Many moons ago, Home Club, much loved by hipsters, indie-music lovers and party revellers alike, shut its doors.
A 6 figure project spanning slightly over 2 months has culminated in CANVAS, which makes use of the ex-Home Club space, and boasts an underground chic atmosphere coupled with a bare industrial feel. It is also a concise venue, that can hold around 180 indoors and 80 in the alfresco area. Unlike bigger clubs, CANVAS hopes to attract the discerning club goer, and engage them on a different level.
Mahen Nathan, partner of Bed Concepts, worked alongside Roy Ng, founder of Home Club, to bring about an art space where various artists are given an opportunity to showcase their talents. No, its not about a business-centric art gallery, where they have to sell enough art pieces to sustain the space or the bottom-line. It’s something much more than that.
Modelled after Andy Warhol’s factory, Mahen tells us it’s all about “pushing the envelope of the local clubbing scene, and to make the space exclusively, inclusive.“
By day, Warhol’s factory was an art experimentation ground; and by night, transformed into one of the hottest nightspots in NYC. Which is exactly what CANVAS hopes to achieve.
The space is not specifically catered to the local art community. It will also double up as a platform for regional art and international art. In fact, the first exhibition will showcase works by celebrity photographer Russel Wong, who has profiled illustrious stars such as Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi and more.
Head of Curation, Razi Razak is a man with many hats — brand ideologist, music promoter and art curator all in one. The CANVAS curatorial process is done via a clear, directed approach. It transpires that Razi will come up with a theme each month, and the works selected will have to fit that theme.
CANVAS’ art gallery will be open from 3pm, and the works featured will be jointly selected by Razi and Assistant Curator, Allison Low, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNSW. Having known each other for 8 years, Allison and Razi are able to draw from each others’ experiences and contacts, to put together a vibrant experience for its viewers.
What sets CANVAS apart from clubs with luxe fit outs, gold trimmings and champagne running from its sinks, is the depth of culture it hopes to tap into.
Mahen notes that the “the Singapore entertainment scene has evolved dramatically“, and that he received honest feedback that such a concept wouldn’t have worked 5 years ago.
How things have changed.
The clubbing scene is notably more diversified, with more Singaporeans craving more depth to their clubbing experience. Something more than just superficial encounters, and getting sloshed. So how does CANVAS go about creating an immersive, multi-sensory experience? They’re all about engaging the people, the right crowd, yet, without closing its doors to the generic populace at large.
To that end, the club has engaged 4 movers and shakers of the creative industry, to sit on CANVAS’ Singapore Advisory Council: Mikael Teo (Film Director, Oh Lucky Me Interactive Films), Lucas Burrows (Creative Group Head, Iris Worldwide), Alvin Tan (Co-Founder, PHUNK Studio) and Woon Tai Ho (Media and Marketing, National Art Gallery Singare).
Mahen, “We wanted to provide artistic flexibility, so we thought of the term, blank canvas. Artists can operate the space as they would, a canvas. We wanted to give them the elements to exercise their creative juices.“
Aesthetically, the words looked good as a logo too, Mahen quipped.
As for the art direction that goes behind the space, Razi reveals that “It’s about technology and how we conceptualise the technology. But at the same time, still exploring what is the space is good for. Perhaps digital art, street art, conceptual art.. But more importantly, the idea is to start dialogues with artists.“
As with all new establishments, Mahen is aware of the need to build it up in stages. He reveals that the initial stages would just be filled with art-based activities, and ultimately, for him, it is a learning process.
“Surely we won’t be doing everything right on day one. It’s all about listening to the customers, and adapting,” Mahen
Yes, we are audibly excited by the opening of a new venue. Quite unfortunately our excitement is limited to this string of text.
CANVAS’ soft launch is in a couple of hours. Check it out for yourself. Follow the countdown, here.