Futura, dubbed the godfather of contemporary street art, will make his Southeast Asian debut in Singapore come 30 May 2019. Presented by The Culture Story and curated by Singapore’s leading pop artist Jahan Loh, CONSTELLATION marks the street culture legend’s first ever solo exhibition in the region.
Hailing from the birth of the graffiti art movement, in the early 1970’s Futura began ‘bombing’ trains in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Alongside his contemporaries, including iconic names such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he later took his distinctive abstract graffiti style from the streets and onto the canvas, showing in galleries around the world. Over the past forty years, Futura continuously pushed the boundaries of street art and painting, and has earned recognition internationally for his authentic style which has evolved beyond traditional forms of graffiti.
The exhibition will showcase 30 specially commissioned pieces created during a two week-long residency at The Culture Story. CONSTELLATION delves into Futura’s inner universe and celebrates his pioneering spirit for inventing new spraying techniques, including his most iconic and signature move, the inverted spray. Utilising a range of materials coupled with finely tuned techniques, this unique series of works demonstrates that Futura’s visual style transcends cultural and physical boundaries – where expression and style, restraint and spontaneity, splatters and control, provide poetic contradiction. The bold, vibrant compositions are marked by a repertoire of forms and iconic motifs he has come to be known for – characters, atoms and cranes.
During the exhibition, a limited-edition catalogue stashed in custom designed ammo boxes will be available for purchase. In addition, The Culture Story will also be organising a fringe event to complement the exhibition on Saturday, 01 June 2019. “Futura: 60 minutes with the street art legend”will feature a debut screening of a new mini-documentary on Futura’s career, followed by a dialogue session and after-party at The Projector and Intermission Bar, click here to buy tickets.
For more info and updates, visit: FuturaConstellation.com, IG @the.culture.story and FB Event Page
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Photo credit to Melvin Wong, Produced and Copyrighted @ The Culture Story
Chinese Contemporary Ink by Nan Qi and Hong Zhu An
Official Exhibition Opening
Saturday, 15 September 2018
The Culture Story presents two artists, Nan Qi (b. 1960) and Hong Zhu An (b. 1955), who are masters of ink in their own rights. Constantly challenging the boundaries of a medium of immemorial traditions and histories, Nan and Hong belong to a generation that straddles between the traditional form of Chinese art education and the influence from the Western styles of painting. Brought together in one exhibition, the works show two different trajectories contemporary ink practitioners take as they blur the line between the East and the West.
Well known for his ‘Halo dots’, Beijing-based artist Nan Qi has developed his own style of ink painting that many have described as “Post-Pop”, after the likes of Western artists such as Andy Warhol. His works are created on traditional Chinese calligraphy paper (xuan paper) with a mixture of using ink painting, ink stains, ink washing and ink colourimetric techniques, yet the skillful reproduction of the dots appear to be a digital pixelation of the image. The constant evolution of his technique continues to redefine the Chinese ink painting as a medium. The Culture Story is delighted to be exhibiting a selection of his early dot series as well as iconic portraits of world leaders.
Juxtaposing the vivid colours of Nan Qi’s, The Culture Story is also showcasing never-seen-before works by Singapore-based Chinese painter Hong Zhu An (b. 1955). Trained under the famous Chinese art scholar Wang Zidou in Shanghai and having lived in Sydney before settling in Singapore, Hong is a master of both Western and Chinese forms of art. His works are a blend of East and West techniques as he combines Chinese calligraphy and painting, including “negative painting”. Hong has a profound love for the line and he understands its importance as a fundamental of Chinese artistic expression. Behind each art piece is a myriad of layers, each consisting of thousands of calligraphic strokes and colours.
Talk – Collecting Chinese Ink: History, Culture, Wealth
Sunday, 23 September 2018
Should one collect ink, what are the current trends and who are the rising stars? Join us for a conversation with ink collectors H.S. Chong and K.P. Lee, and art historians Teo Han Wue and Lee Chor Lin. More details on Facebook.
Tags: exhibition, chinese, ink, hong zhu an, nan qi
Dates: 15 September – 7 October 2018
Opening Hours: Viewing by appointment only
The official opening of FLESH MATTERS took place on Saturday, 14 July 2018, including a special VIP dinner for artist’s friends and family, art collectors, patrons and supporters of The Culture Story and artcommune gallery. There were good food and good conversations including heartfelt sharing by pioneers like Mr Koh Seow Chuan and Mr Choy Weng Yang. Over 250 guests turned out on Saturday, so a big thank you to everyone!
Exhibition Dates: 12 July – 22 July 2018
Time: 12pm – 7pm
Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065
FLESH MATTERS at Artspace@Helutrans will present over 25 new paintings and 15 works on paper and collages, illustrating Wong’s compelling mastery and virtuosity as a painter. The series is considered one of the most accomplished in Wong’s painted oeuvre over fifty years. The accompanying exhibition catalogue includes full-colour illustrations and an essay contributed by Ms. Lee Chor Lin, former Director of the National Museum and the CEO of Arts House Limited.
The works on exhibit chart the latest development in Wong’s artistic career. Having spent over fifty years in America, his outstanding oeuvre, which encompasses oil, acrylic, ink and mixed media works, is a powerful embodiment of Chinese ink wash aesthetics and Western inventive approach towards form and colour. This dynamic approach has continued to characterise his dramatisation of flesh in form and philosophy over the last few years. His stylised images of the nude, the butcher shop and the burger across different pictorial styles and mediums reflect his commitment to continuously evolve and push the boundaries. This inventive spirit certainly sets him apart from his Singaporean contemporaries.
