Stories from The Avenue for Creative Arts Issue 20

Galleries Galore with Glorious Art – It’s not enough that Singapore’s National Gallery has just finished with its record-breaking crowd-pleasing exhibition of the eye-catching works of Yayoi Kusama. They’ve just announced that the best of Musee D’Orsay – the exhibition entitled Colours of Impressionism – is coming in November. Meanwhile, Gillman Barracks just marked five years as a new/old centre for the arts with galleries like Sundaram Tagore showing why they’re still on top. Opera Gallery not only displayed the best of Spanish art hero Cabeza Dorada inside, but lined Orchard Road with some of his big sculptures too. (See above). Then Miaja Gallery gives us two “Faces of China, while Bruno Gallery gives the Singaporean father and son an art outing.

Best of British – Yes, we admit we have a British bias, and in spite of the impending Brexit, think highly of the art in situ and exported. The Art of Travel aficionado Dave Hickson draws our attention to Cornwall and the famous sculptures of Barbara Hepworth located in St Ives. He also visits the Victoria & Albert Museum in London – which is soon to have an off-shoot in Dundee, Scotland – as well as taking in the works of Henry Moore and the London Design Festival. What’s the British Council got coming up? How about the British Theatre Playhouse’s “Tea with the old Queen” at the British Club and The Stage Club’s staging of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Absurd Person Singular”? If you missed it, here’s the interview we did with that famous English scriptwriter Lord Julian Fellowes of “Downton Abbey” fame.

Writers in Festive Mood – It’s the love of Irish writers which puts them on centre stage at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival, which runs from 3 to 12 November, even though the theme is decidedly Asian – Indian Tamil in fact – with the word “Aram”. Read what Helmi Yusof says about it in the Business Times. Expect a host of Irish and Indian writers, but beyond Singapore’s shores, there are also wordsmiths coming along from China, UK, France, US, Australia and New Zealand. Meantime, there are literary events of note elsewhere. In the UK – Cheltenham Literature Festival 6-15 October; in Bali, Indonesia – Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 25-29 October; in Canada – Vancouver Writers Festival 17 to 22 October; plus Hong Kong comes up with its international literary writers showcase same time as Singapore.

For more of The Avenue go to the latest issue!

Creatively Bringing Histories to Life for Stage and Screen

Interview with Lord Julian Fellowes in Singapore when “Downton Abbey the exhibition” was launched at Marina Bay Sands. By Ken Hickson for The Avenue for Creative Arts

Creatively Bringing Histories to Life for Stage and Screen

Will Julian Fellowes ever weave his own fascinating Asian past into a screenplay?

A secret past with a naughty foreign connection? Yes, there was one or two in Downton Abbey, but this one is from the real-life history of the creator of what’s regarded as one of the world’s most popular television series ever.

Yes, Lord Julian Fellowes revealed to me a little of his distant Asian family history.

Admitting that he’d never been to Singapore, or anywhere in Asia for that matter, he then let it slip, quite deliberately, I might add: “I certainly want to go to India, as I have a past to unravel there”.

Tell me more?

It all started a long time ago – in the 1790s – when a very British gentleman called Fellowes was in India and developed a liking for local girl. She became his mistress and a baby appeared a few months later.

According to the latter-day Lord, the baby – not sure about the mother – was bundled off to England and became very much part of the aristocratic family.

When photographs were inspected over the years, the very “English Rose” members of the family did wonder about the distinguishing features of “a dark lady” and her subsequent offspring. As was the practice in those days, it was put down to perhaps a little Latin influence – Italian or Spanish perhaps? – not unlike Shakespeare’s “dark lady of the sonnets”, who was in all likelihood a real person of Italian extraction.

It must be tempting for such a creative mind as his, to find a way to weave such a fascinating first-hand family history into one of his dramas.

Maybe he will, for despite of his massive current workload and past play-full portfolio, he has never yet ventured to include Asia or Asians in his episodes. There was mention – an appearance in fact – of a very British Ambassador to India. But that was about it.

There are, of course, some other very good reasons for Lord Fellowes to delve into Asia, and India in particular.

His wife, whom he joined in holy matrimony on 28 April 1990, was Emma Joy Kitchener, born 1963, a Lady-in-Waiting to HRH Princess Michael of Kent and also a great-grandniece of Herbert, 1st Earl Kitchener.

