Alan Koh, Fair Director, Affordable Art Fair Singapore (AAF)
Venue: Ion Art Gallery, Media Launch for AAF 2018
Tell us about what you’re wearing?
Usually, I’ll wear a jacket for media previews, but today I decided to jazz things up a bit, just to fit in with the art because we have very quirky art installations here.
Where is your jacket from?
It’s from Zara. I got it when I was in Scotland – I just walked into Zara and saw it! I really liked that it has things like pizza, bananas, red wine and so on stitched into it.
And how did you think to pair it with a printed shirt like this?
I just wanted to pair the jacket with a white printed shirt so that there would be some consistency with the [jacket’s] design, but in such a way that the two pieces would not overpower each other.
We rarely see men in Singapore wearing such eye-catching things. People rarely make bold fashion choices like this.
Thankfully I’m in the arts industry, which allows me to dress more creatively! My shirt is from Zara too.
And your shoes?
They’re from Dolce & Gabbana.
So, tell us why you picked this artwork to be photographed with:
I bought a piece from Yom Bo Sung last year, it’s a Buddha with a G-clamp over its head, it’s a very interesting piece which talks about identity, questioning and ideas associated with immigration.
This particular artwork has a Buddhist sculpture in it as well, and at the same time, it’s rather quirky, which is something that I like very much.
Look at it, there’s an iPhone box, a goddess statue, a Greek sculpture. As I’d mentioned, Bo Sung’s work is about immigration and identity, and how perspectives are changed when one moves from one culture to another. [The artist] himself comes from a Korean heritage, and in coming to Singapore [sees things] from his own perspective as an immigrant. He tries to represent the different cultures here in Singapore – you can see Indian icons, Western influence, even some tapestry.
What else about his work and practice, draws you?
His simplicity initially drew me, but his work can also be quite complex. He uses figurines to create mini landscapes and objects of architecture that can be scaled. Let me show you a photo of a work of his that I purchased:
The G-clamp was supposed to be on the Buddha’s head, but because I’m superstitious, I took it out!
I mean, what if it turned out to be unlucky or gave me headaches?!
But then, I told the artist about what I’d done, and he was very open to my placing the G-clamp on the side of the sculpture instead. Some artists can be quite [closed] but he was very happy to have this conversation with me!
If you liked these artworks and Alan’s relaxed vibe, there’s more of all that good stuff at the Affordable Art Fair Singapore 2018, which runs from 16-18 November at the F1 Pit Building. Pencil it into your diaries pronto!