Art Stage Singapore to compete with its customers?

In response to a lack of gallery representation in Indonesia, Art Stage Singapore will adopt a direct artist participation model for a portion of its 2013 fair.

Art Stage Singapore Director Lorenzo Rudolf has announced that the 2013 edition of the fair will feature a dedicated space for Indonesian artists, with Art Stage itself, rather than galleries, representing around twenty participants in an effort to promote lesser known artists.

Founder and Director of Art Stage Singapore, Lorenzo Rudolf.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal,

To improve their visibility, Art Stage Singapore 2013 will include dedicated space for Indonesian galleries and an exhibition of about thirty Indonesian artists, some of whom have never shown outside the country. And in an unusual move for an art fair, Art Stage will represent about two-thirds of them. ‘We only want to show the best, but many Indonesian artists [don’t work] with galleries,’ Mr. Rudolf said. ‘We have a situation where the infrastructure is not there.’

Given that the third edition of Art Stage Singapore will be a mixed model, hosting both galleries and fair-supported artists, The Wall Street Journal raised the question as to whether galleries might be disconcerted that they now are not just competing with other galleries, but with the fair itself. In response, Rudolf expressed confidence that this would not be the case, noting that greater participation by Indonesian artists would keep collectors in Singapore and promote a healthier dynamic within the art market.

As a younger contemporary art market, Asia is on the forefront of experimenting with the direct-participation art fair model. The United Art Fair in Delhi, India adopted direct artist applications in order to, they claim, exhibit a more diverse range of aesthetic styles. Indonesia’s Art Jog ’12, which brought Lorenzo Rudolf on as an advisor, also hosted an open call for participating artists in an effort to promote younger artists in a more democratic format.

Do you see a promising future for a direct artist participation model for art fairs in Asia? How do you think the inclusion of this model to Art Stage Singapore will affect the fair in 2013? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

PR/KN/HH

Related Topics: contemporary art fairsIndonesian artistsemerging artistscuratorial practicepromoting art

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