Festival, which will run from May 30 until June 2. The festival will include screenings, exhibitions, performances, talks, and workshops with artists and filmmakers from across Asia, including Nick Deocampo, Simon Liu, Ellen Pau, Wing Shya, and Wong Ping. The first edition, titled “Encounter the Unexpected,” will explore the history of Asian avant-garde filmmaking as well as consider interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and intergenerational lineages.

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