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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Art on the menu

SINGAPORE - Cleopatra's head has been split down the middle.
Asia One - July 29, 2013
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Art on the menu

Elvis' face has been segmented, giving him a huge Frankenstein-esque head. Plastic forks and spoons dangle from the ceiling from a light fixture while empty snack packaging suspend in a colourful light ball in a corner.

Staring at these spacey sights at the hip, week-old nightspot Art Bar in One Fullerton, partygoers might wonder if they have had one drink too many. No, they are just the resident artworks.

Nightclubs, bars and restaurants here have long crossed over into museum and gallery territory, by tricking their spaces out with artworks. But these days, more owners are commissioning Singapore artists to come up with edgy new works for their establishments.

The idea is not new. Joints such as Kinki at Customs House and the now- defunct Majestic Bar in Bukit Pasoh Road have commissioned local artists to dress up their spaces. But it seems to be catching on, with at least seven establishments turning into art patrons.

At Art Bar, which replaces Fash at The Butter Factory club, partygoers are embracing the works by local artists. At the launch last Friday night, they dressed up in similarly surreal outfits made from paper plates and wore accessories made of broken doll heads - in line with the night's "trash fashion" theme.

Cleopatra and Elvis are paintings titled The Queen and The King by home-grown illustrator Kristal Melson, while the light sculptures on the dance floor, called The Ring Of Things, were done by the nightspot's creative director Bobby Luo and in-house visual display artist Aaron Han.

Mr Luo, 42, also the club's co-founder, says of the underground street vibe: "It was a progression, where we wanted to take it to the next level of bar concepts, and mix mediums and styles."

Four local artists were asked to create works for the bar, including visual artist Speak Cryptic and illustrators Sharul Amir and ClogTwo. The revamp took about a year, returning the club back to its early roots of being an Art Bar, when it was first at Robertson Quay.

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