An inside look at Photo17, Singapore Contemporary Art Show's first photography platform

An inside look at Photo17, Singapore Contemporary Art Show's first photography platform

Shutter bugs

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Singapore Contemporary Art Show

With Singapore Art Week 2017 less than a month away, we introduce Photo17, Singapore Contemporary Art Show's new platform for photography

Singapore Contemporary Art Show's first curated platform dedicated to photography, with all art displayed offered for sale in one of the largest fairs ever held here. 

The show shares that while photography's reach is increasing, many art buyers are still reluctant to add photography to their collections — partly due to a lack of understanding of the medium, processes and innovations involved. Photo17 makes everything a lot more comfortable and accessible by engaging a larger group of art buyers through conversation about a photographer's creative process. With most photographers present at the show, it's a great opportunity for buyers to get into their minds and eyes.

Galleries taking part in the showcase include Beatrice Prost, Janet Clayton Gallery, Janet Pancho, Kate Baker, La Galerie 1839, Mo Shah, Naida Adell Ginnane, ROLECO FINE ART, Sara Zaher, Stephen Kane, Olivia Marty and Xavier Comas.

Highlights include these four photographers:

1. Katsu Ishida


A designer, painter and photographer, Katsu Ishida attempts to capture the state of being real or alive. In a process the Japanese describes as "photo paint", the artist uses washi paper to combine both photographic imagery and paint to create a rough and textured dimension to his photographs. The result is both an organic and manufactured creation that evokes the subject's inner expression under the use of machinery.

2. Vincent Fournier

Mars Desert Research Station

The 46-year-old Frenchman enjoys seeing beyond what's visible, evident in his work that reveals a passion for science, technology and the unknown. Capturing the possibilities of utopian worlds, Fournier's photographs offer wanderlust beyond the constraints of what we already know.

3. Zoncy

'Unknown Women'

Former journalist and computer science graduate Zoncy puts the issues present in her native Myanmar in the spotlight. The 29-year-old's photographs explore gender issues and social bias, stirring discussions on ethnic and religious tension. Her 'Unknown Women' series showcases the country's diverse ethnic and religious groups, masking their distinctive features with flowers — a representation of the beauty and fragility of women in a male-dominated society.

4. Leonie Barton


Using only what's found on the ground, Aussie Leonie Barton frames a photo in the moment. The artist and photographer invites viewers into her frame, which may consist of seaweed balls, twigs and branches. Finding the connection between these raw materials, Barton delights the eye as it travels through her composition, uncovering where the items might have been and what they represent now.

Curator Patricia de la Motte will present a talk on "The Art Market and Photography: The Challenges of a New Art Medium", while Spanish photo artist Xavier Comas will share more on "When Photography Becomes Art".

Singapore Contemporary will be held from 19 to 22 January 2017 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. For more information, click here. Check out our interview with show director Douwe Cramer here.