Wednesday, 1 October, 2014

Published June 13, 2014
Father's Day guide to buying art
Here are creative ideas for the man of the house, whether he's a connoisseur or if you think it's time he became one, writes HELMI YUSOF
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For the nostalgic dad

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For more than a decade, Soh has been scouring the island for old HDB blocks, playgrounds, schools, cinemas and other buildings that were or are scheduled for demolition. He then captures them artfully in his photographs for posterity's sake.

For the deep-thinking dad

Does your dad enjoy ruminating on the big, unanswerable questions such as God, nature and existence? If that's the case, he might prefer artworks that are more abstract than representational. Filip Gudovic, a promising young abstract artist newly graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts, is showing several works at iPreciation Gallery on Cuscaden Road, and one artwork at Equator Art Projects in Gillman Barracks. As a newcomer, his prices are still low, between $2,800 and $3,200, while his canvases - such as this 210 x 160cm work titled Design of an Italian Restaurant - are large enough to peer deep into and get lost in. Incidentally, he comes highly recommended by his teacher, Cultural Medallion recipient Milenko Prvacki, whose works are showing alongside his at iPreciation.

For the hipster dad

If your dad is a bit of a rock-and-roller, you might want to check out the cool, psychedelic, street graffiti-inspired artworks of Wedhar Riyadi. Riyadi is an up-and-coming Indonesian artist who has been selected for prestigious shows such as the Asia Pacific Triennial and the Indonesian Eye. Fusing a riot of hallucinogenic colours with street art symbols such as skulls and bones, his trippy series of artworks are likely to be enjoyed by the hipster-at-heart dad who prefers a Harley to a Jag, and Bob Dylan to Beethoven. Wedhar's works are priced from $3,400 and are available at Yavuz Fine Art on 51, Waterloo Street, where he currently has a solo exhibition. Call on 6338-7900.

For (art)clueless dad

IF your father thinks the Old Masters are a bunch of ageing golfers, maybe it's a good time to enlighten him somewhat. Make the transition easy with Optical Art or Op Art, for short. The image comprises an illusion that tricks the eye and baffles the mind. The Op Art movement began in the 1960s and is popularly used in advertising today. Its famous proponents include MC Escher and Victor Vasarelly, whose works are available as posters on for as little as $20. For a more contemporary take, check out Noma Bar whose elegant and minimalist Op Art works are sold on online gallery The work here, titled Look Out, is in a limited edition of 50 and retails for $1,570.

Introduce him to the real Old Masters, whose works are more accessible to the novice than contemporary art. Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya and da Vinci are just a few wonderful artists to check out. You'll find thousands of their gorgeous artworks on posters on for a low price. Better still, make him something yourself, or with your kids, if you have any. Art jamming places such as Arteastiq and My Art Space will give you a canvas, a dozen brushes and as much paint as you want, for a set price. A painting by his kids and grandkids is bound to get any doting dad to start his own collection.

For the nostalgic dad

The images of German-born, Singapore-based shutterbug Philipp Aldrup will send a pang of wistfulness down your spine. His photo series on Capitol Theatre and Golden Mile Complex are simultaneously dramatic and poignant as they showcase two buildings that were once regarded among the most impressive in the world but which have long lost their lustre. Capitol Theatre 6 is one of his most powerful photos, as it offers a simultaneous window into the theatre's grand past, sad present and uncertain future. The photograph measures 42 by 28cm and is available in an edition of 15 from online art gallery for US$370.

For the traditional dad

A favourite among local art collectors, Tay Bak Chiang is a gifted local Chinese ink painter who interprets nature motifs in beautiful abstract forms - as seen here in his latest work Scarlet (124 x 124cm). Tay's clean, precise and elegant lines will easily appeal to dads whose tastes in art lean towards classical Chinese works with a modern twist. Tay's paintings are priced upwards of $6,800, and are currently available at HaKaren Art Gallery, which is set to open a group exhibition later this month featuring Tay and three other Chinese ink artists. You can contact the gallery on 6733-3382 or e-mail with enquiries.

For the heartland dad

Did your dad grow up in an old HDB block that has since been torn down? You might wish to track down acclaimed photographer Darren Soh to ask if he has a photo of that block. For more than a decade, Soh has been scouring the island for old HDB blocks, playgrounds, schools, cinemas and other buildings that were or are scheduled for demolition. He then captures them artfully in his photographs for posterity's sake.

Some of these photographs are for sale. This one, for instance, depicts Block 20, Lorong 3 Geylang, before it was razed to the ground last year. The work measures 59 by 42cms and is available in an edition of 25 at online gallery for US$600.

For the photographer dad

Anyone who loves photography can see why Sebastiao Salgado is regarded as one of the greatest photojournalists of all time. His varied, global interests in social, political and economic issues see him venturing into forgotten corners of the earth with his cameras. At the moment, the Brazilian shutterbug is showing 245 stunning black-and-white photographs at the National Museum of Singapore. He is also showing numerous works at Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Gillman Barracks, which are priced between US$11,000 and US$96,000. The photo featured is called Iceberg between Paulet Islands & the Shetland Islands, Antarctica, and was shot in 2005. Stunning, isn't it?