So significant was his wife’s maiden name, that on 15 October 1998 it was officially arranged to change the surname from Fellowes to Kitchener-Fellowes.

A little bit more relevant history: The very same Lord Kitchener was of course appointed Commander-in-Chief of India in 1902 and immediately began the task of reorganising the Indian Army. He had an illustrious and at times turbulent military career, serving in Africa and Egypt. He was also the face – they say – of the memorable “your country needs you” poster in the war years.

We could go on, as there’s so much more to the life and times of Julian Fellowes (as he insists to be called) and his distinguished career and family.

Wikipedia might be able to sum this up in a few lines: “Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, DL (born 17 August 1949) is an English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, and a Conservative peer of the House of Lords.”

But we must try to concentrate on more recent prodigious products of this man of letters and secrets. Even though it’s hard to know where to start (or finish) with someone as versatile, creative, multi-talented and aristocratic as Lord Julian Fellowes?

When in Singapore for the launch of the “Downtown Abbey, the exhibition”, at Marina Bay Sands, it’s only right and proper we should be discussing that, but he’s as eager as anything to talk about all the other things he’s working on – or seeing the fruits of his labours- on the West End stage or on the screen.

He turned down the chance to hob nob with the elite while in Singapore for the annual Queen’s Birthday party at Eden Hall, still the historically significant residence of the British envoy here, as he had to be back in London to see some of his “creations” on the stage.

Four productions, which he had quite a lot to do with, are all concurrently doing time on the West End or some other stage in the UK.

There’s “School of Rock, the musical” which he worked on with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Then comes “Half a Sixpence”, which he helped revive to very positive reviews. And if that’s not enough, there’s the timeless “Wind in the Willows”, which he helped turn into a musical.

If you’re lucky, you might still find the musical adaptation of the ever-popular “Mary Poppins” popping up somewhere at a theatre near you, with a Fellowes credit or two.

On the subject of Downtown Abbey, which is still wildly appreciated and acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and in many other places in the world.

To be precise, it’s been seen in 220 countries and territories.

Singapore embraced it – and broadcast episodic repeats a few times – so that was one very good reason why the exhibition started its world tour here. It is certainly a wonderful way to bring television viewers into a very life-like studio/museum experience.

People around the world are still able to catch various episodes of Downton – there are 47 in total, plus five specials,  in the mammoth mix. Then there’s the relatively minor movie matter – what comes next?

Besides taking the wonderful museum-class exhibition on tour – Sydney, New York, Shanghai?  – there’s also the much-vaunted movie to visit the cinema screen.

Yes, he and the producers from NBC Universal International Studios and Carnival Films – all in Singapore for the exhibition lunch –  did confirm that there will be “Downton Abbey, the movie” and work is expected to start on it next year.

The six cast members who visited Singapore for the Marina Bay Sands Oscar-style Red Carpet treatment, were just as curious – even intrigued – about the movie plans, along with the inquisitive Singapore media.

Of course, cast members are all hoping that their own special Downton character will be written into the movie, which is expected to pick up where the sixth television series left-off – around 1926.

But it must be noted, as it was by the screenwriter Fellowes, that many of the cast have been very gainfully employed since getting worldwide attention from the TV series exposure, so they might have to be written out of the movie if they aren’t available when shooting commences.

Yes, he has written a Downton movie screen-play of sorts, but that’s expected to evolve more once the production team sits down to talk it through.

There were many questions to be asked and answered. And he was more than happy talk on, well over the appointed half hour.

As he’s never been to Singapore before, he certainly wanted to make the most of it. He was trying to see something other than the hotel and the vast Marina Bay Sands complex, so he did check out at least some of the “Colonial quarter”.

He was pleasantly surprised to see ample evidence of the British influence in the buildings and streets, still named after a Monarchs past and present, like the Victoria Concert Hall and Queen Elizabeth Walk.

He certainly wants to explore more of Singapore and Asia, as he can knows there’s so much more to see and appreciate. And he’s been agreeably surprised over the years, by the massive global fan base that Downton has garnered, even in China!

There so much more we could write about, but it’s best to just encourage you to see the exhibition, see all the episodes of Downton Abbey – and even if you have already, watch the repeats – it’s just as enthralling the second or third time around.

We can also recommend links to other interviews and reports on this special person, who we believe will be recognised – one day, if not already – as the most illustrious and prolific creative contributor to stage and screen, literature and the arts, in British entertainment industry history.