The largest work in Flesh Matters is a mural-sized acrylic painting titled, ‘The Aftermath’. Measuring 305 by 610 cm, its scintillating display of bold colours and narrative symbols devised through the form and atmosphere of flesh reflects the theme of warfare among other recurring threads in the series. Acts of violence and destruction are always suggested rather than depicted, and the result is an arresting image that bespeaks a complex chain of relations and an unutterable horror, rather than a point-blank picture of carnage.
Exhibition Dates: 12 July – 22 July 2018
Time: 12pm – 7pm (except 14 July, it will close at 4pm)
Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065
Official Exhibition Opening
Official opening with artist present will be held on Saturday 14th July 2018 from 12PM – 4.00PM.
At The Culture Story gallery, we are pleased to present “Lyrical Flesh” by Wong Keen, featuring 13 new works – exquisite collages (mixed media on paper) on Sat 02 June 2018. These striking works are part of Wong’s latest body of work titled “Flesh”. This presentation at The Culture Story is a prelude to a larger, significant exhibition at Artspace@ Helutrans which will open in mid-July 2018, that aims to showcase over 25 new paintings and more than 15 new collages. Works are for sale, pls contact us for more details.
The Culture Story is pleased to announce the currentbsolo exhibition“Genesis: God’s Terrarium” by Jahan Loh. This exhibition marks Jahan’s return to showcase in Singapore after a four-year hiatus since 2013.
“Genesis: God’s Terrarium” presents eight new paintings, limited edition prints and sculptures which include a larger-than-life-sized sculpture of Adam and Eve rendered in bronze and silver finish. “Terrarium of the Gods” is a term Jahan used to describe Earth – a garden planet or biosphere where genetically engineered humanoids contained the DNA of the Gods.
The paintings depict eight different scenes of Eden, with Adam and Eve embracing each other and seemingly swirling in harmony. However, chaos continues after creation, and Eve’s dialogue with the serpent is represented by an explosive mask of jagged deconstructed Chinese characters that reads “创世纪” (genesis), a manifestation of chaos and inner turmoil. Here, Jahan references the religious personages of God’s children Adam and Eve and harkens back to Renaissance religious art iconography. Yet the pop cultural imagery and reference to Adam and Eve as extra-terrestrial beings or “alien” is a creative turn that draws from the artist’s interest in the work of Jack Kirby, Asian manga and western comics.
This project is a culmination of the last three years, reflecting Jahan’s preoccupation with existentialism and a glimpse into his inner mind and vivid imagination surrounding the time of Man’s Creation and the Garden of Eden before Man’s expulsion.
About Jahan Loh
Born in 1976, Jahan Loh is Singapore’s leading Pop artist and one of Asia’s most successful street artists. His oeuvre revolves around street art and pop iconography and has exhibited internationally in New York, Melbourne, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Over the last decade, Jahan had successful collaborations with major lifestyle brands in China, Singapore and Taiwan, such as Vans, Casio’s G-SHOCK, Adidas and PUMA. In 2016, he completed two site-specific murals for the new ZOUK Club at Clarke Quay. Recently, Subcrew presented “STASH x Jahan Outside-In” at Yo’hood, Shanghai – China’s premier street wear fair, where Jahan collaborated with popular New York street legend STASH for a live showcase.
Influenced by graffiti artists from the 1970s and 1980s in New York, coupled with a deep immersion in the international phenomenon of Hollywood sci-fi, comic books and Asian manga and anime culture, Jahan has truly brought Singapore Pop art into the international limelight.
Exhibition Dates: 17 January – 18 March 2018 (visit by-appointment)
Exhibition catalogue includes an essay by Michelle Ho, Director of NTU Art Design Media Gallery, Singapore.
Please contact us for more information on available works.
In conjunction with the launch of Dr Jolly Koh’s second coffee-table book “Jolly Koh @ 76” in Singapore, a selection of seven paintings are available for viewing at The Culture Story from 14th – 24th August 2017. If you are interested to view the works or inquiry on sales, please contact us at 6924 9742 or at email@example.com
The inaugural exhibition at The Culture Story was launched over two weekends, on 17-18 June and 24-25 June 2017. The exhibition is titled “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, after Milan Kundera’s seminal novel published in 1984. It was an exposition of the founders’ belief that art can be a great connector of people and a reflector of our society. In the same way that Kundera’s literary classic articulated themes of life particular to the context of Czechoslovakia between 1960-70s, the founders believe that artists create works that are signifiers of their time.
The exhibition showcased thirteen abstract expressionist artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China and the Philippines. Embedded within each work, is first and foremost the stories of individuals. The artists are mostly in their senior years of practice and are known for their mixed media and abstract works. They represent the second generation of pioneer modern and contemporary artists from each of their countries. Most, if not all, have spent many years of their lives, studying and working overseas in places like Australia, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florence, Taiwan, Japan, China and Malaysia. Some have lived through their own version of Prague Spring (1968), like the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China, while others have endured dictatorships in the Philippines and Taiwan.
Regardless of their choice of artistic language or unique approach to art-making, their rich experiences combined with their artistic talents have produced the kind of works which the founders believe will speak to and can resonate with an international audience of art lovers and collectors.
List of Artists Exhibited
Anthony Chua, Augusto Albor, Han Sai Por, Hong Sek Chern, Hsiao Chin, Iskandar Jalil, Leo Hee Tong, Jolly Koh, Liang Quan, Shi Jin Dian, Wong Keen, Yu Teng-Chuan, Zhuang Sheng Tao