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Saturday, 5 August 2023

Embark on a journey to explore concepts of home and belonging

Maya Gallery launches Homeland, an exhibition that explores the concept of home and belonging through contemporary landscapes, on 5 August 2023. This diverse showcase features talented artists from Singapore and beyond, expressing their unique perspectives through their art. 

Selected from an international open call launched last May, 35 artworks by 27 artists, from emerging to mid-career and established, are on display. Featuring a wide range of styles and mediums, including paintings, photographs, printmaking, digital art and mixed media, the gallery invites viewers to delve into the changing perceptions of home in today's world. The artworks evoke a range of emotions, capturing nostalgia, displacement, and a profound sense of place and belonging. The exhibition encourages you to contemplate the multifaceted connections and cultural experiences that shape our notions of home.

Apart from Singaporean-born artists, many of the Singapore-based talents were born in Russia or India, or has roots linked to Malaysia, Indonesia and the region.

"The exhibition takes you on a visually stimulating journey through different cultural perspectives, emotional expressions, and personal stories tied to the idea of home, encouraging dialogue and inviting visitors to contemplate what home means to them," said Masturah Sha’ari, the Director of Maya Gallery. 

“Singapore and many other cities are becoming more cosmopolitan, where we are exposed to a multitude of cultures, ethnic groups and backgrounds,” a guest commented. "As we celebrate National Day, we also celebrate our families, friends and many other Singaporeans living and working overseas, establishing their homes overseas. This exhibition is reflective of that international element, very far-sighted." Another said that the artists' statements in the exhibition's ecatalogue shared personal stories of migration, eking out a living beyond one's comfort zone, and starting afresh far away from their original homeland, yet still staying connected to their places of origin.

“I’m excited to be selected for Homeland. It is still difficult for many artists here to find a platform to exhibit our works in galleries,” says one of the participating artists. “I visited Maya Gallery's earlier open call show, Small Matter, and was impressed, so was looking out for an opportunity to show my work at their next show, and here I am!”

Supporting Singaporean and Singapore-based artists has been the gallery’s objective since Masturah and her husband, Jeffrey Wandly started it in 2011, from a double-storey shophouse along North Bridge Road. The gallery was officially opened in April 2012, by former NMP for the Arts, Ms Janice Koh, with more than 100 guests attending on opening night. It held more than 8 exhibitions each year, participated in art fairs in Singapore, Hong Kong and Busan, and art festivals in Bali, collaborated with various organisations and charities on fundraising through art, and also conducted workshops for schools and corporate team-bonding needs.

The inevitable increasing rents in Kampong Glam saw the gallery’s move in 2014 to a logistics building owned by an art collector in Changi. However, the unforgivable environment saw them relocate within six months to Oxley Bizhub 2 at Ubi Road, in 2015, where they operated for six years. There, they continued curating solo and group exhibitions, participated in art fairs in Singapore and Malaysia, and embarked on collaborations with regional galleries. The gallery then faced bigger challenges—the unrelentless pandemic, which led to a slowdown in art sales and visitorship, and an uncompromising landlord, which forced them to move again in 2021, to its current location on the fifth level of Gani Building at Genting Lane. 

Offering a space of over 200sqm, far bigger than their first shophouse space, the gallery has an exclusive front lift entrance, en-suite restrooms, and storage space. Its location is historical—the area around Genting Lane was known for its factories for batik production which thrived in the 1960s and 70s. 

“We started small, and now have a bigger space for exhibitions, projects, events and activities. So as artists ourselves, we understanding and empathise with the needs and frustrations of the art community,“ said Jeffrey. “This is our way of giving back, and we hope our contribution will help the arts eco-system in any way.”

Homeland will be on view from 5 to 18 August 2023. For more information, please contact Maya Gallery at 67412455 or 96746050, or

ARTISTS: Ali Shazali, Anjum Motiwala, Anna Bogushevskaya, Aparna Chakravarty, Babita Sridhar, Danielle Siauw, Datin Elaine Chew, Elina Romanova, Idris Ali, Jaleela Niaz, Jeffrey Wandly, Juliana Lima, Kadra Kelly, Lee Hon Kit, Margarita Buttenmueller, Masturah Sha’ari, Megha Nema, Rosihan Dahim, Sangeeta Charan, Stephanie Burridge, Swati Singh, Teena Raju, Teo Shih Chin, Terence Tan, Wendy Mack, Yeo Jian Long, Yusoff Abdul Latiff

Maya Gallery is a leading home-grown, artist-run, non-profit gallery with a focus on heritage, culture, Singapore and Southeast Asian art. Established in 2012, it is located in the industrial hub of MacPherson/Potong Pasir, where factories for batik production thrived in the 1960s and 70s. The gallery has exhibited regionally—in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea and Vietnam. It is committed to promoting and supporting our local artists through exhibitions, programmes, educational initiatives, research and documentation, curatorial endeavours and collaborations.