And we can only hope that his own past – spurious and/or genuine family connections included – might in fact inspire at least one more television series, film, book, musical or play.

We could imagine an Indian Downton Abbey. How about using the wonderful Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay (Mumbai) or the Taj Mahal monument to love itself?  Or perhaps one of the many wonderfully grand homes of Maharajahs dotted around the sub-continent.

Meantime, you’ll have to settle for one of the many creative outpourings of Lord Julian Fellowes at a theatre, on a book shelf or a television screen near you.

And expect more – much more – from this seriously addicted (and addictive) storyteller. He did admit that there’s at least one new novel that he’s coming up with.

If you would like to hear more from Julian Fellowes listen to this recent radio interview with Graham Norton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0575k21

Or visit Wikipedia or see an even more complete biography here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0271501/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

There’s also much more in print in Singapore in the Straits Times or Business Times, plus Channel News Asia: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/downton-abbey-stars-in-singapore-for-world-premiere-of-8964914

Art in Black & White on Temenggong Road

 

Living Tropics at Home for the Arts

by Ken Hickson

It is always a pleasure to see art in appropriate surroundings. And there is nowhere better than in the glorious black and white houses on Singapore. Isn’t it great that so many of these distinctive colonial “homes” have been conserved and put to such good use.

In Temenggong Road, five of them have become “home to the arts”, thanks to the Temenggong Arts in Residence – a not for profit arts charity – and the work of Henri Chen KeZhan who  started it and keeps it going. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1433_2009-01-30.html

That’s where you can see the latest exhibition by one of its resident artists – Dang Xuan Hoa from Vietnam. His “Living Tropics” exhibition is there until 4 June. Be quick as its not often art lovers can visit this fabulous green setting on Mount Faber and see art and architecture at its best.

At the exhibition opening on Saturday 27 May, NUS Museum Curator Chang Yueh Siang gave a very meaningful and insightful introduction to the work of Hoa and the artist-in residence-programme and location.

Chang Yueh Siang – Living Tropics Opening Intro

For more, get a copy of the programme – where most the art exhibited is also shown.

On hand to officially open the show was Parliamentary Secretary  in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Mr Baey – a former PR man – pictured above at at right, with the artist Dang Xuan Hoa, the centre of attention and Ms Chan on the left, delivering her welcome address.

You can support the work of Henri and co at the Temenggong Artists in residence programme by going to this site. https://www.giving.sg/web/temenggong-artists-in-residence-ltd-

 

A Feast of Film: 11 Days in May

A Feast of Film: 11 Days in May

By Ken Hickson

The European Union Film Festival  represented a visual feast – 27 films from 27 countries – while a 28th film slipped in, making it two from Germany.
When launching the event, Mr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore, had this to say: “This is especially significant as we mark the 60th anniversary of the European Union this year. With the 27th edition of the EUFF, we celebrate the diversity and pluralism of Europe and continue to reinforce the cultural cooperation and collaboration between Europe and Singapore.”
The festival certainly demonstrated “Europe’s contemporary creativity, its diversity of cultural expressions and multifaceted artistic vision”. This was reflected in the selection, ranging from dramas to thrillers, comedies to animation.                                                                                               With films hailing from across Europe, it offered audiences in Singapore an opportunity to access a variety of films that rarely receive commercial screenings outside Europe thus becoming a cultural bridge between Europe and Singapore.
Thanks to the organisers – Deepika Shetty in particular – we were invited to see five films: The Murmuring Coast (from Portugal), Problemski Hotel (Belguim), Soul at Peace (Solvakia), Ivy (Turkey) and Young Sophie Bell (Sweden).
The first and the last for us were stand outs.
“The Murmuring Coast” gave us some unexpected insight in the past colonial mistakes in the 1960s of Portugal in Africa. It was honestly and convincingly acted and filmed.                                                              “Young Sophie Bell” was the star attraction for us. Beautifully filmed and portraying some excellent acting, most notably by Felice Jankell, who won the Guldbagge Best Actress Award (Sweden’s Oscar equivalent) for playing Sophie.
The National Gallery provided a fitting venue for the film screenings but you would think in this technological age, there would be a way to manage the climate in its small but well designed “cinema”.
We know Singaporeans and visitors continue to freeze in the super cooled public cinemas in the city, but such a select cultural institution like the National Gallery – which involved the superb architectural transformation of two colonial gems (the old Supreme Court and City Hall) – could have made sure the air conditioning was managed so patrons didn’t need to come armed with coats and scarves. Maybe it was on purpose to create a European atmosphere to go with the films!
Other than that, the Festival was a big success and it was such a welcome touch when various embassies – and Ambassadors as well – fronted up and offered appropriate drinks and snacks to festival goers prior to screenings. Thanks to Portugal and Sweden in particular! All adding to the festival atmosphere. More films from Europe please. – Ken Hickson

