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REFUSE
Photograph: Dewi Nurjuwita

The best events you can't miss at Singapore Art Week 2022

From industrial sites to Gillman Barracks and a famous hawker centre, art can be found in every corner this January

Dewi Nurjuwita
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Dewi Nurjuwita
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If your new year resolutions for 2022 is to be more cultured, you're in luck. We're kicking off the year strong with Singapore Art Week. From 14 to 23 January, you'll find art in every corner from an industrial site to Gillman Barracks and even a very famous hawker centre in Singapore. And who can forget, the much-anticipated Light To Night Festival. 

Don't know where to start? It may all be very overwhelming, so here's a guide on everything you shouldn't miss at Singapore Art Week 2022. 

RECOMMENDED: The best upcoming art exhibitions in Singapore and the best futuristic architecture in Singapore

  • Art

Loved the Netflix documentary The Secret Life of Mushrooms? Then here's a fun fact you should know: mushrooms can also make music when they emit carbon dioxide and certain gases. Check out REFUSE, where local band The Observatory draws on its past and present influences and brings together their interests in fungi and mycelial networks to explore the twin ideas of decomposition and composition from biological and musical perspectives – all in a very photograph-worthy space in the new SAM @ Tanjong Pagar Distripark. The exhibition combines mycology design (Bewilder), scenography installation (Sai aka Chen Sai Hua Kuan), archive arrangement (Ujikaji), moving image (Yeo Siew Hua) and guest curation (Tang Fu Kuen).

  • Art

Over at Prinsep Street, where DECK used to stand, a time portal manifests as a traditional Chinese street opera stage to present new works by five artists who explore this traditional performing art and its relevance in contemporary society. Check out over 150 photographs taken by Ken Cheong from 1989 to 2007, telling the story of Chinese Street Opera in Singapore; 10 hands and a story of the world by Lai Yu Tong; a piece inspired by the philosophy of Yin & Yang by Mary Bernadette Lee and more. 

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  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • City Hall

Every year on Singapore Art Week, the facade of historic buildings in The Civic District comes to life with spellbinding light projections. Light to Night Festival is returning once more from January 14 to February 3. A marquee event for Singapore Art Week, the Light to Night Festival continues taking the form of a redefined, hybrid experience. 

Perennial crowd favourite Art Skins on Monuments is returning. Adorning the facade of National Gallery Singapore Refractioned by Metamo Industries with Benedict & Palmer, which reinterprets Singapore's iconic architecture. In the Gallery itself, the walls of the Rotunda Library & Archive are also brought to life with an audio-visual experience that explores the way we collect and interpret different types of archival materials. 

Another highlight of this year's festival can be found in the middle of the Padang. Flight by LiteWerkz is an interactive installation inspired by the flight of birds that encourages introspection and self-discovery. The installation responds to Bluetooth signals emitted from mobile devices, generating a symphony of light and colours and reorientating one's perception of space. Fragment of a Shoreline, in contrast, brings back to the Padang's history, where festival-goers sit at a reconstructed shoreline from the 1800s as multisensorial features prompt them to reflect on their individual experiences – all with Singapore's skyline in the distance. 

Music lovers shouldn't miss this year's Gallery Gigs and Funny Fridays with artists such as KEYANA, Kumar and Sezairi. Art x Social, the beloved festival village also returns with exciting activities like craft-making activities, an aura photobooth, claw machines, local craft shops and more. 

And lastly, don't miss Move For?ward (Unseen: Inside Out), a multi-sensory art installation that spotlights the visually impaired community. You'll navigate through a web of strings while listening to stories of 12 individuals from the visually impaired community. 

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