Art Stage Singapore East-West balance praised

ART FAIRS SINGAPORE CONTEMPORARY ART EVENTS ASIAN ART MARKET

With a total of 32,000 visitors – viewing work presented by 121 galleries from 26 countries – and some major sales, the inaugural edition of Art Stage Singapore seems to have proved it is the significant get-together of collectors, gallerists and artists that veteran fair organiser Lorenzo Rudolf promoted it as.

Entrance, Art Stage Singapore 2011. Image from highsnobiety.com.

Entrance, Art Stage Singapore 2011. Image from highsnobiety.com.

Where did the collectors come from?

A substantial number of top collectors from Singapore, the USA, Europe and especially from local regions like Indonesia, India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were spotted at the fair. And unlike most art fairs in the Asian region, Art Stage managed to attract interest from respected artists like Takashi Murakami, Zeng Fanzhi, Yoshitomo Nara, Jitish Kallat, Shen Shaomin, Agus Suwage, Ronald Ventura, I Nyoman Masriadi, Jumaldi Alfi and Ahmad Zakii Anwar.

Jumaldi Alfi, installation, Art Stage Singapore 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Jumaldi Alfi, installation, Art Stage Singapore 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Art Stage sales?

According to the event’s press release, significant sales included Murakami’s Snow Moon Flower triptych, which went for USD2.2 million, Li Chen’s four bronze sculptures from the Soul Guardian series of wind, fire, thunder and rain, which sold at USD480,000 and Mao Yan’s Posie Musgrau, which sold for over USD100,000 (within the first hour of the fair). Other notable sales include Russell Young’s Marilyn Crying, “what do I wear in bed, why Chanel No. 5, of course” for USD59,000, Geraldine Javier’s Three Dead Trees for USD55,000 and Ranbir Kaleka’s Cul-de-sac for USD54,000.

Mao Yan, 'Posie Musgrau', 2010, oil on canvas, 72.8 x 53.7 cm. Image from chinatoday.eu.

Mao Yan, 'Posie Musgrau', 2010, oil on canvas, 72.8 x 53.7 cm. Image from chinatoday.eu.

We’ve put together a collection of the coverage worth reading or looking through. We will continue to update this list if and when more reports appear.

The exhibition hall’s lay out certainly impressed with its expansive booths, high walls, and wide corridors. A glance at the exhibitors list manifested a bias towards Asian and Southeast Asian galleries…. This regional slant, however, meant that much more Philippine art went on view.

What the fair lacked in punch, it made up for in range – there was a lot to take in and there was a nice safe balance of works from East/West/big-time/emerging…. We were more impressed by the island-wide effort to make an art weekend of it. Visitors we met in the elevator said they were having ‘a great party.’

Western art by well-known artists like LaChapelle was much sought-after at the fair, though there was a definite Asian focus.

With a focus on the Asia Pacific art scene, Australian galleries played a significant role with some six local galleries exhibiting at the 5 days fair…. It was not administrators alone happy with the fair’s success. Artists, too, enjoyed their experience…. Chinese artist Shen Shaomin, who thought ‘Art Stage Singapore was extremely successful. Considering this is the first time that it was held, it attracted many international artists and a great variety of art works.’

The art world will be seeing more events like these in the region as Asia grows in importance.

David LaChapelle, who was by all rights the show’s headliner, gave a Saturday afternoon lecture on commercialism in the art world to a sold-out audience. He cashed in on the weekend, selling all his work.

Sylvain Levy, French collector: ‘I am completely surprised at how interesting and refreshing the fair was… I found the works of the Indonesian artists especially intriguing.’

The following videos, though they fail, unfortunately, to provide artwork details, still offer a good overview of the fair. Part I (5m:59s) and Part II (7m:37s) produced by artports.com.

With strong sales and an overall positive response, most of the galleries participating this year have already indicated their interest in returning for next year’s edition. The next Art Stage Singapore will take place 12-15 January, 2012.

MS/KN

Related Topics: art fairsSingapore venuesAsia expandsconnecting Asia to itself

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