Inaugural Cities of Love Award (COLA) launched to honour sustainability efforts

Inaugural Cities of Love Award (COLA) launched to honour sustainability

Singapore, May 22, 2017 – A new award – called the Cities of Love Award (COLA) – to recognise and honour the sustainability efforts of ordinary individuals, businesses and communities has just been launched in Singapore.
The brainchild of Mr Tai Lee Siang and his wife Ms Valerie Ang – joint authors of the book Cities of Love – both directors of Inception Pte Ltd, a creative consultancy, focused on developing unique creative projects that benefit individual, communities, and cities.
On the COLA objectives, Mr Tai said, “Awards for sustainability are often given to prominent figures such as government or business leaders who have helped to implement large-scale transformational projects. While this has made important impact on cities, we must not ignore the contributions of the individuals or the smaller organisations. The Cities of Love Award or COLA is therefore an award to recognise the efforts made by the ordinary person or enterprises – especially those that have shown much innovation, care, and love for the communities they live in. For us, no project is too small or insignificant. So, if your actions have made positive impact in any way, we welcome you to take part in the award as we believe that every positive effort should be given a chance to be appreciated and recognised.”
Mr Tai is also the current Chairman of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), Honorary Advisor of the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission of the Design Business Chamber of Singapore (DBCS).
The inaugural Cities of Love Awards 2017 builds on the sustainable roadmap laid out by Mr Tai’s recently-launched book, Cities of Love.
The award is also open to all entries from small homegrown projects to large-scale corporate developments, and comprises three categories: Social Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, and Environmental Sustainability.
Social Sustainability aims to highlight initiatives, actions or organisations that will sustain their social group or community in the long-term. The criteria that these awards will be judged on include: Administration, Communications, Community Bonding, Community Care, Education, Family Support, Finance & Financing Operations, Parental Assistance, Social Services, and Others.
Economic Sustainability highlights business models or actions that balanced growth with contributions to the local economy and the welfare of the workforce who helped achieve it. The judging criteria include: Administration, Communications, CSR, Finance & Financing, Human Resource, Marketing, Operations, Organisation, Products, Services, and Others.
Environmental Sustainability highlights actions that create a sustainable and friendly environment, or help to protect or maintain existing environments. The criteria for judging include: Building, Construction, Design, Gardens, Landscape, Maintenance, Materials, Operations, Products, Services, and Others.
The Award is in support of SG Cares, a national movement dedicated to support the goodwill of Singaporeans and guide them to help those in need. The supporting partners include Green Living, Reed Exhibitions, Design Business Chamber of Singapore (DBCS), Raffles Design Institute, World Scientific: Connecting Great Minds, Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore, Institute of Parks & Recreation Singapore, Sustain Ability Showcase Asia (SASA) and Media partners such as Green in Future, ABC Carbon Express, The Avenue for Creative Arts and Fifth Avenue Media & Editorial Services.
The awards are open to all residency in Singapore. Corporate entities must be registered in Singapore to qualify for the business application.
The entry fee for the awards are S$100 for individuals, S$300 for community groups and S$300 for businesses, and is now open for submission at http://www.inception.city/. The closing date is on 31 July, 2017.
Ms Valerie Ang said: “Amidst trying times and an uncertain economic climate, we need heroes – people we can look up to as examples of inspiration. They are people with insight and foresight who look beyond the confines of the norm to set a new and better benchmark of quality living. These are significant changers. The awards are our way of providing a platform for new heroes to lead by example towards a green and sustainable future.”
The Cities of Love Awards 2017 Ceremony will be held at Marina Bay Sands on 22 September 2017. Winning entries will also be displayed at the 2017 Green Living exhibition at Marina Bay Sands in September. For more information, please visit http://www.inception.city/about-the-awards/.

