Art in a pandemic

Guillaume Levy-Lambert has a story to tell. Amid the pandemic, a married couple with two children visited his Art Porters Gallery in Spottiswoode Park. “They said their vacation plans were cancelled because of travel restrictions,” he says. “I almost cried when they told me about it.

“However, they’d decided that they were going to use their vacation budget to buy art. So they talked about it as a family for about an hour. And, after a long discussion, the two kids and their parents chose one artwork. Then, two hours later, they WhatsApped me and said they wanted a second one as well.

“So sales do happen . . . But we must put out positive energy,” concludes Mr Levy-Lambert.

All through this weekend (Nov 20 to 22), 32 galleries and art organisations will do just that in Singapore’s first Gallery Weekend. The three-day city-wide programme features a broad range of exhibitions, with artists often on-site to talk to visitors about their works and practices.

There are demos, performances and a block party – but carried out with safe distancing measures, of course. And all of it is self-funded by the Art Galleries Association Singapore (AGAS) which saw membership skyrocket by 50 per cent in 2020 as galleries sought to band together and help each other out. AGAS’ revised constitution allowed more galleries into its fold.