The Most Promising Art Cities of 2020
2020 cannot look farther away from a promising year for Emerging Art Capitals. Nevertheless, art is finding its ways into the millions of people unable to experience it personally. Outside of the traditional art centers such as London, New York, and Los Angeles, the art scene in Asia, Africa, and South America is slowly but surely making a virtual comeback. These are 5 cities you will definitely be hearing about this year.
SingaporeSingapore is determined to become an essential stop for art lovers. Championing sustainability and culture to attract new visitors and investors, the city has developed a strong cultural offer that will motivate you to work for a better future. Initiatives such as Light Singapore, the sustainable lights festival famous for its amazing designs and artworks installed all over the Marina Bay. The Minimalism art exhibition held in Southeast Asia and the growing Singapore Art Week are just some of the events and spaces that literally light up the city with experiential and memorable art.
Talking about bold moves, Bogotá is starting to see the effects of being an Emerging Art Capital. More talent is moving to the city than ever before, and after tons of controversy, the city is developing its first design district in what used to be one of the most dangerous areas of the city. Some of the main contributors have been the increasing demand for Colombian art in spaces such as ARTBO, which has established itself as one of the most important art fairs in the continent, as well as a defining actor in expanding the art market activities for the rest of the year in events such as ARTBO fin de Semana. Independent spaces such as Flora and Odeón have also given the arts community and the locals new ways of experiencing art, breaking away from the commercial side, such spaces are allowing both emerging and established artists to coexist in one space and experiment. The goal is to create a better-informed public, and expose local and internationally the diversity that exists in the city, as well as connecting an entire community of creators with the international discourse.
Last year as the 16th Istanbul Biennial approached, the stakes were high due to all the hype the event has received already. What makes this Biennal stand out? It’s strong political works and continuous controversy have positioned this as an unmissable event. The 2019 version was curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, co-founder of the Palais de Tokyo. The exhibition titled “The Seventh Continent,” in reference to the growing mass of plastic floating in the ocean, a commentary on the state of contamination the planet is going through, and a clear example of the abuse and destructive use of the earth’s resources.
With controversy comes attention, and much like years prior, art initiatives and museums are preparing to make the city a full-on art capital in the years to come. Tons of public art, exciting private exhibitions as well as a strong offer of performing arts shows are expected to leave their visitors with the promise of a cultural hub full of potential.
Last year, Tokyo was on everyone's radar in terms of culture. The Yayoi Kusama Museum opened, and MOA Museum of Art was reimagined as an innovative curatorial experience, showcasing the museum’s traditional collections, and countless important national fine arts and crafts treasures; the Museum of Digital Art, after opening a few years ago, has become a revolutionary concept that captivates and invites new audiences to experience art.
In this sea of institutions, establishing artists and curators are finding Tokyo an attractive location to settle in and create powerful exhibitions. Gallery spaces such as Scai Park and the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Gallery are just a few of the up and coming cultural spaces.
Marrakech is committed to becoming the place-to-go for African art. Last year marked the second annual 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, including seven African galleries as well as galleries from all over the world representing some of the best artists of the African diaspora. With the new Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, and the new attention attracting collectors and art lovers from all over the world to the city, more galleries, and initiatives are set to inaugurate in the upcoming years. An invitation to keep your eyes on the city's art scene is in place.
By Raquel Serebrenik