ABOUT THE CITIES OF LOVE (COLA) AWARDS 2017
Inception launched the COLA Awards 2017 to recognise ordinary people who do extraordinary things that contribute to sustainable issues. Besides prominent figures such as government or business leaders who have helped to implement large-scale change, Inception aims to show that no project is too small, no step is too insignificant – if actions have made a positive impact in some way, they should not be discounted.
ABOUT INCEPTION
Inception was formed in Singapore in August 2010, by Valerie Ang and Tai Lee Siang, out of a passion to transform lives, environments, and societies. It believes that everyone has the capability to bring change. Inception hopes to be a vehicle of change through holistic creations that promote sustainable living. Its long-term vision is to develop a basket of diverse creative projects that could include products, publications, multi-media productions and even gastronomic experiences. By introducing new innovations and perspectives that are sustainable and economically feasible, it hopes to contribute to harmonious and peaceful living on this Earth we call home.

Online Access to Arts and Culture Attractions

Mobile App Draws Tourists from Ten Countries
To Book Singapore Attractions

By Ken Hickson

Making it easier for tourists in Singapore to see more attractions and attend more events – and save money at the same time – is the objective of a new mobile App (application) called TravelEase, a local start up with its tech savvy eyes on regional expansion.
With close to 5000 registered users in ten countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, the TravelEase App which started in September 2016, is going through an expansion phase this month, adding more categories and attractions for Singapore, as well as moving into Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Up until now, TravelEase has offered 45 attractions and events in different categories, the most popular being Gardens by the Bay and Universal Studios, but this month sees five new categories, with another 20 places and activities to book in Singapore.
Arts and Culture, along with food and drinks, are expected to be the new categories to attract the most interest, says TravelEase General Manager Arvinder Singh.
The other three new categories are: tours and sightseeing, attractions and shows, and fun and activities.
“With our focus on providing a hassle free travel experience and competitive prices, means tourists can actually see and do more while in Singapore. By being able to search, select and pay in advance online, before they even arrive in Singapore, bookings are automatically stored in their own online itinerary and they can add more activities as they go along”, Arvinder explains.
As all TravelEase tickets are paperless, all the user has to do when arriving at an attraction or activity is show or scan the booking kept on his or her mobile phone. Reminders and directions are incorporated in the App to it make it even more convenient for the independent traveller who might be on a first Singapore visit.
TravelEase was conceived and developed by four well-travelled Singapore-based entrepreneurs who could see that the digital economy was putting control, access and payment into the hands of individual travellers, armed with their mobile phones.
“What we’ve shown in a relatively short time is that there is definite market demand for our mobile App in Singapore and regionally,” Arvinder says. “Our users are happy and we’re getting more and more local businesses on board with attractive offerings.”
So it’s a growing business that’s good for the tourist, the travel industry and the economy. So much so that TravelEase is already eyeing even bigger markets after Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. Tokyo and Taipei are next in line.

About TravelEase
TravelEase was launched in Singapore in September 2016 as a mobile App (application) for tourists to search, book, pay, store and redeem e-tickets for visits to attractions and leisure activities. Started by an enterprising group of Singaporeans and foreigners who have travelled widely, TravelEase leverages technology to disseminate information and make transactions, enabling 5000 subscribers in 10 countries (as at 1 May 2017) to have bookings automatically stored in their own online itinerary. The user, who joins for free, is also able to securely store their travel document details and any other planned events/meetings, get reminders of bookings, including syncing with their Google calendars. TravelEase users receive attractive discounts at attractions, along with a paperless record of their bookings and payments, all on their mobile phone. Starting with Singapore, TravelEase is now adding other Asian destinations, with Hong Kong and Bangkok coming online this month (May 2017), followed by Tokyo and Taipei in June 2017. More info: https://www.facebook.com/traveleaseSG/

Ken Hickson, Managing Editor of The Avenue for Creative Arts and ABC Carbon Express, writes about TravelEase and has agreed to spread the word through Fifth Avenue Media and Editorial Services, the Arts and Education publishing and communications division of Sustain Ability Showcase Asia (SASA).

