Where to find street art in Singapore: There’s a new exhibition in Opera Gallery, ION Orchard

Opera Gallery, ION Orchard, SEEN, Spiderman

From 8 to 22 June 2018, UNSANCTIONED: Voices Off The Wall will bring together street art’s biggest names

It’s official: the streets rule. In high fashion, urban street style dominates. Think Virgil Abloh’s recent appointment as Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director. In the art world, street art is finally coming into its own. Last December, Sotheby’s held its first-ever street art auction in Hong Kong. The 27 lots raked in HK$2.9 million – almost S$500,000. The next month, our very own ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands launched Art from the Streets. The five-month-long exhibition showcased works from 50 of the world’s best-known street artists.

That exhibition ended on 3 June. But fans of street art in Singapore will rejoice knowing that Opera Gallery has assumed the mantle.

From 8 to 22 June 2018, UNSANCTIONED: Voices Off The Wall will bring together some of the movement’s biggest names. This includes Blek le Rat, C215, George Morton-Clark, RISK and SEEN.

The latter (real name: Richard “Richie” Mirando) is known as the Godfather of Graffiti – the OG (Original Gangster) – in current Internet slang.

Born in the Bronx, New York, his works first appeared on the city’s subways in the 1970s. In later years, after earning international renown, he transitioned to painting on canvases and exhibiting in galleries and museums.

SEEN’s works are symbolic of street art’s evolution over the past 40 years. From a countercultural movement with roots in a Western, urban landscape, the genre is now a global phenomenon.

Not even the highest echelons of luxury are immune to its influence. In 2017, Manufacture Royale unveiled a timepiece dedicated to the genre: the ADN Street Art Collection.

Street art now has its own lexicon, made up of a distinct set of icons, materials and techniques.

One thing hasn’t changed: the socio-politically-charged messages contained in the text and visuals.

Parisian C215 (real name: Christian Guemy), France’s answer to Banksy, is known for depicting famous French literary and political figures.

Meanwhile, fellow Frenchman/graffiti legend Blek le Rat (born Xavier Prou) continues to depict the struggles and dignity of commonfolk.

The irony that street art is now being showcased in gallery settings is not lost on us. A far cry from the movement’s original intentions – and ability – to reach wider audiences, simply by being on the street. But we can’t argue that it means saving precious time. And being able to appreciate incredible artistic diversity at a single go.

UNSANCTIONED: Voices Off The Wall
8 June – 22 June 2018
Monday – Friday: 11am–8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am–8pm

Opera Gallery
2 Orchard Turn
#02-16 ION Orchard
Singapore 238801