Speech By Dr Vivian Balakrishnan At The Reena Kallat ' Rainbow Of Refuse" Exhibition

17/11/2006

Mr Amit Judge,
Ms Renu Khilnani,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Good evening. Thank you for inviting me for the reopening of Bodhi Art's new gallery on Robertson Walk.

 Bodhi Art and its work in Singapore

2.      Bodhi Art Gallery's growth since it opened its first gallery in Singapore in August 2004, has been impressive. In two short years, the Gallery has set up three more contemporary spaces in Mumbai, New Delhi and New York. Singapore is happy to have been a part of Bodhi Art's success story. Arts intermediaries such as Bodhi Art build the critical connections between artists and audiences, and art and business, to promote a sustainable visual arts sector. Apart from providing a platform for exciting young artists to showcase their work, Bodhi Art has also taken steps to support residencies, public art projects, and organise outreach programs in conjunction with its exhibitions. Through these activities, Bodhi Art has enhanced dialogue and understanding in both art and culture and enriched the Singapore art scene.

3.      Bodhi Art is also expanding the influence of Indian contemporary art beyond India, through its international network of galleries and programmes to develop artists and audiences.

4.      I am pleased to note that Bodhi Art has already taken advantage of what Singapore has to offer, evident in its collaborations with our leading cultural institutions such as the Esplanade and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). Since 2005, Bodhi Art has organised annual residency programmes at the STPI for renowned artists such as Atul Dodiya and Natraj Sharma. The gallery has also held joint exhibitions with the Esplanade, and has been a regular participant in ArtSingapore, an annual regional art trade fair. Its collaboration with Singapore-based, award-winning architect Mr Chan Soo Kiang further extends the gallery's links to Singapore.

 The arts in Singapore

5.      The visual arts scene in Singapore has become more sophisticated over the years. Recent k ey events include the Singapore Art Show and the Singapore Biennale. The Singapore Art Show, an exhibition dedicated to Singapore artists, was launched in September last year. The inaugural Singapore Biennale 2006, our first large-scale international visual arts exhibition, was well-received by Singaporeans and international visitors alike. Come 2012, the former Supreme Court Building and the City Hall will be transformed into a world class national art gallery for Southeast Asian art.

 Growing the international visual arts trade

6.      Visual arts trading activities, especially in Asian art, have been growing in Singapore. In recent years, Singapore has been the focal point for a thriving auction scene, hosting regular auctions of leading auction houses such as Sotheby's and Larasati. The presence of art galleries which are able to respond to the dynamic flow of creative talent and ideas on the one hand, and art business trends on the other, is also important to developing a more robust art market. I encourage Bodhi Art to continue to expand its engagement of Singapore and wish it success in its ventures.

The ‘Rainbow of Refuse' exhibition

7.      Ms Reena Saini's art is one of the most exciting in Indian art today, bringing together painting, sculpture and installation to create an aesthetic visual presence. I look forward to viewing Ms Reena's works with you and wish everyone an enjoyable evening.

8.      It is now my pleasure to declare the exhibition open. Thank you.

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