 

Giselle is here. Singapore steps into dance in a big way

Steps to Dance Leadership. Besides the wonderful ballet “Giselle”, which is coming all the way from the most ancient opera house in the world, Teatro Di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, this month, Singapore is securing its place as the Asian regional hub for the diverse dance practices from the East and the West. There’s much afoot from Stephanie Burridge, with books, talks and teaching, which we learned all about at the recent NAC research forum and from Helen Musa in Canberra, plus the excellent dance tradition being fostered at LASALLE College of the Arts – seen in the brightest of foot-lights in the latest “Chorus Line” production. We also caught up recently with former NAC leading light Chin Choy Liew, who’s now the Company Manager for Frontier Danceland, telling us all about its monumental May production. See Top Notes and Epilogue for more.

latest news in the avenue for creative arts

Art Scene & Heard in Asia
Ageless Attraction Unheard of in Asia until January this year, when she appeared for the first time at the Singapore Contemporary, Russian born, Australian-based Anna Rubin is turning heads. Not just because of how she looks but how her paintings come across, harking back to a bygone era. She meticulously produces still life in oils using age-old techniques, clearly representative of the 400 year old Flemish Masters Realism school, based on the over 700 year old Byzantium technique of oil painting in layers. Anna’s collections have been sell-outs in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne galleries, also achieving extraordinary results in art auctions and the secondary market. She’s attending the Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong – for the first time – from 17 to 20 March. Read More

A very modern artist mastering the timeless Flemish Realism style

Art News      27 February 2017

Australia-based Russian Anna Rubin in Hong Kong for Asia Contemporary

A very modern artist mastering the

timeless Flemish Realism style

When the Asia Contemporary Art Show opens at the Conrad Hong King on 17 March, look out for the artist Anna Rubin who turns the exhibition name on its head.

Her paintings are clearly representative of the 400 year old Flemish Masters Realism school and based on the Byzantium technique of oil painting in layers, dating back more than 700 years.

Hardly contemporary, even though the artist herself is a relatively recent proponent of a seemingly ageless artistic tradition.

But Anna Rubin is no copyist. She’s an award winning, highly recognised artist from Australia who meticulously produces still life in oils using age-old techniques that require up-to 500 layers with each painting taking her eight weeks or longer to finish.

Living in Australia since 2002, Anna’s collections have been successfully sold-out in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne galleries. Her artwork has achieved extraordinary results in art auctions.

Numbers matter to this Russian-born MBA graduate from Germany’s Düsseldorf University whose paintings are now being resold on the secondary market.

It was reported in the Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) that her very first painting “Iris”, exhibited and sold for A$16,500 in 2006, was a year later valued for insurance purposes at A$28,000. The same newspaper report in May 2008 noted that one of her works was snapped up by an influential patron for A$35,000 then sold through an auction house for A$88,000.

She first came to the attention of well-known Sydney gallery owner Richard Martin, who invited her to exhibit in July 2006. One of her paintings – inspired by the fish she had remembered seeing at the markets in Moscow as a child – proved the signature work in the show, selling for A$38,500.

She sees herself as a contemporary extension of European realism tradition as perfected by Flemish-Dutch masters. But what is remarkable to many is that Anna Rubin the artist emerged out of “a creative chrysalis” a mere 11 years ago with her first solo exhibition on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia early in 2006.

It was a sell-out, as was her next few exhibitions, including her first in Sydney’s Richard Martin gallery. She was back at the well-regarded Sydney gallery two years later with a solo show – “Les Objets d’Amour” – from 16 – 27 February 2008. Another case of all in her collection selling out.

Here’s how Richard Martin describes her work at the time:

“Rather than compromise tradition and artistic integrity for commercial opportunism, Anna has steadfastly remained true to the style, persisting in the creation of artwork that accurately reflects her European roots, interpreted with breath-taking 21st century realism.

“In doing so, she labours over each painting for up to eight weeks to achieve a result not replicable by modern methods of mass production. Since her first solo show in February 2006, Anna’s work is now found in numerous private collections throughout Australia.”

After celebrating the 10th year anniversary of her art with another sold out exhibition in 2016 at Palazzo Versace, on the Gold Coast of Australia, Anna started looking at expanding overseas. The first step was her participation at the Singapore Contemporary Show in January 2017.

Encouraged by the reception she received – albeit amidst an exhibition of very different art styles to her own – with some promising sales to local buyers, so she decided to dive further into the Asian art market.

“Les Objets de Beauté de l’Abondance” by Anna Rubin

Even though the bigger show in Hong Kong represents even more competition, Anna is undeterred as she’s hoping that there might be added interest in what she calls her “Chinoiserie” works.  The miniature, elegant collection she is offering in Hong Kong is her own “Golden Age” – the Alchemy of Renaissance and Belle Époque.

As someone who spent many years working in interior design, she fully understands the very decorative style, influenced largely by the French that incorporates the use of Chinese motifs and techniques.

