Many auction houses are expanding their Asian operations at a rapid pace in 2012, Christie’s among them.

In anticipation of its fall 2012 auction season in Hong Kong, Christie’s held its first pop-up preview show in Singapore, which ran from 13 to 16 September 2012. The exhibition focused on Singaporean and Malaysian modern and contemporary artists in the upcoming sale.

Cheong Soo Pieng, 'Weaver', 1981, oil on canvas. Cheong is one of the Nanyang art movement artists featured in the Pop-Up Preview.

The Pop-Up Preview, which was held at Christie’s Singapore, coincided with the opening of the Gillman Barracks, Singapore’s newest contemporary art district. The show featured a selection of works from the Asian Twentieth Century and Contemporary art auctions, which will be held in Hong Kong on 25 November 2012. In the exhibition, Christie’s highlighted three main genres of Singaporean and Malaysian art: works from the Nanyang art movement, Chinese ink painting and watercolours.

A new regional art centre?

The new exhibition may suggest Singapore’s potential to become a regional art centre, as well as highlighting the eagerness of the Asian art world to embrace emerging markets. As Christie’s Singapore representative Tang Wen-Li told ARTINFO,

Christie’s is committed to investing in and promoting the art of the Southeast Asian market, while setting it in the broader context of Asian art. As the gallery scene develops in Singapore, we feel it is important to be aligned with its growth, to continue to promote local artists and to keep ahead of the curve. The Pop Up Preview also allows us the opportunity to focus our clients’ attentions on this particular field in an intimate setting.

Asian art auction market expansion

The exhibition comes at the heels of a number of significant operational moves from some of Asia’s other major auction players. Sotheby’s in particular has been rapidly expanding its presence in Asia. In addition to holding its first outdoor selling exhibition in Singapore in October 2012, it was recently announced that, through a partnership with a local cultural development group, Sotheby’s will be the first foreign auction house to hold sales in mainland China. China’s auction houses are also on the move, with the China Guardian and more recently Poly International both announcing their first Hong Kong auctions, to be held in October and November 2012, respectively.


Related Topics: market watch – auctionsAsia expandsart in Singapore

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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