Art SG, a new international art fair for Singapore and Southeast Asia, officially opened on Thursday (12 January). The fair brings together over 150 leading galleries from around the world to Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. With borders reopening, this fair makes it attractive for art collectors to come and purchase their favourite pieces from well-known artists like Damien Hirst, Futura and Kohei Nawa.
Another artist whose works can be found at the art fair is British artist David Shrigley, who creates witty, childlike cartoons based on everyday moments or things in his life.
Eight of David Shrigley’s original drawings are being exhibited for the first time in Southeast Asia at the Ruinart Art Bar, concocted by the LVMH-owned champagne house Ruinart. Selected from his collection entitled ‘Unconventional Bubbles’ – created as part of the Maison’s annual Carte Blanche project – they reveal the hidden side of champagne production, the savoir-faire, and Ruinart’s relationship with nature.
His works inquisitively examine the rituals and customs of those working in the field, as well as the oenologists and additional collaborators who bring Ruinart champagnes to life. With a sharp eye and great curiosity, he studied the well-kept secrets behind the creation of champagne.
Visitors to the Ruinart Art Bar can enjoy Ruinart’s emblematic Blanc de Blancs cuvées as they explore the ‘Unconventional Bubbles’ drawings.
In an email interview with Shrigley, the artist tells us the inspiration behind the collaboration with Ruinart and why art is important now than ever.
1. Is this your first time collaborating with a brand? What factors do you base on when it comes to choosing who to work with?
David Shrigley: I have collaborated with several brands throughout the years, creating limited edition merchandise such as apparel and luggage. Joining the carte blanche initiative by Ruinart was a first for me and it was a great experience working with the team at Maison Ruinart. I am very interested in sustainability, so naturally, I am keen to work with brands that have similar visions. For my carte blanche collaboration with Ruinart, I sought to highlight environmental concerns that resonate with me as well as with the Maison in their champagne-making process.
2. What is your inspiration behind the art for Ruinart?
As the Maison gave me carte blanche, I had the freedom to choose what inspired me to form my interpretation of Maison Ruinart. During my visits to Reims for the artist residency, I allowed my natural curiosity to guide me as I explored the place. Of course, as I was sensitive to and naturally drawn to the topic of nature. The know-how of the winemakers also captivated me during my visit, which inspired me a lot as I created the works that eventually formed the ‘Unconventional Bubbles’ collection.
3. Where do you find your sense of humour for your art?
Humour can be found anywhere. I think the best kind of humour is the kind of humour where you don’t quite understand what you’re laughing at – you intuitively know that there’s something there that’s both funny and ‘different’.
4. Do you remember your first illustration and does that bring you a sense of accomplishment?
I started to make some cartoons inspired by general political topics. These were just for myself and some friends. One day, one of these friends told me I should exhibit those and it started to be seen as artworks.
5. Is art relevant now more than ever?
Art will always be relevant as it is an important part of human culture. Creating art that speaks to our ideas about life and the world around us, having conversations about such art – this allows us to make connections with others that transcend time and places. That’s why I post a daily dose of art on my Instagram every day.
Meanwhile, if you're not an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of its deals with a 30-day free trial at amazon.sg/primeday. Also, take S$10 off S$60 your first purchase on App. Enter code NEWBIEAPP at checkout.