ART SG, the largest art fair in Southeast Asia and the Oceanic region, returns for its second edition, with The Hour Glass back as its Associate Partner.
For ART SG’s inaugural edition, The Hour Glass selected emerging Malaysian talent Jun Ong as its first artist. For 2024, the leading specialist watch retailer is taking the partnership to the next level. The Hour Glass is collaborating with MB&F to bring a taste of the MB&F Lab – an extension of MB&F’s M.A.D.Gallery that first opened in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel – with the mechanical marvels by Ukrainian artist duo Smith & Winken.
“As one of the world’s leading cities of the 21st century, Singapore’s position in the art world continues its rise to prominence. ART SG adds positively to this initiative and, for a second year running, The Hour Glass commits to support this world class fair. Together with MB&F Lab, we take immense pride in expanding the conversation surrounding kinetic art by exhibiting for the first time in Asia, the works of Smith & Winken. The artistic duo will be presenting several bionic sculptures at The Hour Glass booth at ART SG,” said Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass.
WHAT IS THE MB&F LAB?
First, there was the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery. First launched in Geneva in 2011, it featured a ground-breaking concept of being 50% watch boutique, 50% art gallery – and 100% dedicated to the world of mechanical and kinetic art. Meanwhile, the MB&F Lab is a recreation of this hybrid retail experience in a more intimate setting. Fun fact: the world’s first MB&F Lab was launched at the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 2022. This was a testament of the long-standing relationship between Max Büsser and The Hour Glass – as well as the maturity of the local community of watch collectors and connoisseurs. Today, MB&F Labs can also be found in Paris, Taipei and Beverly Hills.
“When I first discovered Smith & Winken, I was irresistibly attracted and intrigued by their work: their beautiful blend of mechanical and organic, analogue and technological, retro and futuristic, instantly resonated with me. Their bionic sculptures are like living organisms that come from both the distant past and the unpredictable future. I also love that the artists decline to reveal the inspiration for their pieces, insisting that the observer sees what they want to see,” shared Max Büsser, Founder of MB&F.
‘ENDLESS MOVEMENT’: FIRST TIME IN SINGAPORE
Seven of the 20 limited edition kinetic sculptures that make up the Endless Movement collection have been specially selected to be displayed during ART SG 2024, each beckoning visitors to dive into the fourth dimension. As it will be Smith & Winken’s first showing in Singapore, The Hour Glass with MB&F Lab will be presenting ‘Hover’, ‘Tessen’, ‘Gemini’, ‘Christopher’, ‘Flipper’, the signature ‘Skipper’ and the latest one-of-one creation ‘Spero’.
“It is incredibly valuable for us to find like-minded people and we are grateful that we can expand our audience through this partnership with MB&F and The Hour Glass. Each exhibition is an opportunity to convey our sense of inner freedom through our objects, which work better than a thousand words. This way, we can convey our emotions, stories and who we are – free people with a powerful culture and great potential for creativity,” said Smith (Valeriy Kuznetsov).
Visitors will be enthralled by the intricate yet smooth motions of these kinetic sculptures – similar to the motions of watch complications. Smith & Winken’s connection with watchmaking is second nature. “We are fascinated by the precision and eternity of watch movements, both from a technical and philosophical point of view. A watch represents eternity and cyclicality; both are categories that will forever remain with a person. Regardless of era, time remains the greatest value of humanity. Likewise with our objects, we encourage people to also treat time with more care and to value it,” Winken explained.
‘Endless Movement’ will be on display at Basement 2, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and open to all ART SG visitors.