Singapore transforms in auctionville for the next two weeks!

Ronald Ventura at 33Auction

The next couple of weeks promise to be exciting for art lovers in Singapore. No less than four auction houses will be showcasing their wears for upcoming auctions. Starting Friday One East Larasati will preview for two days its Hong Kong 2011 Spring Auction at ONE EAST Artspace (30 Bideford Road #03-02 , Thong Sia Building), while Christie’s will preview Apr 31-May 1 the highlight lots of its upcoming HK Spring Summer auctions at ARTSPACE@Helutrans (39 Keppel Road, #02-04, Tanjong Pagar Distripark).

Zhong Biao

Then on May 6-7 at MOCA (27A Loewen Road), 33Auction will preview Modern and Contemporary Asian Art, ahead of its sale on May 8 here at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which carries a pre-sale estimate of around S$3 million. Leading the Philippines section is Ronald Ventura, whose work recently sold for just under $1 Million at auction, making him the highest ever selling South East Asian contemporary artist at auction. Ventura’s Nestling is an arresting mixed media assemblage, represents an apocalyptic scene of falling angels and a world in turmoil (typical Ventura!). Ventura’s background in a country struggling with poverty, displacement and religious restrictions was a clear influence in his creating this powerful and deeply personal work. Other Filipino artists in the sale include Annie Cabigting, Arturo Sanchez (a participant of the Singapore Biennale 2011), Ronald Caringal and Crist Espiritu.

Qu Guangci

Amongst Chinese artists is a rare large sculpture by Zhu Wei, along with some interesting pieces by Zhong Biao, Qu Guangci and Zhou Chunya (famous for his Green Dog series). Vagary by Zhong, who has long been obsessed with the marriage between the past and the present, depicts his wife, a woman who has also been swept up by the changes in society. Taking on the roles of a Chinese wife and daughter-in-law as well as the role of a modern woman, she garners a large number of differing opinions on who she is, based on the various rolls she plays. To the artist, that is exciting, a mirror for the reality in which he lives. Vagary captures this notion in mirror of illusion, visually juxtaposing the past and the present. I love Qu Guangci’s My Nature Tree, his twist on a Ming chair with colourful birds sitting on it, obviously appreciating the value of old tradition. As Qu Guangci once said, roots are the reason why a tree will keep growing.