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Kara Inez
Photograph: Kara Inez / Instagram

6 up-and-coming artists in Singapore that you should know

Get under the skin of the talented individuals emerging and shaking up the local art scene. By Tanya Singh and Dewi Nurjuwita

By Time Out Singapore editors

From the Nanyang-style art movement of the 1950s to present-day contemporary art, Singapore's art scene celebrates a diversity of styles, mediums and techniques. But there's an emerging breed of artists rising above and bringing a fresh take to the table. Their works can be found in our large cultural institutions as well as independent galleries highlighting emerging artists. Here, some of the up-and-coming artists in Singapore taking local art by storm. 

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Cartilage of Siren Songs, 2018, Oil, alkyd and synthetic varnish on wood panel, 40 x 33 cm
Photo: Ruben Pang

Ruben Pang

Blending a kaleidoscope of colours with effortlessly fluid imagery, Ruben Pang knows how to capture your attention and imagination. Using aluminium sheets as his canvas, he wields brushes, palette knives and sandpaper to craft pieces that reveal a psychedelic composition of layered hues. Graduating from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2010, Pang held his first solo show just a year later. His art earned him a Winston Oh Travelogue Award and a Georgette Chen Arts Scholarship. He was also a finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2010 and 2011.

KEY ART Cartilage of Siren Songs, part of Pang's Sutures and Infinite Laughter exhibition at Primo Marella Gallery in Milan.

Kara Inez
Photograph: Kara Inez / Instagram

Kara Inez

A Malaysian artist based in Singapore, Kara Inez is a strong advocate of women's bodies and mental illness through her art. The sculpture and performance artist is known for the use of abject materials and silicone to create life-like grotesque bodily forms – from human organs to "imperfections" found on the female body such as folds and bulges. In doing so, she hopes to evoke the feeling of disgust in her audience as a means to challenge the social constructs set in place surrounding these suppressed topics. 

KEY ART Defective: Absent Bodies, which provokes conversations concerning the female body and sexual health in Malaysia.

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, (Type as abstraction) II, I-V, 2018, Print on calico, 16 x 21.5 x 2 cm
Photo: MOCA, Taipei

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee

As an artist-curator, Zulkhairi Zulkiflee dives deep into notions of identity and investigates Malayness through his range of works. His thought-provoking installations and photographic series aim to spark discussions on ethnicity and culture.

KEY ART (Type as abstraction) II, which was featured in a group exhibition titled Stories We Tell To Scare Ourselves With at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.

Sarah Choo Jing, Wear You All Night, exhibiting in Rome at the MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo: Sarah Choo Jing

Sarah Choo Jing

A recipient of the 2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Gold Award and the 2015 Moscow International Foto Awards, Sarah Choo Jing is a photographer, videographer, installation artist and art educator all rolled into one. Her work explores everyday urban life with a unique vision and flair for storytelling. As a voyeur, she spins suggestive narratives – rooted in an investigation of social and cultural norms – about characters and spaces in her works.

KEY ART Wear You All Night, which exhibited in Rome at the MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art.

Priyageetha Dia, The Golden Staircase
Photo: Priyageetha Dia

Priyageetha Dia

Priyageetha Dia's practice leans towards site-specific installations. The artist adopts a community-centric approach to art-making. Challenging notions of resistance and censorship, Singapore’s ‘Golden Girl’ stirs up conversations about what exactly constitutes art in her site-specific public pieces.

KEY ART The Golden Staircase, displayed on the 20th floor of Block 103 Jalan Rajah in Singapore – but has since been removed

Debbie Ding, Sub-monument
Photo: Debbie Ding

Debbie Ding

Marrying psychogeography – the effect of the environment on human behaviour – with concept-based visual art, Debbie Ding has a knack for creating art that’s far from the ordinary. From archaeological finds and prototypes to archival materials and maps, the artist uses non-conventional media to create works that investigate the connection between spaces and the human psyche.

KEY ART Sub-monument – view her work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore.

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