Before she came to Australia in 2002, she says her “artistic aspirations continued to smoulder” while she created a business in restoring and renovating European heritage manors, based from Germany.

Anna’s work extended to architectural and interior design for period properties throughout Europe, while extensive travel during this period afforded her the opportunity to also explore and study art collections across the European continent.

Now she’s seeing owners of grand homes and apartments in Europe and Australia positioning her distinctive paintings in prominent places.

“Even though my paintings have shown quite remarkable increases in value since first sold, I really don’t want to hear they are being safely stored out of sight somewhere. I want them to be seen and enjoyed,” Anna Rubin says from Australia in advance of her first Hong Kong showing.

She will make sure she shows a selection of her more recent original still-life paintings for sale and as well as her limited edition prints of previously sold works, especially released for this exhibition.

For a preview of what Anna Rubin will have on show in Hong Kong, go to the official artist page at Asian Contemporary website: http://www.asiacontemporaryart.com/artists/artist/Anna_Rubin/en/

About Anna Rubin, the artist

The artistic integrity of this period of classical Realism endures in Anna’s meticulous works, as she draws from her personal history, multicultural experiences and reflections to capture real life subjects in the Flemish-Dutch School manner.

A fourth generation Muscovite, Anna was born in Moscow, Russia. Her mother was a writer of children’s educational programmes. Her father, an engineer, died in a car accident when Anna was small. In his absence, her grandfather provided the foundations for a lifetime passion for fine art by taking Anna to visit many museums and exhibitions in Moscow from the age of five.  He also introduced Anna to drawing and the method of Aquarelle, watercolour painting in transparent washes.

Art is in Anna’s genes.  Her great grandfather was Sava Nikitin – a 19th century monk in the Novodevitchev Monastery, a restaurateur and a painter of Russian orthodox icons and wall paintings.   Call it “genetic inspiration”.

For Anna Rubin’s full biography, go to www.annarubin.com/anna-rubin-biography/

About Anna Rubin Prints

“Les Objets de Beauté”, 68cm x 58cm (Limited Edition Print)

Special Hong Kong Limited Edition of 10 Fine Prints on Canvas

The extremely positive feedback and high demand for these artworks inspired the release of the first Limited Edition Prints. It is kept very exclusive and collectable as the number of prints is limited to only 10 of each painting.

A high-quality method called Giclée was applied to reproduce these artworks into limited edition prints, on canvas (pronounced gee-clay). Giclée is French and translates as meaning “sprayed ink”. Giclée prints are museum quality reproductions of original art from traditional media, by means of a high quality printer using advanced pigment ink technology.

Limited edition prints are priced at US$1,600.

For more on the artist and to see high resolution images of her prints, go to this website: http://annarubin.com/limited-edition-prints/

 

Issued on behalf of Anna Rubin for the Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong 17-20 March 2017

by Ken Hickson

Managing Editor, The Avenue for CreatIve Arts

Fifth Avenue Media and Editorial Services, Singapore

Email: ken@fifthavenue.asia

Mobile: +65 8139747

Website: www.fifthavenue.asia

 

Singapore as Art’s Treasure Island

Is this Treasure Island? Our way of introducing the art treasures of the world on show in Singapore for Art Week.

Here’s our first issue of the avenue for creative arts for 2017

A feast for the arts in Singapore this month and a lot of news from everywhere else. Lots to see and do.

See also Books Recommended for our Top Twenty for 2016. 

Our Christmas Message with our special issue in December 2016:

If you think you don’t have time to read this in your busy pre-Christmas rush around, think again! There is likely to be something in this issue that you mustn’t miss. A gift buying idea for the person who has everything? We have books to buy or recommend. Or an event you can treat yourself too. Even on Christmas Day. At the end of our second year, the avenue for creative arts celebrates with you the wonderful gift that the arts brings to us all. We are now more than a newsletter telling you about arts events in Singapore, the Asia Pacific and further afield. We are now an integral part of the CrowdHub Art platform – providing more than content for a community of arts lovers and people in the creative industries. We can help you – whether you are involved in a large or small arts group – to co-create arts events and reach out to a bigger audience. See for yourself: CrowdHub Art. Join in. Its free. It’s our gift to you this Christmas. Good news for everyone. Christmas Cheers! – Ken Hickson

Go to the Special Christmas issue of the avenue for more stories including book giving recommendations.